Plans in place for solar farm extension outside Chichester
A solar farm between Selsey and Sidlesham has requested planning permission for a new 'renewable energy project'
Ferry Farm Solar Farm wants to construct a new building, comprising solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Among the associated works are new CCTV cameras and security fencing.
The planning documents stated that the site would be, in effect, an extension of the two, adjacent, solar PV arrays, already installed between the B2145 Chichester Road and the Southern Water Sidlesham, Wastewater Treatment plant.
The applicant, Daniel Moloney — programme manager at BNRG Renewables Ltd — said the proposal has a design life of 40 years and the 'significant benefit of the facility' would 'outweigh any environmental effects'.
The solar PV panels would be in rows and positioned to 'maximise exposure to the sun'. The output would be 'exported to the local grid'.
The design and access statement added: "It is a temporary use of the land and all parts of the installation are reversible.
"To ensure safe and optimum use site will be monitored remotely by a central computer, this means that the site would not be permanently manned but monitoring will ensure a smooth and safe operation.
"Lowkey but regular visits by maintenance personnel will be made using normal light vehicle."
Access for vehicles delivering the construction components will be via the B2145 Chichester Road. It is proposed that there would be approximately 60 HGV visits (120 trips) over a four to six-month period of construction.
"At most there would be no more than ten HGV deliveries (20 trips) in a single day," the plans stated. "This is less than the normal variation in daily traffic flows on the B2145.
"The proposal would be made secure by the construction of a 2.4 m high mesh fence [which] would be located at least 8m from the rife on the northern and western boundaries and from the bank tops of the central rife.
"This allows for essential maintenance of the ditch and bank in accordance with the environment agency guidelines on access to waterways."
The use of PV panels to convert light energy from the sun directly into electricity is an established renewable energy technology which does not involve the use of fossil fuels or the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2).
The concept was developed to combat climate change.
According to the applicant, the south of England 'experiences good levels of light intensity' which make solar panels 'an efficient form of renewable energy production'.
They added: "The planning application capitalises on the favourable conditions and available grid connections.
"BNRG is a renewable company with a history of working in partnership with private landowners.
"The proposal is a form of rural diversification, however, during its operation low-intensity farming of the land remains possible."