Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Gate Burton energy park consultation draws more than 120 responses

Low Carbon’s Gate Burton Energy Park project team is reviewing the 120-plus views and comments it received during the second consultation exercise on its updated proposals to build a new solar energy park on land near Gate Burton, Lincolnshire.

Gate Burton Energy Park has the potential to generate around 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity – enough clean energy to power over 160,000 homes and avoid more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

Having held an initial consultation earlier this year on emerging proposals for the project, Low Carbon continued to shape and refine its plans, taking into consideration all feedback received. These updated proposals were then presented during this second stage of statutory consultation to give people living and working in the area the opportunity to continue to inform and influence the project development process.

Over the course of the six-week consultation which closed lsat week, Low Carbon held five in-person events at local community facilities, held two virtual information events, and met with residents in properties neighbouring the site to understand first-hand their concerns and answer any questions.

Mike Rutgers, Development Director at Low Carbon, said: “We are really grateful to all the people who took the time to take part in this consultation and would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who came along to events to speak with the team and provide us with their views on our proposals.

“Over the course of this consultation we’ve had some really constructive discussions and welcome the insight those conversations and subsequent feedback submitted to the consultation have provided. Feedback to the consultation covers a range of issues regarding the scheme, and we’ve also received some fantastic suggestions for projects and initiatives to consider supporting to benefit those communities nearest the site. We do also acknowledge that solar development stirs up strong feeling and we will bear that in mind as we continue to finalise our proposals.

“We’ll continue to update local communities and stakeholders on the project development process over the coming months. Now the consultation has closed the team is now focused on reviewing all the feedback submitted, alongside the findings from ongoing technical studies and environmental surveys, to help shape and refine the details of the scheme we set out in the application for development consent we anticipate submit to the  Planning Inspectorate by early 2023 at the latest.”

While this is likely to be the last time Low Carbon consults on its proposals for Gate Burton Energy Park before submitting an application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate, people will still have opportunity to contribute to the ongoing development process.

When the application is submitted, the Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to accept Low Carbon’s application for Gate Burton Energy Park and decide if it will proceed to examination stage. Subject to the application being accepted, those wishing to be involved will need to register their interest with the Planning Inspectorate who will then keep them updated on opportunities to contribute.

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