Solar farm is set to go ahead in rural Preston

A solar panel farm at Eastacombe
A solar panel farm at Eastacombe
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A solar farm is to be built on land in rural Preston after plans were given the green light.

TGC Renwewables Ltd had submitted an application for the area’s first solar farm on agricultural land in Grimsargh.

Now Preston Council’s planning committee has discussed the proposals, expected to generate enough energy to power more than 3,000 local homes.

Councillors considered separate applications for two phases of the solar farm, at Fell View Farm in Preston Road.

The first phase was approved unanimously, with the director of development set to approve the next phase after more neighbour notification.

The solar farm will last for 25 years, after which time the land will be returned to its former condition.

Senior planning officer Chris Blackburn told Thursday’s meeting the applications were “encouraged”.

Committee member Coun David Hammond said: “I think this is the first solar farm this planning committee has had to consider. I think everybody is going to be a winner.”

The meeting was told phase one of the solar farm would involve the installation of 51 rows of solar panels, with 56 rows of panels in phase two.

The land would still be used for agricultural grazing, as well as for the solar farm. A report to councillors said the plans would not have any “significantly undue impacts upon the visual amenity of the open countryside, residential amenity, ecology and highways.”