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Planning Application

In December 2022 RES submitted a planning application for a 49.9MW solar farm on lands between Thoroton and Hawksworth.

Electronic copies of the planning application and accompanying documents can be viewed or downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Volume 1

Volume 2 - Figures

Volume 3 - Technical Appendices

Hard copies of some planning documents are available on request. Please contact us for more information.


Reasons to Support the Longhedge Solar Farm Proposal

There is now widespread recognition that the UK, and the rest of the world, is in a climate emergency. Renewable energy has a significant part to play in meeting the UK’s targets of eliminating fossil fuels from the UK electricity market by 2035 and achieving net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. Reports have shown that in order to achieve net zero by 2050 the UK will need to quadruple its low carbon electricity generation. Solar energy has an important part to play in helping reach these targets, as well as providing a balanced energy mix, and it is estimated that 40GW1 of solar will be needed by 2030 to stay on track with net zero ambitions, with 63%2 (or 25GW) of this coming from large scale ground mounted solar farms.

The UK Energy Security Strategy published in April 22 commits to look to increase the UK’s current 14GW of solar capacity by up to 5 times by 2035. Our current power system still relies heavily on fossil fuels, such as gas. The volatile price of these is the reason that bills have increased so rapidly in recent months. The need to rapidly scale up home grown energy has become even more urgent.

Solar is a free and inexhaustible resource which has an important role to play as part of a balanced energy mix. Large scale solar, alongside onshore and offshore wind, is now the cheapest source of electricity generation3 making solar development not only beneficial for the environment but also for bill payers. If consented, Longhedge Solar Farm would be capable of producing clean, green electricity for approximately 15,2004 homes every year.

Another environmental benefit of the solar farm is that RES propose a large range of measures which would significantly enhance the biodiversity of the site.  These measures include planting of native trees and over 2.5km of new species-rich hedgerows and the installation of bird and bat boxes, hedgehog houses, reptile hibernacula, invertebrate hotels and additional bee banks. The proposals would lead to a biodiversity net gain of over 100%5.

Longhedge would also provide recreational benefits to a wide range of Public Rights of Way users through the creation of two permissive bridleways. Permissive bridleway A, to the west of the site, provides a safe off-road route from the village of Hawksworth connecting with the existing bridleway running across the north of the site. Permissive bridleway B runs along the eastern side of the site toward the village of Thoroton to the south where it connects to the existing Public Right of Way.

The solar farm could deliver direct benefit to the area - generating jobs during construction and decommissioning. Inward investment can be significant as a range of services will be required including haulage, on-site welfare facilities, refuse and recycling facilities, transport and local accommodation for construction workers. In addition, the solar farm would be paying business rates every year, money which goes direct to Rushcliffe Borough Council to support local services.

If, having read the above, you would like to support the Longhedge Solar Farm proposal, you can do so by submitting a representation in a number of ways:

1. Online: via the Planning Online website.

2. Email: by emailing Rushcliffe Borough Council at planningandgrowth@rushcliffe.gov.uk

3. Post: by writing to Rushcliffe Borough Council at Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford, NOTTINGHAM, NG2 7YG

The planning reference is 22/02241/FUL and should be included in all correspondence.


1 https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/CCC-Accelerated-Electrification-Vivid-Economics-Imperial-1.pdf

2 https://solarenergyuk.org/resource/lighting-the-way-making-net-zero-a-reality-with-solar-energy/

3 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/6556027d046ed400148b99fe/electricity-generation-costs-2023.pdf

4 The 15,200 homes figure has been calculated by taking the predicted average annual electricity generation of the site and dividing this by the annual average electricity figures from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing that the annual UK average domestic household consumption is 3,748 kWh (Dec 21).

5 The Biodiversity Management Plan encompasses enhancement and compensation measures to ensure the proposed solar farm will lead to a net gain for local wildlife. The Biodiversity Net Gain Metric returned the following results: net gain for biodiversity of 187.13% area-based habitat gain and 24.68% hedgerow unit gain (see Appendix 2.2 of the planning application for further information).