Proposals to build a new solar farm on empty farmland next to a small village have been submitted to North Northamptonshire Council by developers. The plans stretch over an area of approximately 105 hectares just across from the village of Newton and east of the A43.
If the development goes ahead the grid is expected to generate 39MW of electricity, with a further 10MW coming from a battery energy storage system (BESS). The solar farm is proposed to have an operational life of up to 40 years.
The energy farm would also be close to Geddington village centre, only 0.9km to the northwest, and would be 3.7km south of Corby. Views between the solar power site and the nearby settlements would be largely screened by hedgerows and mature tree lines.
Construction of the solar farm, BESS and substation is anticipated to take 18 months after it receives approval. Construction access will likely be via Newton Road, with the turning point into the site only a short distance from the road into the village.
The site comprises multiple agricultural fields and a narrow tract of land that extends to the west toward the A43, which could facilitate a private wire connection to provide a direct power supply to a local off-taker.
The solar panels will be set out in rows and ground-mounted, with underground cabling. Developers, Buccleuch Estates Ltd, are hubs for rural communities and say they support employment, investment, green spaces, and renewable energy solutions in these areas.
Across their sites around the UK, they could generate a potential 1.2GW through renewable energy projects. They also own Boughton Estate, a manor house near Geddington that has hosted major events such as Greenbelt Festival and been used as a film location, most notably for the Hollywood adaptation of Les Misérables.
The report submitted by developers is a pre-application consultation that reflects the planning application that is intended to be made after further scrutiny.