PENDERI SOLAR FARM,
BLAENHIRAETH FARM, LLANELLI
Voltalia UK Ltd is proposing a renewable energy scheme on land at Blaenhiraeth Farm, approximately 4 miles north of Llanelli. Penderi Solar Farm would generate renewable power through ground mounted photovoltaic panels, providing clean and low carbon power channelled directly into the local electricity grid network.
Founded in 2005, Voltalia Ltd is a power producer and service provider in renewable electricity production from solar, wind, hydro and biomass energies. As an integrated company, Voltalia has developed a strong expertise throughout the value chain of a renewable project: project development, project financing, EPC and operation & maintenance. Voltalia is responsible for the installation of over 22 solar farms in the UK with a total capacity of over 196 MW.
SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION
Voltalia UK Ltd has formally submitted an application to the Welsh Minister for development of national significance for the construction, operation, management and subsequent decommissioning of a solar farm at Blaenhiraeth Farm, Llangennech, Llanelli, SA14 8PX.
On Thursday 19 March 2020, the Planning Inspectorate Wales accepted the application but subsequently placed it on suspension due to the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. On 4 September 2020 the Planning Inspectorate Wales resumed the determination of the application and has now invited comments from interested parties to be made on the proposal by 9 October 2020. Comments should be made directly to the Planning Inspectorate via https://dns.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/wales/llangennech-solar
The Planning Inspectorate will determine the procedure for examining the application once the deadline for representations has passed.
INTRODUCING THE PROPOSAL
The main element of the proposal is the installation of a ground mounted solar park with a maximum design capacity of up to 38MWp (megawatts peak) to achieve a maximum export capacity value of 30MW. An operational lifespan of 35 years would be sought. A single main substation compound will serve the development, and this will be required for the duration of the development.
The photovoltaic panels would be laid out in straight arrays (or parallel rows) within the various fields selected for the renewable energy proposal. The tilt of the arrays would be c. 20 degrees from horizontal and all arrays would be south facing. The top north edges of the arrays would be 2.75 metres above ground level and the lower south facing edges of the arrays would be approximately 0.9 metres above ground level.
A single main substation compound will serve the development and this will be required for the duration of the development. The substation compound would be centrally located within the site and positioned adjacent to the overhead pylon to the north west of the Blaenhiraeth Farm outbuildings.
An element of the development proposal is subject to a Listed Building Consent application. This specifically relates to the laying of cables through the modern concrete overlay on the Cilddewi bridge.
As part of the community benefits deriving from the development proposal, the applicant is proposing to provide a section of permissive footpath, over 900m in length, that will directly connect the two section of public footpath 33/54 that cut across the application site. This in turn will make public footpath 33/54 easier to use for the local community as it is physically blocked at other locations outside the planning application boundary.
Land between and beneath the panels would be used for biodiversity enhancements and seasonal sheep grazing. The proposed solar farm presents considerable opportunity for landscape and biodiversity mitigation and enhancement. The objectives for biodiversity include:
To create new habitats through planting of locally appropriate native species.
To provide sheltering features around the site for nearby populations of bats, birds and other notable faunal species.
To manage the grassland to establish a diverse sward beneath the solar panel arrays.
To manage grassland outside the array for wildlife.
To manage hedgerows and trees to provide habitat for a range of species and ensure visual screening of the site.
WHAT IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF
NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE "DNS"
The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 established a new category of development named DNS. Provision in the Act came into force in March 2016 which requires the Welsh Minister to determine DNS projects, with applications being made directly to them. The process for applying for a Development of National Significance is set out by the Development of National Significance (Procedure) (Wales) Order 2016 and subsequent Regulations. The DNS application process is managed by Planning Inspectorate Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government.
Decisions are made in the context of the Welsh Government’s national planning policy and the local planning authority’s Local Development Plan. A flowchart of the DNS process.
Following extensive early engagement with the Carmarthenshire County Council and other groups, on 14 June 2019 Voltalia UK Ltd gave formal notification to the Welsh Ministers of its intention to make an application for DNS under section 62D of the Town and Country Planning Act.
On 21 June 2019, the Planning Inspectorate published their Notice of Acceptance which sets out a 12 month deadline for Voltalia UK Ltd to carry out further statutory consultation and formally submit the application to the Planning Inspectorate.
DNS APPLICATION SUBMISSION
All of our application documentation are available to view below:
Comprises the main volume of the Environmental Statement, including ‘general chapters’ that describe the EIA context, provide a description of the application site and development, and set out the scope of the Environmental Statement, followed by the ‘technical chapters’ for each environmental theme with the associated figures concluding with a summary. Coordinated and managed by Pegasus Group.
Comprise the technical appendices supporting the main report, these include technical studies comprising:
Flood Consequence Assessment
Phase 1 Ground Conditions Desk Study
Outline Construction Environmental Management Plan
Arboricultural Survey, Impact Assessment and Protection Plan
Residential Visual Amenity Assessment
Extended Phase 1 Ecological Survey Report
Wintering Bird Survey Report
Breeding Bird Survey Report
Habitat Regulations Assessment Screening Matrix
Construction Ecological Management Plan
Landscape and Ecological Management Plan
This document is available in Welsh and English.
Any representations must be made on the Planning Inspectorate’s Registration Form which can be accessed and completed online by following the relevant link:
Please note that all representations must be received by the Planning Inspectorate by 9 October 2020.
GET IN TOUCH
If you would like to be kept up to date with Voltalia plans for the Penderi Solar Farm proposals then please contact us using the details provided below:
Penderi Solar farm C/O Pegasus Group
Great Park Road
Am wybodaeth yn Gymraeg, cysylltwch â Gareth Roberts gan ddefnyddio'r manylion a ddarparwyd.