Oaklands Farm Solar Limited is in the early development stages of a large-scale solar plus energy storage project in South Derbyshire, on land west of the village of Rosliston, and east of Walton-on-Trent. Oaklands Farm Solar Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of BayWa r.e. UK Ltd.
This website provides information about the development and contact information should you have any queries. The project is in the initial development stage and as further information becomes available we will provide further updates.
Statutory consultation, including two locally held, public exhibitions, was carried out in April and May 2022. Since then, the project design has undergone a number of changes, which will represent improvements to the project through reduction of visual impact, and increased connectivity around the site. These changes include the removal of all solar panels from the northern part of the site, moving the substation to the middle of the site, undergrounding the grid connection cable connecting the site to Drakelow substation, confirming the construction traffic routes, and confirmation of the proposed permissive right of way and additional landscape planting.
As a result of the changes we carried out further targeted consultation seeking feedback on the revised proposals between 9th March and 21st April 2023.
Since the close of the further targeted consultation, we have made some further small refinements to the red-line boundary around the National Grid Drakelow Substation. These changes are minor and do not extend the order limits outside those which formed the basis of the original statutory consultation, meaning that we are not formally consulting on these, but welcome any comment from interested parties. These changes are:
- The use of the National Grid Drakelow Substation access from Walton Road for the purposes of intermittent vehicle movements during the lifetime of the project for the purpose of maintaining the grid connection point within the substation;
- The creation of a new access to the north of Walton Road into land adjacent to the National Grid Drakelow Substation for the purpose of constructing, maintaining and decommissioning the underground electrical cable grid connection;
- The improvement of an existing farm access off Walton Road to provide an ‘in only’ construction access for HGVs and other construction traffic during the construction of the Project.
You can download a plan, which illustrates the approach being taken by the Project in the area in question, in the Download section down below.
All current and historic consultation documents and information published to date can be found in the ‘Project Documents’ section of this website.
The 2022 virtual exhibition will also remain available to access from this website for your information.
Application for an electricity generation licence has been confirmed by ofgem to be duly made, notice of application is linked here.
We will keep this website updated with information on next steps prior to submitting our application later this year. Please get in touch if you have any queries about the proposals, or would like to share your feedback.
We’re grateful for the feedback and suggestions received in relation to community benefit. We’ve been working on this, and we’re pleased to be able to confirm an annual community benefit of £55,000 per year for the 40 year life of the project.
Whilst we are yet to confirm the details, the intention is for this money to be distributed to local causes via a local community fund.
In addition to the financial contribution to the local area, a number of other aspects of the scheme will benefit the local community including:
- Production of clean renewable electricity which would make a significant contribution to local and national Climate Emergency goals
- Opportunities for Direct Ecological Benefits and Biodiversity Net Gain through:
- Hedgerow planting & improved management
- Improving grasslands and wildflowers
- Decreased use of fertiliser and herbicide
- Improving links between existing paths and right of ways
- Construction jobs - up to 385 people at peaks times
- Local contracting opportunities - fencing, civil works, testing &commissioning
- Knock on effects for local businesses & payment of business rates
Whilst community benefit is not a planning consideration, as a company BayWa r.e. is keen to begin exploring the best ways of providing improvements through financial contributions and scheme design adaptations from the earliest opportunity.
We’d therefore be pleased to hear from interested parties and the local community regarding the benefits that the project could bring to the local area. We’d be particularly interested to understand any local causes that might benefit, or to understand your thoughts on how to distribute and manage the community benefit fund.
The revised proposals comprise a solar farm plus energy storage facility covering approximately 400 acres at Oaklands Farm. The expected generating capacity of the project at this stage is 138 MW of solar power, and up to 37.5 MW of energy storage capacity.
The revised indicative site is shown on the plan below. The project will connect to the national grid via an underground cable to Drakelow Substation located to the north of the site.
Project location map
Please consider that this is a draft layout plan only.
Additional draft plans and layout diagrams showing the latest proposals are available to view on the Project Documents section of this website.
The site lies on open, agricultural land interspersed and surrounded by a network of hedgerows.
The solar farm would comprise of rows of solar panels mounted on metal frames (tables) secured into the ground via simple piled metal stanchions approximately 2.7m high. Energy storage would comprise batteries and electrical components housed in up to 91 steel shipping containers approximately 3 metres high, covering about 2 acres of the site. The layout will be designed to protect public footpaths and landscaping measures will include enhancing and improving the network of hedgerows around and within the site.
- The planning process
Due to the nature of the proposed Project, an application to the Planning Inspectorate will be submitted under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime (Planning Act 2008) in 2022.
NSIPs are major infrastructure projects such as new harbours, roads, power generating stations (such as larger scale solar farms) and electricity transmission lines, which require a type of consent known as ‘development consent’ under procedures governed by the Planning Act 2008. Development consent, where granted, is made in the form of a Development Consent Order (DCO).
Anybody wishing to construct an NSIP must first apply for consent to do so. For such a project, the Planning Inspectorate examines the application and will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who will make the decision on whether to grant or to refuse development consent.
Further information about the process can be found here.
As noted above, we are at a very early stage in the development of the proposals. We have recently started the consultation phase of the project and have submitted a Scoping Request to the Planning Inspectorate. The Scoping Report sets out our proposals and the proposed environmental assessment methodologies.
The Scoping document is available to view on the Planning Inspectorate website, along with all the relevant detailed appendices here.
Informed by the Scoping responses, we are currently undertaking studies and assessments as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. The EIA is an on-going iterative process and the assessment findings will allow us to reduce, avoid and mitigate identified environmental effects. The findings of the EIA will be presented within an Environmental Statement (ES) which will be one of the core application documents submitted as part of the application.
Further information about this process and the detail of the work undertaken will be made available in due course.
The consultation process
Oaklands Solar Farm UK Ltd and its parent company BayWa r.e. UK are committed to effective public engagement and will be taking a pro-active role in undertaking pre-application consultation on the proposed project.
We have been undertaking informal consultation with local stakeholders and the community on the proposals since autumn 2021. Meetings with local representatives have been undertaken alongside distribution of an information leaflet. All informal consultation materials are available to view on this website.
As with all DCO applications, there is a statutory consultation process that must be undertaken, alongside informal consultation through the pre-application process. We are required to take account of all feedback received and submit a report to the Planning Inspectorate that demonstrates how this has been achieved.
The statutory (formal) consultation process commenced in April 2022 and ran to the start of June 2022. Full details of this consultation were made available on the published Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC), and community leaflet, which can be found in the ‘Download’ area of this website.
An additional targeted consultation was launched on 9th March 2023 to seek feedback on certain changes to the proposals which took place following the earlier statutory consultation in 2022. Details of this additional consultation can be found in the ‘Latest News; section of this web page, and in the ‘Document Downloads’ section, below.
Statutory consultation details (2022)
The statutory consultation period commenced on 21st April 2022, and ran until 11.59pm on 6th June 2022. During this period, all relevant information, including consultation materials, preliminary environmental information (PEI) and non-technical summary of the PEI Report* was available from the following locations:
Swadlincote Library and Information Centre
Monday: 9.30am - 5pm
Tuesday: 9.30am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9.30am - 5pm
Thursday: 9.30am - 7pm
Friday: 9.30am - 5pm
Saturday: 9.30am - 4pm
Barton Under Needwood Community Library
Monday: 10am - 12pm / 2pm- 5pm
Wednesday: 10am - 12pm / 2pm- 5pm
Thursday: 10am - 12pm / 2pm- 5pm
Friday: 10am - 2pm
Saturday: 10am - 1pm
Burton upon Trent,
Monday: 9am - 6pm
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 7pm
Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
*Hard copies were made available upon request and subject to a printing charge.
**The opening times of these organisations are dependent on and are governed by them and may be subject to change. Covid restrictions may apply.
Copies of the SoCC were also available free of charge at these locations.
- Additional Consultation Documents (March/April 2023)
- Updated Site Location Plan (2023)
- Updated Site Layout (2023)
- Preferred Access Routes (2023)
- Back Up Access Routes (2023)
- Access Points (2023)
- Landscape Strategy Plan (Oaklands) (2023)
- Landscape Strategy Plan (Park Farm) (2023)
- Consultation Summary Document (2023)
- Feedback Form (2023)
- Newsletter (2023)
- Statutory Consultation Documents (April/May/June 2022)
- Generation Licence Notice of Duly Made
- Consultation Exhibition Boards
- Consultation Feedback Form
- Consultation Summary Document
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Non-Technical Summary
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 1
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures 1.1-3.2
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures 4.1-4.20
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures 5.1-5.4
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures 5.5-5.6
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures 5.7-5.9
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures 5.10-5.14
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures 5.15-5.25
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 2 - Figures 8-12
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 3 - Appendices
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 3 - Appendices 1-5
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 3 - Appendix 6.1-6.10
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 3 - Appendix 6.12
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 3 - Appendices 7-8
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 3 - Appendix 9.1
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 3 - Appendix 9.2
- Preliminary Environmental Information Report: Volume 3 - Appendices 10-15
- Statement of Community Consultation
- Section 47 Planning Act 2008
- Spring 2022 Newsletter
- FAQ Document
- Location Plan
- Layout Plan (1)
- Layout Plan (2)
- Project Presentation
- Scoping Report
- Autumn/Winter 2021 Newsletter
- Section 48 Notice
- Layout and Access Point Plans (October 2023)
About solar energy
This scheme represents an important contribution to meeting the UK's legally binding target under the Climate Change Act 2008 to achieve a 'net zero' carbon account by 2050.
Like other renewable energies, solar power represents a ‘clean’ source of renewable energy as it doesn’t release any harmful emissions or pollutants. More information about solar technology can be found here.
Solar energy is also one of the cheapest forms of new renewable power generation in the UK, and consequently can contribute to controlling consumer’s energy bills into the future.
In addition, there a number of potential additional, more local benefits, including:
- Local jobs and investment - we are committed to using local labour wherever we can throughout the construction and ongoing operational life of the project.
- Potential biodiversity enhancements including reinforcement of existing hedgerows and the planting of new hedgerows, planting of native grasses and species within the solar farm itself, and wildflower meadows will be planted throughout the solar farm where appropriate.
- Continued agricultural use within the site through grazing of sheep between the rows of solar panels, thereby using the land for both energy generation and agriculture during the operational phase of the solar farm. The land will be returned to its previous use after the life of the project, and often soils benefit from a sustained period without intensive agricultural use.
Through the consultation process, we are also keen to hear about any other potential local benefits that we could facilitate or deliver directly. We look forward to sharing more information about this soon and receiving your suggestions.
Frequently asked questions about the project
Through our initial discussions with local stakeholders and the community we have received a number of recurring queries and comments about the proposals on a range of topics. We have collated these into a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ summary page.