Solar parks around Bognor Regis would use farmland for energy

A typical solar park
A typical solar park

TWO solar parks are planned for farms around Bognor Regis.

The largest of the green energy schemes is proposed for Park Farm in Lagness. It will comprise 28,260 solar photovoltaic panels over 15.62 hectares.

At Barnham Court in Barnham, the panels will cover an area of 2.2ha.

Both projects are the subject of planning permissions being sought from Arun District Council.

The promoter of the Park Farm solar park, BL Solar 6, says in a statement with its proposal it will generate 7MW of electricity to power some 2,400 households.

“The site consists of agricultural fields which are delineated by mature hedgerows and arable operations,” it states. “The current land use is agricultural and is under arable use.”

If the solar park gets the go-ahead, the ground will be sown with a wild seed mix to create an enhanced site for wildlife. Existing hedgerows will be enhanced and new ones may be planted.

The site will take some 3-4 months to build and is set to be in operation converting the sun’s power into electricity for 30 years. The land will revert to farming use afterwards.

At Barnham Court, the applicant is BL Solar 7. The company says in its planning application the site “has an excellent solar resource and could annually produce enough electricity to cover the needs of around 350 households. It is already very well screened by existing hedgerows and due to its location in a dip in the land, and this can be further enhanced with additional planting and landscaping

“The development would actually increase onsite biodiversity and habitat, with the use of a wild seed mix in and around the panels and the planting of additional hedgerows and trees.”

This site would generate about 1MW of electricity for about 350 households.

Arrangements will be made to lessen the impact on residents during the 3-4 months while the solar park is created, it says.

It is proposed to use Church Lane to reach the site during construction. The larger vehicles needed while it was being built could use the road but it was planned to send them to a different location and shuttle the materials required to the site to ensure as less disturbance as possible.

A consultation event about the traffic management is set to be held with residents next month.

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