Fenland: First they came with wind (turbines) now the sun (solar)

coates and eastrea solar farm

65 acre solar farm: At Eastrea they’ve earmarked land off Drybread Road and at Coates the proposed site is off North Green/Cow Way. - Credit: Green Switch Capital

A company wanting to build a 65-acre solar farm – across two sites near Whittlesey – says their offering is great for farmers hit hard by Brexit.  

In a promotional video released a few days ago, Green Switch Capital says owners wanting to rent their land to them can get a regular and increasing income for up to 40 years.  

“With Brexit and the removal of the basic payment scheme, UK farmers have been hit hard recently,” says Green Switch.  

The company has set up to a website for the Fenland sites they have in mind. 

There are two parcels of land. At Eastrea they’ve earmarked land off Drybread Road and at Coates the proposed site is off North Green/Cow Way. 

It is early days and Green Switch accept they will need to consult widely. 

It says there is a medium risk of flooding on the Eastrea site but not at Coates 

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Apart from inviting online comments, the company is hosting a consultation at the Falcon Hotel, Whittlesey, on July 14.  

location for new solar farm

Location for new solar farm - Credit: Green Switch Capital

Project developer Sam Burgess said the solar panels will “generate up to 35 megawatts of clean renewable energy within the local community and support the UK in its drive to be carbon neutral.  

“The solar farm will have an operational lifespan of 30-40 years after which point it will be returned to agriculture”. 

Website is here 

 www.eastreaandcoatessolarfarm.co.uk 

He says when the planning application is submitted, it will be accompanied by an environmental statement to assess impacts of the proposal and the mitigation measures required to offset any impacts.  

Green Switch intend to submit its application to Cambridgeshire County Council towards the end of the year. 

Mr Burgess says there were will consultation events throughout and feedback “being incorporated wherever possible.  

Green Switch says the freestanding solar panels are constructed from toughened glass set in an aluminium frame.  

The panels would be arranged in rows on an east to west alignment facing south to maximise their exposure to sunlight. 

“To ensure the security of the solar park equipment, security fencing shall be erected around the site boundary to restrict access to the site,” says Green Switch. 

“This would comprise of 2.4m high deer or similar fencing, which has been selected to minimise the visual impacts of the fencing in keeping with the site's location.”