Firm calls meeting to shed light on solar farm scheme

Solar farm
Solar farm
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Have your say

A green energy firm wants residents to have their say on plans for a new solar farm.

Lightsource Renewable Energy is holding the meeting tomorrow to talk about the application at Cask Farm, off Mythop Road, near Weeton.

Plans for the site will be unveiled at the drop-in event at Weeton Village Hall, on Church Road, from 5.30pm until 8pm.

Lightsource says plans are still at an early stage and has asked residents to give their opinions before a full proposal is then submitted to Fylde Council.

If the plans are given the thumbs up the site could generate enough power for 1,300 homes.

The firm says it will plant new trees and hedgerows to screen the solar panels from view.

New planting will include a tree belt around the site boundary, featuring oak and field maple, as well as native shrubs such as hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn.

A recent bird survey carried out around the site revealed that the area is used by wintering birds, including pink-footed geese, between October and April.

Lightsource is currently working with ecologists to plan improvements to a field to the south of the solar farm which will provide a habitat for those birds.

The firm also says it plans to provide bird boxes, bee- friendly wildflowers and 
insect shelters on the site.

It has also asked wildlife groups to attend the meeting tomorrow to hear their suggestions for the site.

The design of the solar farm will leave wide gaps 
between rows of solar panels, leaving around 80 per cent of the land as open grassland, the company says.

This will mean sheep and chickens will be able to graze between the panels.

Conor McGuigan, planning and development director at Lightsource, said: “One of the most exciting aspects of solar energy is its ability to work in harmony with agriculture and local biodiversity.

“Solar farms have a very small installation footprint, which means there are plenty of opportunities for 
putting the rest of the land to good use. Generating locally-sourced, clean energy means the UK can reduce its reliance on importing expensive fossil-fuel supplies and at the same time opens up a wealth of opportunities for the surrounding community – from schools, youth groups and wildlife enthusiasts through to local contractors and service providers.

“This is still early days for the Cask Farm site and the community information evening will give residents a chance to ensure that these plans are best suited to the local landscape.

“We would also encourage anyone who can’t attend the community event to visit our website where the plans can be viewed and suggestions for the proposals can be put forward.”

The initial plans for the site can be viewed at www.lightsource-re.co.uk.