The updated proposals we are now consulting on for Gate Burton Energy Park have evolved from the early-stage proposals we presented during our initial consultation based on feedback to that consultation and the findings from our survey and assessment work.
As well as helping us refine the design for the solar energy park, we have also selected a preferred grid connection corridor in which to route an electrical connection between the site and Cottam substation.
What has changed?
We have made a number of changes to the masterplan design for the solar energy park and technology we’re proposing for the project to address potential impacts identified through our assessment work and raised in feedback to the first consultation.
Inclusion of undeveloped buffers and offsets from:
- Existing landscape features including ponds, hedgerows, and woodland
- Ancient woodland
- Public rights of way
- Listed buildings at Gate Burton and residential property
- Careful location of the larger built elements of the energy park including the battery energy storage system (BESS) and on-site substation in areas of reduced flooding, screened by existing woodland, with topography and existing vegetation screening wider views, while also avoiding best and most versatile agricultural land as far as possible
- New grassland and wildflower mixes under the panels to enrich the range of fauna, enhance biodiversity and provide resource for pollinators
- Adoption of skylark plots and lapwing fields
- New hedgerow, shrub and tree planting, as well as improvements to existing hedgerow, to limit the visual impact from different vantage points and also provide environmental areas, offsets and buffer zones
- Siting infrastructure to avoid below ground archaeological features wherever possible
- Screening and planting to minimise the impact on the setting of heritage assets
- No disturbance to Burton Ancient and Semi-Natural Woodland
- Integration of the energy park with existing local green infrastructure to improve ecological connectivity across the site
- Selection of a preferred connection corridor approximately 7.5 kilometres long in which the electrical connection could be routed largely using underground cable so it has less impact on the landscape and views
- Collaboration with Island Green Power on cable connection corridor design to identify opportunities for a single shared grid connection area either side of the River Trent to minimise areas for disturbance and maximise opportunities for avoiding sensitive heritage and ecological receptors