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30 megawatt Forfar solar farm bid clears first planning hurdle

An artist's impression of how the solar farm will look.
Grazing would continue on the solar farm.

A 30 megawatt solar scheme for farmland near Forfar has cleared its first planning hurdle.

The proposal was lodged with Angus Council at the start of this month.

It involves almost 150 acres of land on both sides of the B9128 Forfar to Carnoustie road at Cotton of Lownie.

The site sits east of Kingsmuir village.

Forfar solar farm
The layout of the planned Forfar solar farm. Supplied by Angus Council.

It involves three separate areas of farmland totalling 58.5 hectares.

And Angus planners have told applicant Industria Resources that the scheme does not require a full environmental impact assessment report.

Energy consultants had lodged a screening request with the council to get an early opinion on the proposal.

The intention is to connect the solar farm to a substation around three kilometres north west of the site.

Forfar solar farm
The Cotton of Lownie site looking south. Pic: Graham Brown/DCT Media.

A number of main issues were identified by council planners.

Loss of farmland

The council say the temporary loss of agricultural land should not give rise to significant environmental effects.

Grazing would continue on the fields when the solar array is built.

Landscape and visual impact

Planners say landscape and visual impacts would be relatively localised given the nature of the development.

Noise impact

The surrounding area would experience some noise impact during construction, operation and decommissioning of the solar farm.

But the screening opinion said it would not be significant.

Traffic impact

There would be a temporary increase in traffic during construction.

Planners say the works associated with the development are not “unusually complex or potentially hazardous”.

solar farm
Land to the west of the B9128 would be used for the 30MW solar array. Pic: Graham Brown/DCT Media.

The council told the applicants: “Angus Council concludes that the proposed development for the installation of a solar PV array with a generating capacity of up to 30MW and ancillary works is unlikely to result in significant environmental effects.”

It means the development doesn’t require submission of an environmental impact assessment report.

The next stage of the bid is likely to be the submission of a formal planning application.

Berryhill community vow to fight giant solar farm appeal

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