WYG achieves fourth consecutive planning consent for large-scale solar farms in the South West

Press Release
27 March 2013 

WYG’s planning team in Somerset has just achieved planning consent for a further large-scale solar farm in Wiltshire. With a total of 35,000 ground-mounted solar panels, it is one of the largest in the south west region and is the fourth planning consent of its kind achieved by the Wellington office, continuing their 100% track record in this sector. The team also believes it is just days away from receiving planning consent for a fifth solar farm scheme in Gloucestershire.

With over 7,000 photo-voltaic cells, Somerset’s first solar farm, Sandhill Park, has been providing enough energy to power around 600 homes in the county since 2011. The solar panels generate around 2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and offset 130 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Following on from Sandhill Park, consent was obtained for two further solar farms totalling around 38,000 solar panels at Lower Marsh Farm, Somerset in 2012 and Sandys Moor, Wiveliscombe, Somerset in 2013. The latest in this string of four planning approvals with successful outcomes relates to East Farm, Codford St Mary, Wiltshire.

The issue of where to site wind and solar farms is always highly charged, but WYG was able to manage complex stakeholder expectations and concerns which primarily focused around archaeological and visual impact issues. On behalf of its client, WYG engaged in full consultation with the local community and entered into extensive negotiations with the Local Planning Authority in order to deliver a planning consent within 10 weeks of submission. To help illustrate as accurately as possible how the sites would look once operational and allay possible objections, WYG used the latest IT software to generate CGI (computer generated imagery) visuals.

WYG Principal Consultant, Peter Grubb said: “Our experience with solar farm proposals, coupled with our expert planning knowledge, means we are able to deliver consistently for our solar farm clients.”

Wind and solar power form an important part of the Government’s strategy to meet challenging EU targets to combat climate change which have ordered a fifth of Europe's energy mix to come from renewable sources by 2020.

Peter continues: “With a further five sites across the country already at the pre-planning stage and instructions anticipated on another four this year alone, WYG’s presence in this sector is going from strength to strength and we’re pleased to be playing a small but important part in helping the UK meet its targets.”

ENDS

Louise Gardner, PR and Communications Executive

WYG GROUP LTD
Arndale Court, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2UJ
Tel:  : 44 (0)113 278 7111
Email:  GroupCommuncations@wyg.com

Notes to Editors

One of the top-ranking global consultancies employing around 1,400 people, WYG is behind some of the world’s most challenging projects. Our specialists provide expert advice and project management support that is helping shape landscapes, infrastructure, society and culture in the developed and developing world.

We advise on planning and transport, provide engineering and environmental services, consult on waste and resource management, and deliver support to enable economic and social reform.

By engaging with clients at an early stage we ensure that decisions are made which will maximise a project’s potential and deliver our client’s strategic objectives. In turn, this builds strong and lasting relationships with clients in each of our seven core sectors:

• Defence & Justice
• Energy & Waste
• Environment (including Waste & Waste Water)
• Transport
• Commercial Development & Urban Regeneration
• Mining & Metals
• Social Development & Infrastructure

WYG has an international presence with offices throughout the UK, and in Eastern Europe, the Middle East & North Africa, and South Africa.

www.wyg.com
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