BayWa r.e. UK Limited (BayWa r.e.) and Grϋne Energien Solar (GE), our joint venture development partner, have submitted a planning application for a 49.9MW solar farm located at Perrinpit Farm, Perrinpit Road, Frampton Cotterell, BS36 2AT. The proposed solar farm would provide enough clean energy to power 15,000 homes, and we are looking at improving biodiversity through a number of initiatives including planting new wildflower meadows and 340 metres of new hedgerow.
We have submitted a planning application to the South Gloucestershire Council planning office, and the reports, drawings and other documentation give details about the proposed development. Through the planning process, members of the public and other interested parties can comment on the proposal. This website is intended to give some advance information, and we have provided contact information if you have a question.
About Grüne Energien Solar
To develop this project, we joined forces with Grϋne Energien Solar to share development, commercial and technical knowledge. Grϋne Energien Solar specialises in solar development and has developed many projects in the UK in the last decade (around 50).
We formed a project company, Perrinpit Road Solar Limited, for the development of our Perrinpit Road Solar Farm project.
About the project
Perrinpit Road Solar Farm is located 2 kilometres to the west of the settlement of Frampton Cotterell. We chose the location because this region has some of the highest levels of solar irradiation in the UK, there is an electricity network substation nearby that has capacity to receive more electricity, the land is suitably flat and is mostly classified as lower grade agricultural land.
The solar farm would generate 49.9 megawatts of DC electricity, and once converted to AC electricity for distribution, would provide approximately 40 megawatts to the UK electricity network (which is enough to supply approximately 15,000 homes with clean, renewable power every year for the life of the project. We seek permission to run the solar farm for 40 years, and at the end of this period all installations will be dismantled and cleared so the land is returned to its current condition).
The project requires approximately 90 hectares of flat, unobstructed land – the chosen site consists of fields separated by hedgerows, mainly on lower grade agricultural land (grade 3b). We intend to install rows of solar panels on metal frames, with the highest point of the panels being 2.5m above ground level. Existing public footpaths and bridleways will be maintained, and there will be green spaces in between the panels and around hedgerows throughout the site for sheep to graze and for the planting of wildflower meadows to enhance biodiversity. Drainage channels will be implemented where necessary, and deer fencing will surround the site. More information about site design is available in the Site Layout section of this web page.
Our team of ecologists, engineers, and planning experts have conducted studies to assess the proposed solar farm, and our planning application will include their reports and recommendations to limit any impact to the surrounding area.
Trees and hedgerows are important features of the rural countryside and will be protected. To assess impacts of the proposed development on trees and vegetation, we employed an arboricultural specialist to study the existing vegetation and provide a plan of mitigation measures. Our specialists found no significant impacts to trees, and while we will need to remove small portions of hedgerow to enable access to the entire site and to lay underground cables or other essential infrastructure, our specialists have recommended the planting of 340m of new hedgerows which will be incorporated into the solar farm design.
- No trees are expected to be harmed by the proposed solar farm.
- We will plant 340m of new hedgerows onsite.
To assess landscape and visual impact, we employed a specialist to identify locations where the solar farm might be visible and provide recommendations for using hedgerows, trees and other physical features to screen the solar farm as much as possible. The report finds that the proposed layout is suitable, and the visual impact will be limited.
The site is traversed and bordered by a number of public rights of way. The solar farm will be built around these, with safety measures implemented where necessary. During construction, we will implement any diversions of public rights of way to ensure public safety, but these measures will only be temporary.
- Public rights of way will be retained for the life of the solar farm.
We expect that the solar farm will take around six months to be built, and during this time Heavy Goods Vehicles will visit the site up to 6 times per day (12 total, including inbound and outbound trips) between the site and Junction 14 and 16 of the M5 Motorway. A traffic specialist assessed construction traffic along a route from the M5 via Junction 16, to the A38, to Old Gloucester Road and finally Perrinpit Road, and found no significant impacts to local traffic patterns. To get into the solar farm site, construction and operations vehicles will use existing gated accesses off Perrinpit Road, which splits the northern and southern parts of the site. Once operational, there will be infrequent visits from maintenance and security personnel only.
- No significant transport and traffic impacts from the solar farm.
The BayWa r.e./Grϋne Energien Solar project team and our external specialists have worked hard to find the best design for the project, making sure that all decisions are made with the following constraints in mind:
- Technical (topography, flood risk, traffic and access etc.)
- Environmental (wildlife, habitats, landscape and visual effects etc.)
Until the solar farm is actually built, modifications to the design will be required. Changes are flagged as a result of constant and ongoing communication with designers, the electricity network operator and stakeholders such as the local community and planning authority through the planning application process. To see the most up to date design of the proposed solar farm (as of 23/3/2021), click on the Site Design Plan
We welcome the community's thoughts and suggestions on these proposals as getting it right is paramount.
Security Fencing and Gates
For security, deer fencing made of metal mesh and wooden poles at a height of 2.1 metres will surround the site, and entrances to the site off Perrinpit Road will be gated.
Internal Access Tracks
To perform operations and maintenance tasks across the site, staff will utilise several new tracks (grassland or gravel) that will be designed in the most optimal way to avoid impacts to hedgerows and other existing features of the site.
For security, CCTV cameras will be placed 50 metres apart throughout the site and they will be monitored remotely.
Spare Parts Containers
For storage of spare parts, we will place 3 steel containers in appropriate locations around the site, which will be 2.8 metres high, 6 metres long, and 2.4 metres wide.
The need for the project
The proposed solar farm would generate 49.9MW of low carbon renewable energy for the life of the project (40 years), which would help the UK government meet its legally binding target under the Climate Change Act 2008 to achieve a 'net zero' carbon account by 2050. The government strongly supports the increased use of low carbon energy generation and is developing policy to promote a cleaner environment and a greener economy.
South Gloucestershire Council is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint, and in July 2019 the council declared a climate emergency, pledging to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and ensuring 100% renewable energy across the area by 2050.
|Planning Application submitted March 2021||Decision by South Gloucestershire Council’s planning department is expected around June/July 2021.|
|Tendering for Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contracts (2021)||If consent is granted Engineering, Procurement & Construction tendering will begin in 2021.|
|Discharge Planning consent conditions (2021)||South Gloucestershire Council will include conditions in the planning consent that must be satisfied within 1-3 years. These have to be signed off prior to construction starting.|
|Grid Connection works commence (Early 2022)||Connection to the grid is expected to happen in 2022.|
|Construction, Energisation and commercial operation of the project (Mid 2022)||Construction would take 3-6 months.|
Perrinpit Farm Solar Project Benefits
- 49.9MW of renewable energy supply to help reduce South Gloucestershire and the UK’s carbon emissions. Helps the UK meet its legally binding targets for 2030 and 2050 of supplying increasing amounts of energy from renewables.
- Agricultural use can continue within the solar farm throughout the life of the project. There will be spaces between the solar panels for sheep to graze. Once decommissioned, the land will be returned to its previous condition and the soil will possibly have benefitted from not being intensively farmed for up to 40 years.
- Biodiversity improvement of the site, including:
- 340m of new hedgerows
- 11.5 hectares of planting (wildflower meadows and natural grasses)
- Habitat creation and enhanced biodiversity
- Job creation – up to 20 local jobs for construction period, 2-3 long term jobs (maintenance, operations and security)
Queries about the project
We welcome your questions and comments about the proposed Perrinpit Road Solar Farm, please contact us by clicking the green button below, or by the telephone number listed on the right of the website.
The planning application was submitted to South Gloucestershire Council in March 2021, and all reports, drawings and assessments are available to review as public information through the council’s planning portal website using Reference P21/01624/F.