Fourth solar farm planned for Wix

Essex County Standard: Fourth solar farm planned for Wix Fourth solar farm planned for Wix

FARMLAND between Bradfield and Wix could become north Essex’s own Megawatt Valley, with plans for a fourth solar farm in the area now in play.

A planning application for a 63- acre site at Burnt Ash Farm, off Spinnels Lane, Wix, now joins the two other proposals to be considered by Tendring Council and a third which has already been approved.

Kinetica Solar has applied to fill two fields with solar panels, raised 5ft off the ground and capable of producing enough electricity to power 3,400 homes.

The panels would be screened by hedgerows and trees and surrounded by a 7ft-tall mesh security fence. The fence would include small animal gates to allow badgers and other creatures to move across the site.

Chris Akrill, who is acting on behalf of Kinetica, said: “There would be about 20 acres of panel, about a third of the total area covered by the site.

“My client had a look at a few sites around here before choosing this one. Other sites he felt were too close to main roads. Here, the panels will be surrounded by hedgerows and trees.

“The site is removed from the village, so will have less visual impact.”

Mr Akrill said other parts of the site would be planted with wild flowers and areas for birds to nest. The council is also considering plans to site 16,000 solar panels less than a mile away from Burnt Ash Farm, at Barn Farm.

A decision has been put on hold because protected great crested newts were found nearby.

Councillors are also considering Hive Energy’s application for Green Farm, in Oakley Road, also between Wix and Bradfield.

The company wants to cover 37 acres of land with panels about 7ft off the ground.

Plans for a solar farm at Wix Lodge, north of the A120 bypass, have already been approved.

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