410-acre Derbyshire solar farm plans set to be submitted

Oaklands Farm Solar Park site plan

After three years of planning, BayWa r.e. UK is now prepared to present its Oaklands solar scheme proposal in Derbyshire.

Covering 410 acres between Walton and Rosliston, the project will soon be submitted to the Government Planning Inspectorate.

The validation and online publication of the application could take approximately a month.

After public consultations and hearings led by a Government-appointed inspector, the planning application assessment phase is anticipated to take another year.

The final decision will be made by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities.

The proposed Oaklands project has a potential annual electricity generation of 138 megawatts and this output could power approximately 35,000 homes, which is close to the number of homes in South Derbyshire.

According to the developer, construction is targeted to begin in 2026, with completion slated for 2027, as reported to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

In 2022, district councillors opposed the plans, with council leader, councillor Kevin Richards, expressing concerns that the project would give the district the appearance of “a reflective plate” when viewed from space.

The council has also previously opposed several solar farm schemes, including a 173-acre scheme rejected in July 2022 and subsequently denied by a Government inspector in July 2023, citing the need to safeguard valuable agricultural land used for potato cultivation for Walkers crisps.