Plans lodged for solar farm on factory site near Morpeth

Plans have been lodged for a solar farm the size of about 10 football pitches at a Morpeth factory.
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Centrica Business Solutions, the prospective supplier, has submitted the application for a ground-mounted solar PV array on land at the Piramal factory on Whalton Road.

The proposed development at the pharmaceuticals firm would comprise the construction and operation of a 4.3MW solar array as well as the associated infrastructure on a site of approximately 5.7 hectares.

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Energy generated by the development would reduce the company’s reliance on fossil fuels and contribute toward its commitment to effectively managing its energy footprint.

A solar farm is planned at the Piramal factory.A solar farm is planned at the Piramal factory.
A solar farm is planned at the Piramal factory.

Planning permission is being sought for a temporary period of 40-years, following which it would be decommissioned and the land restored.

‘The proposed development has been designed to provide a source of renewable electricity to support a transition to a low carbon economy,’ states a planning report on the applicant’s behalf.

‘The proposal will help the development of the business on the site by reducing the energy cost of the factory.

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‘The proposed development is easily reversible, with minimal disturbance during the construction phase. Therefore, the land would be capable of being restored as close to its original condition, or better, at the end of the operational period.’

The report says no glare is predicted towards Newcastle International Airport, while it is proposed that a 2.5m tall vegetation barrier is installed between the solar array and the B6524. In addition, it was identified in the receptor screening review that there was no line of sight between the proposed arrays and the A1.