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.
The proposals comprise a solar farm plus energy storage covering 540 acres over two separate parcels of land, connected to the national electricity network by a new overhead cable. The expected generating capacity of the project at this stage is 163 megawatts of solar power, and 37.5 megawatts of energy storage capacity.
The indicative site is shown on the plan below. The project will connect to the national grid via an overhead cable to Drakelow Substation located to the north of the site.
Project Location Map
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 2.5m high. Energy storage would comprise batteries and electrical components housed in 15 to 20 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.
Current stage - Scoping
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 consultation responses will allow us to agree the type and extent of assessments required.
The Scoping document will be available to view on the Planning Inspectorate website, along with all the relevant detailed appendices here
Once agreed, we will proceed with further 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
BayWa r.e. UK is committed to effective public engagement and will be taking a pro-active role in undertaking pre-application consultation on the proposed project.
As with all DCO applications, there is a statutory consultation process that must be undertaken, alongside informal consultation through the pre-application process. BayWa r.e. UK is required to take account of all feedback received and submit a report to the Planning Inspectorate that demonstrates how this has been achieved.
We are currently developing our proposals in order to undertake statutory consultation later this year, and we will ensure that further information is communicated via this website, as well as other means locally, over coming months.
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.