Solar farm near Burgess Hill given the go-ahead

Solar panels
Solar panels

Plans for a solar farm near Burgess Hill have been given the go-ahead by district councillors.

Dacorar Southern Ltd wants to install 16,680 ground mounted solar modules on the 10.4 hectare site north of the A2300 roundabout at Goddards Green west of Cuckfield Road.

An application for the solar farm was approved by Mid Sussex District Council’s District Planning Committee on Tuesday December 18.

Only two-thirds of the total site area would be covered by solar panels, which will be 2.3 metres high and would generate 4.42 megawatts of energy, the equivalent of the annual consumption of 1,500 homes.

It has been stated the power will be used locally for occupiers of the Hub and or the proposed science and technology park.

There will also be five inverter power stations within the site along with cctv poles/cameras in five locations.

The site will be accessed from the existing private track from Cuckfield Road.

Formal diversions to two footpaths will be required. A relatively minor change is being sought for the southern one, but for the northern footpath it will need to be relocated to the perimeter of the site.

According to the application the construction period is estimated at ten weeks, with an estimated 82 HGV deliveries in total.

The application concludes: “The site can accommodate the proposed 4.42MW solar scheme without significantly affecting the special landscape character of the surrounding area or the amenities of residents in the vicinity.

“The temporary and reversible nature of the development, together with the measures that are to be taken to enhance and encourage the ecological diversity of the site, will ensure that in the long term the site can not only be restored to its current use, but will also have been improved.”

According to planning officers: “In this case there is support at both district and national level for the principle of this type of renewable energy development.

“It has been found that the impact on neighbouring residential amenity will not be significant and there are no sustainable grounds to refuse the scheme in respect of the highways impact.

“Furthermore, the effects of the development on the landscape, the rights of way and ecology can be adequately mitigated and there are again no reasonable grounds to object to the proposal on these issues.”