Measures to reduce effects

We’ve carefully considered the findings from our ongoing assessments to gauge the potential impact the construction, operation and decommissioning of Gate Burton Energy Park could have on the landscape, environment and local communities.

Reducing or avoiding impacts is one of our top priorities. In developing our proposals for the project we have factored in a range of measures to minimise its effect against a range of different factors. These include but are not limited to:

Topic Proposed measures to reduce effects

Landscape and views

Gate Burton Energy Park will be designed and views to integrate within the landscape and existing vegetation patterns, sensitively aligning form, colour and material where possible.

The design will incorporate minimum offsets from existing landscape features, including residential properties, ancient woodland, woodland and hedgerows, Public Rights of Way, and watercourses.

Ecology and nature

We propose to design in the avoidance of protected species, such as 30m buffers from badger setts and 10m buffers from watercourses.

Undeveloped buffers are included in the design to protect all hedgerows, individual trees, ponds, and ancient woodland during construction.

We propose using a technique called Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) for sections of the grid connection route. This involves drilling underground rather than digging open trenches, helping to avoid disturbing priority or sensitive habitats.

Climate change

We would store topsoil and construction materials outside of floodplain extents.

Our drainage systems have been designed to ensure there will be no significant increases in flood risk downstream, including climate change scenarios.

We are developing health and safety plans accounting for potential climate change impacts on workers.

Heritage and archaeology

We have designed the grid connection route and the energy park to minimise impacts on significant heritage assets.

We have minimised overall land requirements to reduce the extent the project could affect known and potential cultural heritage assets.

We are seeking to avoid known archaeological remains.

We will carry out archaeological survey work along our grid connection route and will share the survey results in an appropriate format and supporting archive.

Where required in areas of archaeological potential, we will install temporary physical protection during construction and decommissioning works.

Water and drainage

The solar PV panels will be offset from watercourses. The exact distance will be agreed with the Environment Agency through further consultation.

There are considered to be no significant residual effects for surface water, groundwater or flood risk during the construction, operation and decommissioning. The assessment will be reviewed and revised where necessary ahead of submission.

Noise and vibration

We propose to minimise operational noise impacts by strategically locating the battery and energy storage system (BESS) compound to reduce the effect of noise impacts. Transformers will be housed in cabins to reduce noise emissions.

For construction noise, we will develop a construction noise monitoring scheme which is likely to include monitoring and reporting noise complaints for immediate investigation and action.

We will maintain dialogue with neighbours, providing advance notice on any construction activity which could give rise to noise and vibration, and retain a direct project communications channel so people can contact us directly if they have any queries or concerns.

Socioeconomics and land use

We have designed Gate Burton Energy Park to take into account the quality of agricultural land. We will limit impact on best and most versatile land as far as possible, and also minimise impacts on Public Rights of Way.

Biodiversity net gain

From 2023, all new developments including Gate Burton Energy Park will be required to demonstrate a net increase in biodiversity on site of at least ten per cent.

We pride ourselves on going above and beyond this baseline requirement and have pledged that all our new sites will deliver biodiversity net gain in excess of ten per cent.

While we are not yet at the stage in the development process to have an exact estimate of the biodiversity net gain for Gate Burton Energy Park, we’re currently averaging over 75 per cent biodiversity net gain across our other new sites.

Further reading

We have systematically studied the environmental impacts arising from Gate Burton Energy Park as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.

A summary of the initial results can be found in the PEI NTS, while more detailed information is set out in topic specific chapters of the PEI Report – Volume 1: Main Report.

Read our PEI NTS Read our PEI Report

This report will be updated and form the basis of the final Environmental Statement (ES) for the proposed scheme.