Case Study: Planning permission secured for a 30-acre solar farm
Our planning team helped secure planning permission for a 30-acre solar farm near Wigan on land owned by Lancashire Wildlife Trust.
Owen Pike, associate partner, acted as consultant on behalf of Solstice Renewables, an award-winning independent solar farm developer, on the Cleworth Hall Farm Solar Park located in the Greater Manchester Green Belt.
Solstice Renewables was established in 2013 and has developed ten solar farms totalling 88 MegaWatts (MW) capacity – enough renewable electricity to power 26,000 typical homes.
As part of the coordination of activity to prepare, submit and negotiate the proposal, we devised a planning strategy for obtaining permission as swiftly as possible, attended councillor briefings and prepared a request for an EIA screening option.
Working with the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit, we were able to demonstrate that the proposals were compatible with the ongoing protection of the great crested newts in the area - a European protected species. This was also important to Solstice Renewables, who prioritises biodiversity and ecological enhancement at all its solar farms.
Giovanni Maruca, director at Solstice Renewables commented: “Overall we’ve had an excellent experience with Sanderson Weatherall. In the last two years, planning approval for solar farms has become increasingly difficult due to a change in political climate. Sanderson Weatherall was exceptional at working with a challenging and complex case and ensuring we got a positive result that will be beneficial for the local community and the Wildlife Trust.”