UK's biggest solar park rejected by Connah's Quay Town Council

Published date: 08 April 2014 |
Published by: David Humphreys
Read more articles by David Humphreys


PLANS for a solar park that could potentially provide power for 11,000 homes have been opposed by town councillors.

Proposals for the UK’s biggest solar park – which would bring 180,000 solar panels to land near Deeside Industrial Park – were rejected by members of Connah’s Quay Town Council’s planning committee.

Representatives from site developers, Compton Group and Pegasus Group, attended the meeting at Fron Road to hear the councillors’ views.

The two groups want to install the massive park on 220 acres of greenfield land – equivalent to about 125 football pitches – north of the A538 Weighbridge Road.

However, councillors were swift in their rejection of the plans.

Sealand Community Council has also registered its concerns about the development.

Connah’s Quay councillor Pam Attridge said: “We should support Sealand as we’re not getting anything from this.”

Cllr Andy Dunbobbin added: “I find it very disappointing that brownfield sites haven’t been considered for this development.”

Should the planning application for the solar park be successful when it reaches Flintshire Council’s planning committee in County Hall, it is anticipated the 180,000 solar panels will have the potential to generate up to 45 megawatts of power, equating to the annual energy consumption of about 11,000 homes and making it the UK’s largest.

There have previously been concerns about the loss of fertile farmland to the project and Cllr Martin White said he was concerned about the effects of proposed changes to the site on food production.

“It’s said that 25 years is the lifespan of this project,” he said.

“That area has two to three growing seasons per year. That’s 75 growing seasons and a lot of food.

“They should have told us the benefits of the application.”

At a previous council meeting, the developers came in for heavy criticism from deputy leader of Flintshire Council, Cllr Bernie Attridge, who questioned the community benefits of the project and the location the developers had chosen.

Speaking at the latest meeting, Cllr Paul Wainwright said: “This will impact on food prices and it worries me that we will lose our food-making capacity for something that could be put on the roofs of houses.”

Cllr Eric Faulkner added he was concerned that the town would be stuck with the development for 25 years and Cllr Dave Birch suggested the panels could impact on the growth of Deeside Industrial Park.

The plans will now go before Flintshire Council’s planning committee at a later date.

l The UK’s biggest solar park is located at the site of a former Second World War airfield in Leicestershire.

The £35 million project, managed by construction and development group Lark Energy, consists of 130,000 solar panels across 150 acres.

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