Dengie Solar Park


Introducing Dengie Solar Park, Essex

Dengie Solar Park

BSR Energy has resubmitted its planning application to Maldon District Council for permission to construct Dengie Solar Park on 33 hectares of land near the village of Dengie, Maldon District, Essex. The proposed 19MW (megawatt) Dengie Solar Park would produce enough renewable energy to power approximately 4,751 homes in the UK1, saving 4,208 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year2. The project site is located on land south of Keelings Road, Dengie. After originally submitting the application in April 2023, the Maldon District Council issued a refusal to BSR Energy on 3 July 2023.

BSR has carefully considered the Council’s feedback in refusing the project, and has made a number of updates to its planning application ahead of resubmission including relocating the Distribution Network Operator Substation and battery storage to Flood Zone 1 within the site, addressing concerns about their initial placement. A Flood Risk Sequential Test demonstrated the absence of alternative land parcels with lower flood risks for the Solar Park. Mitigation strategies, such as the Farmland Bird Mitigation Strategy and Habitat Regulation Assessment, were implemented to minimize the impact on wildlife, particularly water birds. The Landscape and Visual Assessment was updated to accentuate positive aspects of proposed measures, including addressing reasons for past planning refusals. Various plans, such as the Landscape General Arrangement Plan and Photomontages, were adjusted to incorporate changes in the substation location and the introduction of a swale on the site's southern and eastern boundary.

Developer BSR Energy is behind a number of projects that currently provide over 600,000 MWhr (megawatt hours) of renewable energy annually across the UK. These projects together have avoided over 140,000 tonnes of CO2 being released into earth’s atmosphere, and power an average of 159,042 UK homes via renewable energy every year.

Government guidance now requires developments to have a minimum 10% 'Biodiversity Net Gain’ (BNG) to help deliver nature friendly developments of the future. BSR Energy is already committed to achieving 60% BNG across its UK solar parks, through initiatives such as bird and bat boxes, wildflower planting and hedgerow gapping. However, on the Dengie Solar Park the company has planned to achieve a much larger biodiversity net gain, with a Habitat Net Gain of 247% and a Hedgerow Net Gain of 17.71%.

Carla Hardaker, Development Director at BSR, said: “Although the initial refusal for planning consent was disappointing, we believe we are bringing forward a well-designed project which will have an overall positive impact on the local landscape and ecology. Additionally, Dengie Solar Park will aid Maldon District Council in addressing the Climate Emergency it declared in February 2021 and in achieving its aim of becoming a carbon neutral District by 2030.”

If the project is now granted consent, is it expected that construction will commence in early 2025 later this year and last for approximately six months until the Solar Park becomes operational.

The UK Government has set a target of reducing emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. Renewable electricity generation, such as Dengie Solar Park, would aid the nation in meeting this target.

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Site Location

The approximately 78-acre site is located less than 1km to the southeast of Dengie village in a large section of an existing field. Keelings Road is to the north of the site, which can be accessed via the existing entrance off this road.

The site consists of one field of Grade 3b land, currently used for arable farming. The grading means the land is considered as moderate quality agricultural land, or land capable of producing moderate yields of a narrow range of crops.

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Project Proposals

Dengie Solar Park will comprise ground-mounted photovoltaic solar arrays, a substation, switchgear container, inverter/transformer units, site access, internal access tracks, security measures, access gates, other ancillary infrastructure and landscaping and biodiversity enhancements.

Current use of land: Arable farming

Land grade: Grade 3b

Flood zone rating: Flood zone 1, 2 & 3 (local flood defences make it less than 0.1% chance of flooding per year)

Total land required for the PV: Approximately 78 acres

Land designation None (Essex Estuaries SAC within 3.5km; Dengie SPA, SSSI, RAMSAR, NNR within 4.2km; Sandbeach Meadows SSSI 4.2km north east)

Site access: Via the existing field entrance located on Keelings Road

POC (point of connection) location: Underground cable to POC located in adjacent landowner’s field to the north west

Site Access

Access to the site is from an existing track from Keelings Road to the north of the site. Keelings Road is a rural single-carriageway running in an east-west direction, connecting to Hall Road to the west and to Bridgewick Road to the east. The access itself and the track leading into the site will likely require improvement to accommodate construction traffic.

The construction phase is likely to last for approximately six months. At its peak there would be an average of around nine HGVs to the site each day.

Once operational, the Solar Park will encounter low traffic levels with an anticipated 1 – 2 visits per month for maintenance and inspection purposes.

What are the benefits of Dengie Solar Park?

  • Helps the UK reach its carbon net zero targets by producing enough renewable energy to power approximately 4,751 homes and save over 4,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
  • Assists Essex County Council and Maldon District Council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with local and national targets, including Maldon District Council’s Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Generation Policy.
  • Supports Maldon District Council’s Climate Action Strategy 2021-2030.
  • Will aid the security and robustness of local electricity supply in Maldon District.
  • No Public Rights of Way will be closed during or after construction of the Solar Park.
  • The Solar Park will connect to the National Grid via an underground cable to a point of connection in an adjacent field, removing the need for a long cable route.
  • The proposal includes biodiversity and landscape enhancement measures, such as the gapping up of existing and planting of additional hedgerows to ensure there are minimal visual and environmental impacts.
  • Other ecological enhancements include wildflower and wild bird seed grasslands, and a range of breeding boxes for bats and birds are being considered as part of the application. We commit to the Solar Park achieving a minimum of 60% biodiversity net gain.
  • This is a temporary development (40 years), allowing the solar PV development and associated infrastructure to be removed and agricultural use reinstated following decommissioning.
  • The proposed Solar Park will not require government subsidy.

Community Fund

BSR Energy offers a community benefit of £1000 per installed MW for use towards suitable community projects. For this scheme, it would offer £19,000 which would directly benefit local residents and be ring-fenced for use within the parish(es) affected by the project.

The proposed development will, over its lifetime, result in a net reduction of over 168,000 tonnes of CO2. Solar Parks such as this development are considered imperative to secure the carbon reductions which are a legislative requirement of the Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019.


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October - November 2022: Pre-application consultation commences

November 2022: Finalise project design

November - December 2022: Application submitted

Early 2023: Planning decision

2023: If planning permission approved, construction commences

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments about Dengie Solar Park, please get in touch using one of the following communication channels.


Freephone: 0330 1797 646

Leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.