Solar park is proposed 
for farmland in Yapton

A SOLAR farm to power some 5,000 homes is planned for Yapton.

BL2 Solar wants to install an array of solar panels over some 36 hectares of mainly top-grade farmland at Bilsham Farm.

The panels of solar photovoltaic cells will be up to 2.85m high and sited in rows between 6-10m apart at the site off Drove Lane. They will generate 14.85MW of electricity.

Planning agent Adrian Hunter says in a statement with the planning application for the scheme the site was considered to be favourable.

“Firstly, the site enjoys high sun hours per year and thus has a natural advantage for harnessing this type of renewable energy.

“Secondly, it is not within a designed landscape.

“Thirdly, it is in a countryside location yet it is well-related to Bognor and the surrounding villages of Yapton, Barnham, Woodgate and Shripney. Fourthly, it is a viable option because the electricity gird in the immediate locality of the site has available location.”

The solar park would perform an economic role because it would be a major investment by supporting local businesses, provide a reliable electricity supply and reduce reliance on traditional, more polluting, energy supplies and those from overseas.

Meetings with councillors and Bilsham Lane residents last summer led to a change in the proposed access route to Drove Lane which avoided Bilsham Lane.

Building the solar park will generate some 100 40ft truck movements over three months, says Mr Hunter. But little activity will take place after that

The panels will last for 30 years and require little upkeep. The site will be surrounded by a 2.4m-high deer fence.