Low Carbon launches second consultation for 500MW Gate Burton solar and storage site

Due to its size, Gate Burton will need to gain consent through the Planning Inspectorate for its development. Image: Andreas Gücklhorn (unsplash).

Low Carbon has launched the second consultation for its 500MW Gate Burton solar and energy storage park in Lincolnshire.

Over the next six-weeks, it is inviting comments on the updated masterplan, visual impact considerations and the electrical connection of the site into the national grid at the Cottam substation.

Gate Burton is one of two solar farms that will benefit from capacity availability at this substation, due to the closure of EDF’s coal-fired Cottam Power Station in 2019. The other is a 600MW solar project being eyed by Island Green Power.

Additionally, Low Carbon will be asking for views on how community benefit initiatives could be administered and managed, along with suggestions for local projects that could be supported.

Mike Rutgers, development director at Low Carbon said: “This is a major milestone for Low Carbon as we approach our planning submission. We’ve taken into consideration the feedback provided by the local community earlier this year which, alongside our ongoing technical and environmental surveys, has helped us to refine our proposals to those you see today.

“The community asked us to work with other developers in the area to reduce cumulative impacts. You’ll see from our new plans that we’re proposing to do just that. By seeking to align our Grid Connect Route with other proposals in the area, we hope to pursue the most efficient way of working and minimise any adverse impacts on the community.”

The Gate Burton Energy Park project website has been updated to include the refined proposals for the site, which sits in the West Lindsey District near Gate Burton, Knaith Park and Willingham-by-Stow.

Additionally, more  than 7,000 postcards have been sent to locals to make them aware of the consultation, and in person events are happening throughout the consultation period, which ends on 5 August 2022.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in this second stage of consultation and provide us with their views,” said Rutgers.

“Continued engagement with the local community has a critical role to play in helping us deliver a renewable energy scheme that contributes to the country’s future energy needs while also considering the needs of neighbouring communities.”

Gate Burton is one of a number of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) solar projects to emerge over the last few years, with a couple also at the consultation phase.

The second consultation for the 350MW Mallard Pass solar farm in South Kesteven launched in May, and the first consultation for the 160MW Oaklands Farm Solar Park, South Derbyshire launched in April for example.

To date, just two NSIP solar farms have gained development consent from the Planning Inspectorate, the 350MW Cleve Hill Solar Farm and the 150MWp Little Crow Solar Farm.

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