Peterlee solar farm plan gets the go-ahead

Councillors have approved plans for a solar farm in Peterlee.
Councillors have approved plans for a solar farm in Peterlee.

Plans for a new 20,000-panel solar farm in Peterlee have been given the green light by planning bosses.

Durham County Council’s planning committee approved consider an application for the development at a farm at Mill Hill today.

The site, just north of the North West Industrial Estate, would be expected to produce 5,000 megawatt hours a year, which would meet the energy requirements of 1,390 homes and could save around 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide during its 30-year life.

Panels will be mounted on fixed frames at 25 degrees, with a maximum height of 2.5m. A 2m-high metal security fence will enclose the area, positioned behind existing hedge lines.

The only objection was submitted to the proposal, from The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the committee was recommended to approve the plans, subject to a number of conditions, including that work must started within three years.

A statement from the applicant, Mr D Lord, said: “Extensive assessment work has been carried out to confirm the suitability of the site,to minimise its impact and to add enhancement where possible.

“The layout of the scheme has evolved significantly during the design process in response to the various assessments.

“Several environmental assessments have been carried out to assess the impacts of the development.

“The development will not have adverse impacts on landscape, ecology, flooding, access, glint and glare, or heritage assets.

“The proposal is a temporary development with relatively low impact and potential for some lower intensity agricultural activity. The site will be restored at the end of its operation life.

“The site would continue to be available for agricultural use through grazing through the life span of the project.”

A meeting of the planning committee at County Hall this afternoon passed the application without debate.