Introduction.

East Yorkshire Solar Farm Limited (a Boom Power company) is proposing a new solar farm with energy storage, known as East Yorkshire Solar Farm, situated between the villages of Gribthorpe, Spaldington, Wressle, and the town of Howden (the Scheme).

The Scheme will generate approximately 400 megawatts (MW) of low-carbon electricity, enough to power around 100,000 homes and contributing to the government’s targets of reaching net-zero by the year 2050 and 70 gigawatts of solar generated electricity by 2035.

The Scheme comprises solar photovoltaic (PV) panels; underground cabling between the areas of panels, onsite substations and underground cabling to the National Grid’s substation at Drax, areas of landscaping and biodiversity enhancement; and associated infrastructure. The land required for the Scheme (including the cable routes) covers an area of approximately 1,277 hectares.

The UK is a net importer of electricity. The Scheme will contribute to the UK’s urgent need to transition to a sustainable, clean future by enabling energy security and self-sufficiency.

The UK is a net importer of electricity. The Scheme will contribute to the UK’s urgent need to transition to a sustainable, clean future by enabling energy security and self-sufficiency.

East Yorkshire Solar Farm is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) because it has a proposed generating capacity of more than 50 MW of electricity. Permission for these types of development is given through a Development Consent Order (DCO), which is granted by the Secretary of State.

We introduced our initial proposals during a non-statutory consultation held from 3 October 2022 to 30 October 2022. We then held a second consultation, also known as a statutory consultation, from 9 May 2023 to 20 June 2023. After this, a targeted consultation was held between 1 September 2023 to 2 October 2023 and the DCO application for East Yorkshire Solar Farm was accepted by PINS for Examination on 19 December 2023. Now the Scheme is in the pre-Examination period, you can register as an Interested Party to participate in the Examination. The starting date for the Examination will be confirmed in due course by PINS.

This webpage explains more about the Scheme proposals, the previous consultations, how the DCO process works, and most importantly how you can have your say and ask any questions. Below is an indicative timeline of the DCO process for the Scheme, which is updated accordingly.

Statutory Public Consultation Brochure
 
S56 Notice

Low-Carbon Electrcity

Homes Powered

Net Zero Target

Hectares of Land

Additional
Trees & Hedgegrows
Planted

Creation of
Wildlife
Habitats

Public
Rights of Way
Preserved

Targeted Consultation (Closed)
Following the statutory consultation undertaken between 9 May and 20 June 2023, East Yorkshire Solar Farm Limited is proposing to make 24 changes to the Site Boundary for the Scheme.

A summary of the proposed changes can be found in the Targeted Consultation Brochure located in our documentation library. The changes relate to minor additions to the Site Boundary which result in a small increase in land required for the Scheme.

The changes proposed have been assessed and do not introduce any new significant environmental effects. This means that the findings of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report published at our statutory consultation have not changed.

However, we are still contacting those who have been identified as having an interest in the land affected by the changes in a targeted consultation.

The targeted consultation will run between Friday 1 September and 23:59 on Monday 2 October 2023.

Persons with interest in the land (PILs) affected by the proposed changes have been notified of the targeted consultation directly by letter. This includes PILs who have been newly identified following the proposed changes, as well as PILs who were previously contacted at statutory consultation and whose land is also affected by the changes. If you were contacted at statutory consultation and have not received a targeted consultation letter, your land interest is not considered to be affected by these proposed changes.

Newly identified PILs have also been asked to provide feedback on the Scheme as a whole, as consulted on during the statutory consultation. The consultation materials for the statutory consultation can also be found in the documentation library.

We have also contacted selected stakeholders such as relevant Parish Councils, Local Authorities and statutory organisations to provide them with an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes. We are encouraging PILs who received a targeted consultation letter, or other bodies who received a targeted consultation email, to respond either via email, letter or in the case of new PILS only, by using the feedback form they received in the post.

Email: eastyorkshiresolarfarm@boom-power.co.uk

Post: FREEPOST East Yorkshire Solar Farm

Enquiries in relation to the consultation during the consultation period should be directed to the project team on 01964 782219 (you can speak to someone from Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm or leave a voicemail at anytime or via the project email address as stated above.

If you need other more accessible formats of the consultation materials such as braille, please contact us as soon as possible.

Statutory Consultation (Closed)
– The consultation period is now closed –

We presented our initial proposals at the non-statutory consultation in October 2022 and sought the views of the community and stakeholders. We used the feedback from the consultation to help update our designs.

We are now launching a statutory consultation, as required by the Planning Act 2008, and presenting more detailed plans of how East Yorkshire Solar Farm will be constructed and operated.

We want to hear from the local community, groups, businesses, and stakeholders. We will consider your thoughts and ideas, and where practicable, incorporate them into the final design. Your input is important to us, and all responses received during the consultation period will be considered.

We held four consultation events at venues across the local area. These were drop-in sessions where you could meet members of the project team, view information and plans, and ask any questions you had. Thank you to everyone who attended.

Date & Time.

Location.

Tuesday 16th May 2023, 2.00-8.00pm

Loftsome Bridge Hotel, Station Lane, Wressle, Selby, YO8 6EN

Wednesday 24th May 2023, 2.00-8.00pm

Boothferry Golf Course, Spaldington, East Yorkshire, DN14 7NG

Saturday 10th June 2023, 2.00-8.00pm

Bubwith Leisure Centre, The Playing Fields, Main Street, Bubwith, YO8 6LX

Tuesday 13th June 2023, 2.00-8.00pm

Howden Shire Hall, 13 Market Place, Howden, Goole, DN14 7BJ

We understand that not everyone was able to come to an event in person. Therefore, we held two webinars. Thank you to everyone who tuned in.

Date & Time.

How to join.

Thursday 25th May 2023, 6.00-7.00pm

Now closed.

Thursday 8th June 2023, 7.00-8.00pm

Now closed.

Consultation Documents.

We have produced a range of documents for the consultation which explain more about our proposal. To view and download these documents online and to find out further information on how to view paper copies of these, please visit our documentation library.

You Said. We did.

WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE THE NON-STATUTORY CONSULTATION?

In October 2022 we introduced our scheme and asked for feedback from local residents, businesses and stakeholders as part of our non-statutory consultation, this consisted of:

  • Four weeks from 3 October 2022 to 20 October 2022
  • Over 1,200 brochures distributed
  • Two in person events
  • Two webinars
  • 194 consultation responses received

Members of the local community were generous with their time, sharing detailed feedback on our initial proposals. We have taken this feedback and used it to help refine and develop our proposals.

You Said.

We did.

The Scheme is too large and not appropriate for the area.

A total land area of 1,445 hectares (3,570 acres) has been identified for the Scheme, however not all the land will be used for solar PV panels and associated equipment.

Whilst the total land area has increased since our first consultation, this increase has allowed us to sensitively design the buffer zones to include environmental mitigation in the form of separation buffers, planting and screening to retain and enhance the rural nature and the views of local area. The increase in land area also gives us flexibility to address through design any flood risk and archaeological issues that we might encounter, and which are still being investigated.

The Scheme is too close to residential properties, and will destroy residents’ view.

Buffer zones and screening planting have been integrated into the site layout to provide separation between the nearest properties and the solar farm.

Existing hedgerows will be retained to act as site boundaries, and where appropriate additional environmental screening will be provided through planting of native shrubs and trees.

The fencing will be too high and will create a sense of being trapped.

Deer-proof fencing will be erected at a height of up to 2.2 m to the perimeter of the solar panels fields. The fencing is a mesh style fence with wooden posts and will have minimal disruption on views across the landscape. In addition, the fencing will not impede access for smaller wildlife.

Solar panels will be too high, blocking views of the local landscape.
In our non-statutory consultation, we stated that panels could be up to 4.8 m in height as that was the height of the largest solar PV panel array in production at the time.

Our design has evolved, and we have chosen to use tracker PV panels, which move to follow the sun through the day and therefore are more effective as they capture as much sunlight as possible. At maximum tilt, the top of the tracker panel will be 3.5 m high, and only reach this height for a short time each day (first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening). For the majority of the day, they will be lower than 3.5 m in height.

At night, the panels are stored horizontally, at a height of approximately 2.3 m.

Proximity of the site to public rights of way and footpaths will cut off access, and ruin the views from the paths.
We have designed the solar farm so there will be a minimum buffer zone of at least 20 m between the centreline of the public rights of way and the boundary fencing where the panels are both sides of the public right of way, and 15 m where the panels are on one side. Any fencing installed along public rights of way will be a clear mesh, maintaining uninterrupted views.

Our proposal includes the creation of new permissive paths which will increase access options, enhancing connectivity and maintaining views of the local landscape.

The Scheme is taking valuable agricultural land out of production.
Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) is a system used to grade the quality of land for agricultural farming, with grade 1 being the very best through to grade 5 being very poor agricultural land. The majority of the land in this area as mapped by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is grade 4 (poor quality), with a few smaller areas falling into grades 2 (very good quality) and 3 (good to moderate quality).

Mapping by Defra shows the provisional land classification, however we have employed industry specialists to carry out soil sampling throughout the identified land and map the ALC grade distribution throughout the solar PV site more accurately. Based on the results, we have refined our proposals to avoid placing any ‘hard-standing’ or fixed structures on higher grade land where possible.

Wildlife will be unable to roam freely, with habitats and breeding grounds lost.
We have designed the solar farm to protect habitats and minimise the environmental impact. Specifically, our design introduces three types of wildlife habitats:

  • Grassland habitat zones – sensitive planting of native grasses will enhance existing grasslands, protecting and enhancing habitats for animals, insects and birds.
  • Woodland habitat zones – sensitive planting of native trees and shrubs will be used to complement existing woodland, enhance existing hedgerows and provide screening.
  • A zone in the eastern part of the proposed site adjacent to the River Foulness will be designated as a new Wetland Wildlife Zone. There will be no solar panels on this area, rather it will be planted to create a wetland habitat for ground nesting birds and other species. New permissive paths up to the Wetland Wildlife Zone will allow walkers to observe birds at a distance without disturbing their nesting, and subject to DCO consent a dedicated bird watching spot will be set up.
The Scheme will increase flood risk in the area.
Just over half of the land identified will be used for the solar PV areas and associated equipment. This provides us with flexibility in our design to address any flood risk that we might encounter during construction. The presence of the solar farm will not increase the local flood risk. Drainage will be designed to mimic the natural drainage conditions within the site and thereby avoid impact on the flow in receiving surface water features.

Other topics raised included the condition of local roads relative to the anticipated number of vehicle deliveries needed to construct the solar farm; the potential impact on footpaths; health and safety concerns; comments on the suggestion of using sheep to manage the grass under the panels; comments on potential noise impacts; and suggestions of how to improve the consultation process. All comments provided in the non-statutory consultation responses were taken into consideration in the process of updating our design further.

We are committed to being a good neighbour, therefore our proposed design aims to minimise the impact on the landscape, wildlife, the local community and all who enjoy this beautiful corner of East Yorkshire.

News.

The application for the East Yorkshire Solar Farm Development Consent Order (DCO) has now been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) on behalf of the Secretary of State. The project is now in the pre-examination stage, and you can register as an Interested Party with PINS to participate in the Examination of the application.

Our Proposal.

East Yorkshire Solar Farm is a proposed solar farm which can generate approximately 400 MW of renewable electricity to the National Grid. This is the equivalent of the electricity needs of approximately 100,000 homes.

Proposed Site Plan

LOCATION

The boundary shown on the proposed site map (above) illustrates all the land that may form East Yorkshire Solar Farm covering a total proposed land area of 1,277 hectares, the land within the operational solar farm would total 966 hectares.

Not all land within the boundary will be developed. Some will be set aside as buffer zones from the field edge to the nearest panels. Some areas will be set aside for environmental mitigation, including planting and creation of wildlife habitats. Existing public rights of way in these fields will be preserved. Existing trees and hedgerows will be used to provide visual screening and maintain ecological habitats. This will be further improved by allowing hedgerows to grow taller and by planting new hedgerows, shrubs and trees.

A derelict building at Johnson’s Farm will be redeveloped so that it can provide an operations and maintenance office. The existing barns in this area will be kept and used as stores for maintenance operations throughout the lifetime of the solar farm.

Not all land within the boundary will be developed. Some will be set aside as buffer zones from the field edge to the nearest panels. Some areas will be set aside for environmental mitigation, including planting and creation of wildlife habitats. Existing public rights of way in these fields will be preserved, with spaces of at least fifteen metres (m) between the centre of the paths and the solar farm fences. Solar panels will be located a further five metres from the fence into the fields. Existing trees and hedgerows will be used to provide visual screening and maintain ecological habitats. This will be further improved by allowing hedgerows to grow taller and by planting new hedgerows, shrubs and trees.

A derelict building at Johnson’s Farm will be redeveloped so that it can provide an operations and maintenance office. The existing barns in this area will be kept and used as stores for maintenance operations throughout the lifetime of the solar farm.

Why this location?

There are many factors that make this site ideal for the location of a solar farm of this scale:

Land Availability & Quality.

LAND AVAILABILITY

Local landowners have expressed an interest in leasing sections of their land to Boom Power for use in the solar farm.

LAND QUALITY

Most of the agricultural land within the East Riding of Yorkshire and the former District of Selby is classed as higher quality land known as best and most versatile (BMV). However, we have located the solar farm on land which is mostly (more than three-quarters) lower quality agricultural land known as non-BMV.

Grid Connection.

AVAILABLE GRID CONNECTION

Yorkshire’s history of coal power stations, such as those at Drax, Eggborough and Ferrybridge, means that the National Grid is well developed in the area and has capacity for new energy generation facilities. By connecting the solar farm to the National Grid substation at Drax, the electricity generated and stored at our site will be available and can be distributed wherever it is needed to satisfy demand.

Accessibility.

ACCESSIBILITY

Suitable access for heavy goods vehicles is preferred for construction of large-scale solar development. Construction personnel and large equipment will need to access the site. The area has good access to the major road network with the M62 to the south and a number of A-roads in close proximity.

Environmental Considerations.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND LAND USE CONSIDERATIONS

The land selected for the solar PV areas avoids directly impacting nationally protected landscape, ecology and heritage areas such as scheduled monuments, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Sunlight & Topography.

SUNLIGHT AND TOPOGRAPHY

East Yorkshire is an optimal area within the UK to locate large scale solar development due to its good levels of sunlight and large areas of flat open land. East Yorkshire enjoys a climate with many days that are cool and clear, making it ideal for a solar farm that will make efficient use of that sunlight for generating electricity. Large scale solar development is ideal on flat land as this allows for easy construction and helps to reduce visual intrusion. Flat land also limits the shading between solar PV panels.

Agricultural Use.

CONTINUING AGRICULTURAL USE

We recognise that the solar farm will be located on agricultural land. We are exploring the option to keep this land in agricultural use by farming sheep in the fields beneath the panels. Sheep grazing on solar farms has been successful elsewhere in the UK and has been shown to have benefits for soil health and natural biodiversity. Sheep can move safely between and under the panels and can use them to rest in the shade or shelter from rain. The grass beneath solar panels also grows well enough to contain all the nutrients that the sheep need from grazing on it. We will use a number of grass seed varieties. This will grow rich and diverse grassland which will in turn support a wide variety of animal life. In areas where sheep farming is not possible, the grass will be mown.

GRID CONNECTION AND INTERCONNECTING CABLE ROUTE.

When you turn on an electrical device at home, it isn’t possible to say where that electricity has come from as the transmission networks are all interlinked. To get the electricity generated at the solar farm to homes and businesses, we need to connect to the National Grid transmission network which supplies electricity to where the demand is required, locally or nationally.

The solar farm will connect to the National Grid substation at Drax where it joins the National Grid transmission network. This connection will be via an underground cable, which will be installed within the corridor indicated in the proposed site map.

The smaller cables between the field stations and the grid connection substations will be buried up to 1.4 m deep, in a trench that will be of varying widths depending upon how many circuits are in it, typically starting at 0.8 m wide. The cables, which will go from the grid connection substations to the National Grid substation at Drax, will be approximately 1.4 m deep, depending on other utilities in the area, and in a trench approximately 1.5 m wide. Horizontal directional drilling will be used to place cable ducts under the River Derwent, the River Ouse and the Hull to Selby Railway so that the cable can pass under these without any need for overhead pylons. The routes of some public rights of way may be slightly altered for a short time while we install cables across their paths, with the exception of Featherbed Lane which will have the cable installed under it using horizontal directional drilling so that it does not need to be closed. The public rights of way along the rivers Ouse and Derwent will also be unaffected.

First used in the 1920s, this is a method of installing cables underground. This is used routinely in construction to avoid features such as rivers, busy roads or buried infrastructure. We will use this method for installing the cables that are needed to pass under the rivers, railway and Featherbed Lane. A drill will go to into the earth and bend the line it takes so that it passes completely under an obstacle, such as a river, and come out the other side. A duct is then installed which will be used for the cables..

WHAT IS HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILLING?

First used in the 1920s, this is a method of installing cables underground by drilling beneath obstacles. This is used routinely in construction to avoid features such as rivers, busy roads or buried infrastructure. We will use this method for installing the cables under the rivers, railway and Featherbed Lane. A drill will go to into the earth and bend the line it takes so that it passes completely under the obstacle and comes out the other side. A duct is then installed which will be used for the cables.

CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION.

HOW LONG WILL THE SOLAR FARM TAKE TO BUILD?
We anticipate that construction of the solar farm will take approximately 24 months, although this could take longer due to unanticipated circumstances. The construction will be phased across the site, so we will not work in all areas at once during this period.
HOW WILL THE SOLAR FARM BE BUILT?

Most of the construction work will consist of putting up a simple galvanised steel frame to which the PV panels will be attached. A site will be first fenced off, then galvanised steel poles will be driven into the ground to create a foundation. The galvanised steel frame will be attached to the poles, and the PV panels will be attached to the frame. Inverters could be installed next to or at the end of rows of panels to create the electrical connection to the cables, or they could be centrally located within the field stations.

Separately to the installation of the PV panels, we will install the cable, field stations and substations. Once these are all connected, electricity will be generated by the PV panels and will flow into the National Grid.

WHAT ONGOING MAINTENANCE WILL BE NEEDED?
Once constructed, the operational phase will begin. In general, this will involve a monthly visit to inspect and monitor fences and the operational equipment. The solar farm will be monitored remotely, with anything unusual investigated. CCTV will be mounted on perimeter fences, which will face along the fence and inwards only. This will also be monitored remotely, with maintenance visits to replace any components that need replacing where necessary.

The dirt and dust that builds up on the panels of the solar farm is mostly self-cleaning, with rain and the motion of the tilting panels. Where additional cleaning is needed this will be done with a large water brush, similar to the kind found in many car washes.

HOW WILL EVERYTHING BE TRANSPORTED DURING CONSTRUCTION?

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) will bring most construction materials to the construction compound. There will be a maximum of three Abnormal Indivisible Loads for delivery of the substation transformers. From the compound, tractors and trailers will be used to cross fields rather than roads to distribute these materials to their specific site.
Different stages of construction will need different numbers of HGV deliveries. The routes to be used and timings for deliveries and staff will be set out in a Construction Traffic Management Plan. The Framework Construction Traffic Management Plan will be submitted with the DCO application.

A road condition survey will be carried out on local roads identified ahead of construction starting. Where necessary, these roads will be repaired to the same or better standard once the solar farm is complete. The survey will also show if and where passing places are needed so that existing traffic can continue to move freely. Where new passing places are installed, they will be left in place for the long-term benefit of the community.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE?

At the end of the solar farm’s life, equipment will be removed, and the field can return to arable agricultural use. The PV panels will be recycled, and the poles pulled out of the ground, returning the land to the same state as it is currently. The land will retain greenfield status which will protect it from other forms of development.

None of us know what the need for electricity will be in the future, or how much of this will need to come from solar or other low-carbon sources. It is also impossible to say if the same planning processes will be in place. However, under the current planning legislation, if anyone wants to build a new solar farm on the same land, a new application will need to be submitted.

A Decommissioning Environmental Management Plan (DEMP) will be created before the decommissioning process begins. East Yorkshire Solar Farm is required to place money into a Decommissioning Bond. This is a financial product that will guarantee the funds for removal of the solar farm at the end of its life. We estimate that the decommissioning period will take between 12 and 24 months. On decommissioning, we are committed to recycling everything than can be recycled. At the current time, we estimate this to be at least 95% of all the material used in the solar farm.

Net Zero by 2050.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND MITIGATION.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process to systematically analyse the potential environmental effects of the Scheme and develop effective mitigation measures. Our preliminary findings and mitigation proposals are detailed in the Preliminary Environmental Information (PEI) Report which forms part of this statutory consultation. Key topics where we identified the potential for significant effects, and mitigation measures are shown in the table below. You can find more information on the environmental impacts and proposed mitigations in the PEI Report Non-Technical Summary or the specific chapters of the PEI Report found within the documentation library.

TOPIC.

PROPOSED MEASURES TO REDUCE EFFECTS.

The overall impact of the solar farm is expected to be significantly beneficial as it will produce low-carbon electricity, helping the UK achieve its target of net zero by 2050 by removing dependency on gas fired power stations. Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from constructing the solar farm due to material mining, energy and fuel use, and transport, are small compared to the benefits the solar farm will bring.

Future climate conditions will be taken into account when developing the detailed design of the solar farm.

For the past year we have been and are continuing to carry out field surveys and desktop studies to understand the local ecology and design the solar farm with the aim to protect and enhance biodiversity. Protective buffers around the natural features like hedgerows, individual trees, woodland, ponds, and watercourses have been incorporated into the site design.

We propose to create a Wetland Wildlife Zone adjacent to the River Foulness to provide an area of undisturbed habitat, particularly for birds. To avoid impacts, horizontal directional drilling will be used to lay the cables under significant watercourses (currently identified as the River Ouse, River Derwent, and Featherbed Drain). Any disturbance of protected species and off-site biodiversity will be managed and prevented through various measures included within a Landscape and Ecology Management Plan, as well as through environmental management plans for each stage of the solar farm’s life (construction, operation and decommissioning).

Due to the combination of factors such as converting the land from arable agriculture into grassland under the solar panels, enhancement planting and setting aside buffers and Wetland Wildlife Zone, the solar farm will result in a biodiversity net gain which will likely be far greater than the statutory minimum of 10%. Other solar NSIPs have achieved over 70% biodiversity net gain, for example.

Buffer zones and screening planting have been integrated into the site layout to provide separation between the nearest properties and the solar farm.

Existing hedgerows will be retained to act as site boundaries, and where appropriate additional environmental screening will be provided through planting of native shrubs and trees.

The overall impact of the solar farm is expected to be significantly beneficial as it will produce low-carbon electricity, helping the UK achieve its target of net zero by 2050 by removing dependency on gas fired power stations. Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from constructing the solar farm due to material mining, energy and fuel use, and transport, are small compared to the benefits the solar farm will bring.

Future climate conditions will be taken into account when developing the detailed design of the solar farm.

For the past year we have been and are continuing to carry out field surveys and desktop studies to understand the local ecology and design the solar farm with the aim to protect and enhance biodiversity. Protective buffers around the natural features like hedgerows, individual trees, woodland, ponds, and watercourses have been incorporated into the site design.

We propose to create a Wetland Wildlife Zone adjacent to the River Foulness to provide an area of undisturbed habitat, particularly for birds. To avoid impacts, horizontal directional drilling will be used to lay the cables under significant watercourses (currently identified as the River Ouse, River Derwent, and Featherbed Drain). Any disturbance of protected species and off-site biodiversity will be managed and prevented through various measures included within a Landscape and Ecology Management Plan, as well as through environmental management plans for each stage of the solar farm’s life (construction, operation and decommissioning).

Due to the combination of factors such as converting the land from arable agriculture into grassland under the solar panels, enhancement planting and setting aside buffers and Wetland Wildlife Zone, the solar farm will result in a biodiversity net gain which will likely be far greater than the statutory minimum of 10%. Other solar NSIPs have achieved over 70% biodiversity net gain, for example.

One of the goals of the solar farm design is to sympathetically integrate it into the local landscape. Additional planting will complement the existing hedgerows and trees to screen the PV panels and electrical equipment from view. Buffers have been set aside along the public rights of way and areas where it is important to preserve the sense of the openness of the landscape.

During the construction and the first few years of operation there will be significant effects on visual amenity at several viewpoints, until the proposed planting and screening measures are fully established.

Glint and glare will be minimised by using anti-reflective coating on the PV panels. Together with the screening planting glint and glare impacts are unlikely.

The site for the solar farm has been selected and designed to minimise the impacts on BMV agricultural land; and research and field surveys confirm that the majority of the land is non-BMV.

The soil beneath the solar panels does not need to be lifted to install the panels so the soil profile will not be disturbed. The physical footprint of the solar farm components which require foundations or hardstanding, such as field stations, grid connection substations and access tracks, makes up a small proportion of the solar farm area, which means the soil disturbance will be minimal.

During operation the land under the PV panels across the majority of the solar farm will be available for agriculture in the form of sheep grazing.

The change from arable agriculture to grassland is temporary as the land can be returned to arable farming upon decommissioning of the solar farm. The temporary shift from arable to grassland is predicted to result in positive changes to soil structure and soil carbon content. The change of agricultural land into wildlife habitat is likely to lead to significant benefits to ecology.

The land within cable corridors will be reinstated after construction and will return to its original condition and use

The design of the solar farm will take account of the flood risk in the area.

No solar farm infrastructure will be placed in the areas of highest flood risk, and the heights of PV panels and equipment foundations will be enough to avoid them being affected by flooding.

The solar farm itself will not alter the drainage and will not worsen the flood risk in the area.

Traffic, access to open space and active travel

Chapter 13: Transport and Access, PEI Report
Volume 2

The main impact on traffic and transport is likely to be from staff vehicles and HGVs during construction.

To address this, the routes to be used and timings for deliveries and staff will be defined in a Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) before construction begins, and this will be a requirement for construction staff. Minibus services will be set up to transport staff to the site helping to reduce vehicle trips on the surrounding highway network. The public right of way (PRoW) network will remain open during construction. Permissive paths will further enhance the current PRoW network during the operation of the solar farm.

As the operational solar farm requires little maintenance there will be limited traffic during operation. Permissive paths will further enhance the current PRoW network.

Measures like careful positioning of noisy machinery away from residential properties, regular noise monitoring, notifying local residents of any noisy works and adhering to the agreed working hours will help reduce the noise effects on the local residents during construction.

Noise modelling results suggest that the operational solar farm will not significantly change the noise baseline for the local residential receptors. This is achieved by locating the electrical equipment such as grid connection substations and field stations away from receptors.

The location and the layout of the solar farm avoids significant impacts on designated cultural heritage assets and their settings, such as scheduled monuments, listed buildings and conservation areas, and on non-designated assets, such as historic buildings and landscape, and archaeological remains.

Archaeological surveys are ongoing. The results of field surveys will identify the location of buried archaeological remains and allow the solar farm to be designed around them. Where avoiding archaeology is not possible, appropriate archaeological mitigation, such as excavation, will be undertaken to ensure remains are fully understood and recorded.

Our preliminary EIA has identified no significant negative impacts once mitigation has been applied in the following areas:

 

  • Air quality
  • Climate change
  • Cultural heritage
  • Flood risk, drainage and water environment
  • Socio-economics and land use
  • Human health
  • Glint and glare
  • Ground conditions
  • Major accidents or disasters
  • Telecommunications, television reception and utilities
  • Materials and waste
  • Electromagnetic fields

Benefits.

We are exploring an option to use the land under the solar panels for sheep grazing and have designed the solar farm to make this possible. Sheep grazing can help to maintain the land in agricultural use and help to diversify farming in the area adding much needed security for farmers during challenging economic times.

Compared to arable farming, solar farms can result in a biodiversity net gain by providing an overall increase in natural habitat and ecological features. Whilst there is an initial change to the countryside, the operational solar farm will fast become a haven for wildlife. In addition to woodland and species diverse grassland we are proposing a Wetland Wildlife Zone with a bird viewing facility.

The Scheme proposes two permissive paths reinforcing the existing public rights of way in the local area. These paths, which may also include bridleway, will increase local accessibility and connectivity and provide circular routes for local walkers and horse riders to use. Existing rights of way within the solar farm will be retained with large buffers to separate users from solar infrastructure.

The construction of the solar farm will present opportunities for local employment and will indirectly support local businesses such as shops, petrol stations and hotels. We want local people to share in the benefits that the solar farm can bring. The electricity generated will go directly into the National Grid, so cannot be used to directly reduce bills for local people. However, a proportion of the expected money made by the solar farm will be invested into the local community. We are exploring the use of a community benefit fund, and our aim would be to work with local organisations that will best spend the money to support the community. You can help identify potential recipients for this by letting us know of local causes and organisations as part of your response to this consultation.

HAVE YOUR SAY: TARGETED CONSULTATION (CLOSED).
The targeted consultation will run between Friday 1 September and 23:59 on Monday 2 October 2023.

Newly identified Persons with Interest in the Land (PILs) have been asked to provide feedback on the Scheme as a whole, as consulted on during the statutory consultation. The consultation materials for the statutory consultation can also be found in the documentation library.

We have also contacted selected stakeholders such as relevant Parish Councils, Local Authorities and statutory organisations to provide them with an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes. We are encouraging PILs who received a targeted consultation letter, or other bodies who received a targeted consultation email, to respond either via email, letter or in the case of new PILS only, by using the feedback form they received in the post.

Email: eastyorkshiresolarfarm@boom-power.co.uk

Post: FREEPOST East Yorkshire Solar Farm

Enquiries in relation to the targeted consultation during the consultation period should be directed to the project team on 01964 782219 (you can speak to someone from Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm or leave a voicemail at anytime) or via the project email address as stated above.

If you need other more accessible formats of the consultation materials such as braille, please contact us as soon as possible.

HAVE YOUR SAY: STATUTORY CONSULTATION (CLOSED).

Your opinion matters, and every response to this consultation will be considered, evaluated, and where practicable, incorporated into the final design. The consultation report will be published on our website and submitted as part of our Application for a Development Consent Order later in the year. 

You can share your thoughts by:

The consultation closes at 11:59pm on Tuesday 20 June 2023. All responses received before this will be considered and summarised in our consultation report. Responses received after this time may not be considered.

The consultation has now closed. All consultation responses will be considered, and our consultation report will be available later this year.

DOCUMENTATION LIBRARY.

If you have any questions or would like to request copies of this information (including in accessible formats if needed) please contact us. 

All documents are in a PDF format.

Development Consent Order Application
Statutory Consultation: Volume 1: Preliminary Environment Information Report - Non Technical Summary
Statutory Consultation: Volume 3: Figures
Statutory Consultation: Volume 4: Appendices

CONTACT the east yorkshire solar farm team.

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Please only use this form for general enquiries only. For your feedback to form part of the statutory public consultation please use the dedicated feedback form.

If you would prefer to speak to one of our team, please call 01964 782219 between the hours of 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

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Project Update

The application for the East Yorkshire Solar Farm Development Consent Order (DCO) has now been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) on behalf of the Secretary of State. The project is now in the pre-examination stage, and you can register as an Interested Party with PINS to participate in the Examination of the application. 

Link to Planning Inspectorate