Northumberland solar farm given planning permission

A solar farm that could provide power for up to 13,000 homes has been granted planning permission.

The site, south of Broadway House Farm on Church Lane in Bedlington, Northumberland, consists of ten fields and 195 acres.

Once built, the solar panels will have a lifespan of forty years, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Applicant Bluefield Renewable Energy Developments said there had only been two objections to the plans.

The land is currently used to produce haylage - a type of animal feed - and was used for opencast coal extraction in the 1950s and 60s.

When the solar farm is constructed, sheep will graze on the land.

'Environmental gain'

Speaking at a meeting of Northumberland County Council's Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday, Adam Hogg of West Bedlington Town Council said he and his colleagues supported the plans.

Councillor Hogg said: "The developer has discussed this application with the town council over a number of meetings and listened to the concerns of us and the residents.

"The council support the environmental gain and increased biodiversity through tree planting.

"This application also provides much-needed reductions in the town's overall carbon footprint."

The applicant's managing director, Jonathan Selwyn, told members the site was "well screened" and there were no public rights of way.

The plans were unanimously approved by the committee.

Bluefield Renewable Energy Developments had already received planning permission for two solar farms in south east Northumberland last year.

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