Chelmsford City Council

Solar farm applications

We have recently received a number of planning applications for solar farms.

These are:

  • 21/00081/FUL (Land east and west of St Cleres Hall Pitt, Main Road, Danbury)
  • 21/00394/FUL (Land east and west of A130, north and south of Canon Barns Road, East Hanningfield)
  • 21/00502/FUL (Land east of A130, South of Canon Barns Road, East Hanningfield)
  • 21/00555/FUL (Land west of Hill Farm, Pan Lane, East Hanningfield)

You can view the applications online.

Some of the application documents feature detailed information and are large in size. You may find it easier to download and view these documents on a desktop computer, rather than on a smartphone or tablet.

Three of these applications are all near each other, around Church Road, Canons Barn Road and Pan Lane in East Hanningfield.  You can see the details on each in the tabs below.


How to make a comment

Once you have viewed the documents, you can make a comment via Public Access. After you have commented, you can click on the ‘Track’ button (at the top tight of the screen). You can then get updates about progress on the application.

If you are using a phone or tablet, you can comment using our online form


Longfield

There is also a proposal for a solar farm called Longfield. The site is on land north east of Chelmsford, between Boreham, Hatfield Peverel, Great Leighs and Terling. The site falls across both the City Council and Braintree District administrative areas.

It is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, which means central government decide whether to approve the project, rather than us.


The site is across two parcels of land to the north of the A414 between the A12 Sandon junction and the western edge of Danbury. The land is within the rural area, beyond the Green Belt.

The applicant is Low Carbon Limited.

The site covers 37.7 ha and the proposal is for the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) park generating up to 25 MW of electricity.

It would comprise ground-mounted photovoltaic solar arrays and battery-based electricity storage containers.

There will also be:

  • a substation
  • inverter/transformer stations
  • site accesses
  • grid connection cables
  • internal access tracks
  • security measures
  • access gates
  • other ancillary infrastructure
  • landscaping
  • biodiversity enhancements

We have now granted planning permission. 

You can view the details on Public Access via 21/00081/FUL.

The site sits across three parcels of land to the east and west of the A130 and north and south of Canons Barn Road. It is located next to Anglian Water Treatment works at Hanningfield Reservoir. The land is within the Metropolitan Green Belt.

The applicant is Low Carbon Limited.

The site covers 86.75 hectares of land and the proposal is for the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) park generating up to 49.9 MW of electricity. 

The proposal includes a connection mast up to 35m tall, which would be sited at Church Road, Linkhouse Farm junction.

It comprises ground mounted photovoltaic solar arrays and battery-based electricity storage containers.

There will also be:

  • inverters/transformer stations and a Distribution Network Operator sub-station
  • access and cable connection to the mast to connect to 132 kV power line
  • customer substation/switchgear and meter kiosk
  • batteries
  • internal buried cabling and grid connection cables
  • internal access tracks
  • security fencing and gates, and CCTV cameras
  • other ancillary infrastructure
  • landscaping
  • biodiversity enhancements

We are continuing to consider the planning application and we hope to decide on it during winter 2021.

We refused this application on 9 December 2021. You can view the planning application for 21/00394/FUL.

The site is on a single parcel of land, to the south of Canons Barn Road to the east of Canons Barn Bridge. Canons Barn Road provides access to Anglian Water Treatment works at Hanningfield Reservoir. The land is within the Metropolitan Green Belt.

The applicant is Bluestone Energy Limited.

The application site covers 14 hectares of land and the proposal is for the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) park generating up to 8 MW of electricity. 

It comprises ground mounted photovoltaic solar arrays.

There will also be:

  • a substation
  • internal access tracks
  • transformers/inverters
  • fencing and gates
  • CCTV cameras
  • temporary construction compound
  • underground cable and connection to end user
  • other ancillary infrastructure
  • landscaping
  • biodiversity enhancements

We have now granted planning permission. 

You can view the details on Public Access via 21/00502/FUL.

The site is on a single parcel of land to the west of Hill Farm, north of Pan Lane, East Hanningfield. The land is within the rural area beyond the Green Belt.

The applicant is Cell Energy Ltd.

The application site covers 68.20 hectares of land and the proposal is for the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) park generating up to 41.8 MW of electricity. 

It comprises ground mounted photovoltaic solar arrays and battery-based storage containers.

There will also be:

  • inverters/transformer stations and a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) sub-station
  • customer substation/switchgear and meter kiosk
  • internal buried cabling and grid connection cables
  • internal access tracks
  • security fencing and gates, and CCTV cameras
  • upgraded existing site access
  • other ancillary infrastructure
  • landscaping
  • biodiversity enhancements

We have received amended plans to the application, and you can comment on them from Friday 13 May 2022 to Friday 3 June 2022. 

You can: 

After the consultation, we will consider the application and will provide updates on the progress of the application on this page.

Longfield Solar Energy Farm Limited is proposing a new solar farm site. The project is a joint venture between EDF Renewables (EDFR) and Padero Solar.

The Planning Inspectorate accepted an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for examination on 28 March 2022. 

If they grant the DCO, it would be sited on farmland north east of Chelmsford and north of the A12 between Boreham, Hatfield Peverel, Great Leighs and Terling. The site falls across both the City Council and Braintree District administrative areas.

The proposal for the solar farm includes:

  • ground mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity from the sun
  • battery storage to allow Longfield to import, store and export electricity to the National Grid
  • grid connection infrastructure, which allows export or import of up to 500MW of electricity to and from the National Grid
  • supporting infrastructure, such as sub-stations, inverters, transformers, switchgear and internal cabling
  • areas for landscaping, habitat and biodiversity improvements and mitigation
  • other associated infrastructure needed for the construction and operation of the site, such as construction compounds, access tracks and welfare facilities


The planning process

A solar farm of this scale is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. This means the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy needs to approve it, through a Development Consent Order (DCO).

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) manage DCO applications on behalf of the Secretary of State.

We are a consultee on the DCO application and are not responsible for determining it. If you have any queries on the application, or wish to talk to someone about it, you can call 0303 444 5000 or email LongfieldSolarFarm@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

You can view details of the Longfields application.

Longfield Solar Farm have now begun a period of consultation, and you can submit relevant comments to the Planning Inspectorate from Thursday 14 April 2022 and Thursday 2 June 2022.

You must make any comments (giving notice of any interest in, or objection to, the application) on the Planning Inspectorate’s Registration and Relevant Representation Form.

You can read the Planning Inspectorate's guide on how to comment.

They are also asking for feedback on ways to improve the service for people getting involved in national infrastructure projects. If you submit the feedback form, it will have no effect on the outcome of any ongoing projects or participation in the examination of this project.

You can find out more about the project, consultation and FAQs on the Longfield Solar Farm project website

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Last updated: 12 May 2022

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