Article: Solar Farm Consent in Cheshire West & Chester
Date: February 17, 2016

Lightsource have achieved consent for a 5MW solar farm development on land at Fields Farm within Cheshire West and Chester Council. The development will have a significant and positive role in reducing CO2 emissions, with the capability of offsetting approximately 3,365 tonnes of CO2 each year, whilst providing clean electricity for approximately 1,386 homes.

Neo Environmental’s Involvement

The assessments and reports completed by Neo included: Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Landscape Plan, Ecological Appraisal (including badger and great crested newt surveys), Biodiversity Management Plan, Cultural Heritage and Archaeology, Flood Risk Assessment, Agricultural Land Classification and Construction Traffic Management Plan (including swept path analysis and visibility splays).

The extended phase 1 habitat survey undertaken by Neo Environmental identified a number of ponds within the proposed development boundary. Habitat Suitability Index surveys were undertaken on the ponds to assess their potential to support great crested newts (GCN). The HIS surveys identified these ponds as having potential to support populations of GCN, therefore further GCN surveys were required. The presence of this species was highlighted as a constraint and the layout of the proposal was amended in accordance with our recommendations. In addition to this, the Biodiversity Management Plan identified a number of further mitigation measures to reduce the potential impact upon this species.

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