Axis was approached by developer AGR Group to assist with the sensitive planning of their solar farm project in rural Burwell, Cambridgeshire.
Climate change is the defining issue of our time. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to the rising sea levels increasing the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale.
In response to the climate change emergency, the UK government has set a target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, key to which is the expansion of renewable energy generation and decarbonisation of the energy supply system.
At Axis, we’re committed to developing plans that help build a more sustainable future, so we were delighted to be approached by developer AGR Group to assist with the sensitive planning of their solar farm project in rural Burwell, Cambridgeshire.
The site earmarked for development was particularly sensitive, located at the edge of Cambridgeshire’s fenland landscape. We worked closely with AGR Group to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment and planning submission, factoring in the site’s sensitive setting.
With more than two decades of experience in environmental planning and consultancy, we knew how important the landscape and ecological mitigation developed by our team would be to securing planning consent.
To integrate the landscape and provide screening, we proposed extensive reedbeds around the perimeter of the solar farm. The reedbeds, combined with species-rich grassland and removal of land from intensive agricultural use, would result in substantial net biodiversity gains.
In the longer term, the reedbeds would also support the National Trust’s Wicken Fen Vision, which seeks to re-wild large areas of the fenland landscape between Wicken and Cambridge.
Plans for the 50mw solar farm were approved unanimously by the East Cambridgeshire planning committee following officer recommendation. The development’s sensitive landscape mitigation was a key consideration in the planning balance, along with the growing need for increased renewable energy supply to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Phil Roden, Director at Axis, said: “We are delighted to have supported AGR to deliver critical green infrastructure that will help decarbonise the UK’s energy generation infrastructure and assist in delivering net zero in advance of 2050.”
Oliver Breidt, Director of AGR Group, commented: “Since our first project in 2011, we have grown steadily as a business and built up a strong team of experts who have a proven track record of delivering projects. Axis has successfully supported us by securing numerous planning consents for energy projects since 2012.”
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