British Solar Renewables receives planning consent for 49.9MW Fambridge Solar Park in Rochford

  • Unanimous approval has been granted by Rochford District Council for the construction of a 49.9MW Solar PV array with a 25MW battery facility on Green Belt land at South Fambridge.
  • Fambridge Solar Park now forms part of the solar developer’s portfolio of over 700MW of solar PV, in addition to its ambitious initial 1GW PV development pipeline.

British Solar Renewables (BSR), the largest privately owned UK solar developer has received planning consent for the development of a 49.9 MW Solar Park and battery facility by Rochford District Council. The consented scheme will now form part of the solar developer’s fast growing portfolio of over 700MW of solar PV, in addition to its ambitious initial 1GW PV development pipeline in the UK and Australia.
Fambridge Solar Park will provide clean, renewable energy to at least 12,500 homes and will offset approximately 11,702 tonnes of CO2 per year. Each BSR solar park secures natural spaces for future generations. By building on low-grade farmland, BSR has been able to protect around 2700 acres of land so far, through eco-initiatives such as bug hotels and wildflower planting. Fambridge Solar Park will have a significant positive impact on its local environment, delivering a biodiversity net-gain of 58%. In addition, it is anticipated that the business rate contribution will exceed £120,000 in the first year of operation.

After a successful consultation period, which engaged with local residents during the 2020 lockdown, the planning application was submitted in June 2021 and was approved unanimously by Rochford District Council’s Planning Committee in December this year. There were no objections made by any statutory consultees or relevant Parish Councils.

Over the course of the last decade, BSR has become one of the leading, vertically integrated (developing, building, owning, operating and maintaining solar parks) global renewables platforms. The renewable energy specialist has a proven track record of developing and delivering utility scale solar PV and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) projects and has established a five-year plus business plan for geographical and technological growth.

Kenny Dhillon, the Director of the planning consultants RSK ADAS, said:

“This planning approval substantiates our client focused approach in ensuring our client (BSR) were advised correctly by experts to secure successful and robust outcomes. The site is located in the Green Belt, within the Essex Coast Landscape designation and 350m from the Crouch and Roach Estuaries area which is a designated SPA, RAMSAR, SSSI and a SAC. BSR worked closely with the ADAS Planning and Landscape team to ensure the scheme would have no significant or harmful impacts on the above designations. I am also thoroughly proud of my colleagues within the RSK ADAS Group who worked hard on this project and with BSR our clients to ensure that this project was approved first time at planning committee.”

Commenting on the approval of the site, Tim Humpage, CEO of BSR said:

“This consent comes at a significant moment for BSR, as we look to 2022 and the delivery of our ambitious growth plan and 1GW delivery pipeline. We are delighted that Rochford District Council recognises that urgent action needs to be taken to address climate change. It is well considered projects like Fambridge Solar Park and those that will follow it, which will be critical to ensuring energy security and achieving the UK’s commitment to a net zero future.”

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