Public consultation for new solar farm proposal, near Burcot, Oxon

18th March 2021 Local residents, councillors and other members of the community are invited to a virtual public consultation for a proposed solar farm near Burcot in Oxfordshire.

The proposed development by Public Power Solutions (PPS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, is for a subsidy-free solar farm of up to 49.9 MW, and a 49.9MW battery storage system, that would generate enough renewable electricity to supply the equivalent of around 19,000 typical homes. It would save an estimated 13,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, making a substantial contribution to local and national net zero targets.South Oxfordshire Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and has committed to becoming a carbon neutral District by 2030.

Because of the current Covid-19 restrictions, PPS will hold the consultation online, using Microsoft Teams, on Thursday 1st April 2021 at 7pm. The event will provide an opportunity for local people to view the proposals, ask questions and provide feedback, which PPS will take into account before submitting its planning application to South Oxfordshire Council.

Those interested in attending the event will need to register in advance, via the following link on the PPS website: www.publicpowersolutions.co.uk/power/projects/burcotfarm

Steve Cains, Director of Power Solutions, Public Power Solutions, said: “Solar power is now the lowest cost form of new electricity generation and has a vital role to play in the future transition to a net zero economy. The site at Burcot Farm is well suited for a solar development as the land is flat and already well screened on several sides by existing mature woodland, which will be supplemented by new planting where necessary.

“The land is currently used for arable farming; by taking it out of intensive agriculture and allowing the grassland to revert back to nature, we are anticipating a substantial biodiversity gain of around 80%. It will also be able to stay in agricultural use with sheep grazing. We will also be offering a community benefit fund for the lifetime of the development.”

PPS has sent out around 2000 invitations to local people living near the proposed site. For anyone who is unable to attend live, the consultation event will be pre-recorded and available to view afterwards on the PPS website. Those without access to the internet are invited to contact PPS directly to receive the information by post. PPS also welcomes questions and comments in advance of the consultation which can be submitted via its website.

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