Preston Farm Solar Park will provide clean, renewable energy to at least 7,002 homes and will offset approximately 6,202 tonnes of CO2 per year.

British Solar Renewables receives planning consent for Preston Farm Solar Park near Preston Candover in Hampshire. Consent for the 28MWp Solar PV array was granted as a delegated decision by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on the 16th September 2022.

Preston Farm Solar Park now forms part of the solar developer’s portfolio of over 700MW of successfully developed solar PV assets, in addition to its ambitious initial 1GW PV development pipeline in the UK and Australia.

Preston Farm Solar Park will provide clean, renewable energy to at least 7,002 homes and will offset approximately 6,202 tonnes of CO2 per year. Each BSR solar park secures natural spaces for future generations. Preston Farm Solar Park will have a significant positive impact on its local environment, delivering biodiversity net-gains of 80% in habitat and 39% hedgerow. In addition, it is anticipated that the business rate contribution will exceed £65,000 in the first year of operation.

After a positive consultation period, including a public consultation event in July 2021, the planning application was submitted in November 2021 and was approved in September 2022. During this time the applicant was able to carry out further archaeological work at the recommendation of the council, and amend the site layout in order to avoid possible artefacts.

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.

Dale Greetham, the Associate Director of the planning consultants RSK ADAS leading this application, said:

This planning approval substantiates our client focused approach in ensuring that British Solar Renewables were provided with the best strategy advice to secure the most efficient and effective planning permission. This project included resolving an archaeology issue through undertaking the appropriate technical assessments and by making proportionate amendments to the Proposed Site Layout. We also ensured the optimum boundary treatment solution (where required) by undertaking site photomontages and producing a tailored and bespoke Landscape Masterplan. This permission is also very much thanks to our environmental colleagues across ADAS / the wider RSK Group who have worked hard alongside our client British Solar Renewables to ensure that this project was approved in a timely manner by delegated authority.”

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

“This consent comes at a significant moment for BSR, as we move towards the delivery of our ambitious growth plan and 1GW delivery pipeline. We are delighted that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council recognises that urgent action needs to be taken to address climate change. It is well considered projects like Preston Farm 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.”