Novus are assisting Innova who are planning to develop, construct and operate a new solar array and battery energy storage system located on The Oaks, Stratford Road, Whaddon, Milton Keynes. The site will have the ability to generate up to 27.5 MWp of solar energy which is enough to power 9,018 homes in Buckinghamshire District annually. The project will also prevent 5,462 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted each year throughout its 40-year lifespan.
The site has been carefully selected and designed through a detailed assessment process considering grid availability, heritage, landscape & amenity, ecology & environmental designations, access, and agricultural land quality. We have engaged a team of expert consultants to provide advice on the project.
An important part of the development process is to engage with the local community, and we are hosting a drop-in event for residents on the 5th of July 2023 at The Whaddon Jubilee Hall, Stock Ln, Whaddon, Milton Keynes MK17 0LS. Please drop in anytime between 2-7pm.
A pre-application engagement with Buckinghamshire Council was requested in May 2023. As part of this process planning officers seek the views of relevant statutory consultees and will provide feedback which will be fed into the design process.
The project is following an iterative design process and is being informed by an analysis of the site character, and environmental and physical constraints and opportunities, drawing on desk and field work by a team of experts.
A bespoke biodiversity strategy will be prepared that ensures existing and new habitats are enhanced or created to benefit local wildlife. As part of this initiative, our landscape planting, seeding and habitat creation plans will focus on native species. These initiatives will contribute to securing long-term biodiversity net gain across the site.
Solar Panels: The solar panels will be mounted with a maximum rear height of 3.0m using frames fixed to the ground with piled posts or ground screws.
Inverters units: Convert the power from DC to AC and are mounted on the back of the solar panels at intervals.
Substation buildings: A substation is used to connect the solar farm to the local electricity network and meter production.
Transformer units: Transformers are used to step up the voltage from the solar panels to a suitable export level and are placed strategically throughout the site.
Perimeter fence: Wooden posts supporting traditional wire stock fencing (approximately 2m high) to match the local vernacular as required by the local authority. Infrared CCTV cameras may be required which would look along the fence line with no exterior lighting required anywhere on site.
The majority of vehicular movements associated with the development will occur during the construction phase, which is expected to take a maximum of 16 weeks. A temporary construction compound will be created towards the eastern boundary of the site.
Construction vehicles will be required to follow routes and safety procedures set out within a Construction Transport Management Plan.
Once the solar farm has been completed and is operational, there will be 1-2 visits a month for routine maintenance.
Specialist Environmental Surveys
A range of specialist consultants undertake surveys to be submitted with the planning application, to aid in the design process and to ensure the site is appropriate for development. The following surveys have been undertaken or will be undertaken as part of the planning process.
Flood Risk Assessment
Agriculture Land Classification
Construction Traffic Management Plan
Landscape and Visual Assessment
Historic Environment Desk-Based Assessment
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
Ecological Impact Assessment
Trial Trenching for Archaeology
Green Energy and Climate Change
There is widespread awareness of the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and an encouragement to increase the generation and use of renewable energy. The UK Government has a legal obligation in relation to generating renewable energy and reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
The proposed solar farm will make an important contribution to the supply of renewable energy. The proposed installed capacity of the panels will be 27.5 MWp. To provide some context, that will be enough electricity to power 9,018 homes within the district annually and save 5,462 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year for its 40-year lifespan.
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