JBM secured planning permission in July 2014 for a5MW solar farm at Burton Farm, on Greenbelt land near Stratford-upon-Avon. The solar farm covers an area of 12 hectares and generates renewable electricity for the equivalent of 1,000 UK homes’ energy needs. Working with leading planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore, JBM outlined several special circumstances in the planning application to secure support from the district council for the scheme on Greenbelt land.
Alongside the well-recognised environmental benefits derived from renewable energy generation, other key benefits included the very limited effect on the surrounding landscape and Greenbelt, farm diversification, biodiversity enhancements, economic benefits and the continuation of agricultural activities onsite. Following a site visit to better understand the context, the project received unanimous support from the planning committee.
During the 25-year operational period, the landowner will continue to graze sheep around and under the panels, allowing the site to remain in agricultural use. Bio-diversity improvements have also been achieved onsite through the implementation of a long-term landscape management plan. The project was built and commissioned by Bester Generación in March 2014.
Burton Farm Solar, shortly after construction, December 21st 2015