Gately Moor Solar Farm
Proposed solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage development on Land south of Gately Moor Reservoir, near Redmarshall, Stockton-on-Tees
Community Consultation Website
Welcome to the public consultation for Gately Moor Solar Farm. On this website we introduce the proposals to you, add more information as the project progresses and provide a way to get in touch
It is envisaged that Gately Moor Solar Farm will have a generating capacity of up to 49.99 megawatts. In order to fully utilise the network connection, the proposal will include battery storage which could store the renewable energy for times of peak demand from consumers. The scheme will support Government legislation to decarbonise our energy system and make the UK carbon neutral by 2050.
About the Developer
The development proposals are being proposed by Novergy and Canadian Solar.
The Novergy Team have one of the strongest track records in the UK Solar PV sector with direct involvement in over 1GW of large-scale solar projects, that's about 15% of all sites built to date. The company’s mission now is the origination, development, design, financing, construction and operation of new solar PV in the UK. Novergy is focused on the provision of clean solar electricity, helping to make a more sustainable, low-carbon future.
Canadian Solar, founded in 2001, is a long-standing major player in the global solar technology industry. It is one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic producers and energy solution providers, as well as one of the largest solar farm developers globally. The company’s mission is to foster sustainable development and create a better, cleaner earth for future generations by generating electricity from the sun. Canadian Solar has a strong track record of projects in the UK including Royston Solar Park (Hertfordshire), Wick Road Solar Park (Somerset) and Pant-Y-Moch Solar Park (Port Talbot).
Canadian Solar and Novergy place value on engaging with parties from all sectors including community groups to understand the requirements of different partners and stakeholders.
Novergy and Canadian Solar will be supported in the preparation and development of Gately Moor Solar Farm by an experienced consultant team. Pegasus Group are the planning agent.
Why are Solar Farms Important?
The Government's National Planning Practice Guidance supports renewable and low carbon energy schemes like solar farms “to make sure the UK has a secure energy supply, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow down climate change and stimulate investment in new jobs and businesses.”
In 2019, the UK became the first country in the world to declare a Climate Emergency and has subsequently committed to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In October 2021 the UK Government set out its Net Zero commitments and obligations in the ‘Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’. Amongst a number of initiatives, the Strategy confirms that by 2035 all our electricity will need to come from low carbon sources. The Strategy affirms that we need to continue to drive rapid deployment of renewables so that we can reach substantially greater capacity beyond 2030.
The proposal will:
Offer green, clean and sustainable renewable energy which is generated quietly without emitting any carbon dioxide or any other greenhouse gases during operation.
The Gately Moor Solar Farm proposal will generate enough clean electricity to power up to approximately 14,000 homes per year over a 40- year period
Enhance biodiversity through the planting of native hedgerows and trees, the seeding of enhanced grassland and establishing areas of wildflowers.
Provide appropriate hedgerow management and strengthening to encourage wildlife use and enhancement of habitats and corridors within the site.
Create jobs during the construction phase and operation phase with an emphasis on using local contractors where possible.
Provide a community benefit fund to the local area working alongside local community groups.
Support the objectives of the Climate Change Act’s target of “net zero” by 2050 as well as the UKs proposed legally binding climate change targets of a 78 per cent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2035.
Contribute towards Stockton-on-Tees Borough and Darlington Borough Councils' ambitions to take action to mitigate the impact of climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
This site has been carefully selected as part of a detailed feasibility process which includes the consideration of grid capacity, sunlight irradiation, environmental designations, cultural heritage, ecology and biodiversity, flood risk and agricultural land grading. The site has been chosen for a number of reasons including:
This site has a technically and commercially viable grid connection.
The site is suitable for construction in terms of topography and field structure.
The site is entirely located in Flood Zone 1 (i.e. with the lowest risk of flooding).
The site has good access to the main highway network.
The site contains no areas of higher quality agricultural land.
A variety of technical surveys are being carried out to confirm that the land is suitable for solar energy farm use.
The site extends to approximately 93 hectares and comprises agricultural land across two blocks of land which are divided by a road linking Whinny Hill and Bishopton. The western section of the site is located within the administrative area of Darlington Borough Council and the eastern portion of the site (including the grid connection corridor) is located within the administrative area of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. There is a parcel of land positioned to the north of Letch Lane which is proposed as a private substation compound and the National Grid substation compound is also within the redline boundary.
Agricultural Land Classification
An Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) survey has been undertaken at the site. The survey has confirmed that the proposed solar site comprises Grade 3b 'moderate quality' agricultural land, which is not classed as best and most
Highways and Access
Access arrangements are currently being considered, the site has good access on to the main highway network.
Once the solar farm is operational there will be very little traffic, limited to maintenance visits undertaken by transit van size vehicles.
Public Rights of Ways (PROW) run in close proximity to the site. There is a PROW (Redmarshall 3) which runs along eastern boundary of the site in a north-westerly direction from Oxe Eye Farm towards Redmarshall. There is also a PROW (Carlton 6) running along the northern boundary of the parcel of land which is proposed for the substation compound. Public footpath no. 7 in the Parish of Bishopton and footpath no. 4 in the Parish of East and West Newbiggin run through the western most parcel of land. The nearby Public Rights of Way will be unaffected by the proposals and will be enhanced where possible.
The closest Scheduled Monument (Motte and Bailey Castle) is located approximately 1.1km north of the northern site Bishopton Conservation Area is located approximately 1km north of the site at its closest point. A number of Grade I, Grade II and Grade II* Listed Buildings are located within the nearby village of Redmarshall and Bishopton. A Heritage Assessment and Geophysical Survey will be undertaken prior to the application being submitted.
The site is entirely located in Flood Zone 1 (i.e. with the lowest risk of flooding).
Landscape and Biodiversity
There are a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI's) and Local Nature Reserves within the surrounding area. There are two SSSI's located within approximately 3km of the site: Briarcroft Pasture and Whitton Bridge Pasture.
A range of landscape measures have been proposed to reduce any potential impacts on the local landscape receptors. The landscape measures include the retention of existing hedgerows and trees, the ‘gapping up’ of sparse / open sections of hedgerows to enhance screening around the site’s boundaries as well as planting of new hedgerows and trees. A Landscape Assessment is currently being prepared to accompany the planning application.
The future application will also be supported by an Ecological Assessment to identify constraints and opportunities for biodiversity enhancements.
It is acknowledged that solar farms present a unique opportunity for long term biodiversity enhancement. The proposal will aim to achieve that through habitat retention and minimising disturbance, as well as achieving biodiversity net gain by increasing the variety and volume of species on and around the site.
The proposed development is for a 49.99 megawatt ground-mounted solar farm with associated energy storage. Additional landscaping and ecological enhancements are proposed to provide an on site biodiversity net gain.
The panels would be laid in north to south rows with a space around 3-5m between each row to allow for maintenance, sheep grazing and to avoid shading. Each panel would be installed on a single axis tracker mounting structure, which would be a simple metal framework mounted on piles driven into the ground, avoiding the need for substantive foundations, and which would have a typical overall height not exceeding 3m depending on existing ground levels, which would be unaltered.
Containerised solutions of less than the height of a single storey are envisaged to be strategically placed around the site (mainly inverters, transformers, and battery storage containers) to ensure the solar farm operates efficiently and effectively.
The proposals will also include underground cabling from the proposed solar farm to the Norton National Grid substation located to the east of Redmarshall and Carlton. All cabling will be buried underground.
Infrared security cameras monitored 24/7 mounted on poles will be installed around the site’s perimeter to ensure the safety of everyone concerned.
A fence up to approximately 2.4m in height will be erected around the perimeter of the site. The fence will include small mammal gates to allow native wildlife to freely enter and exit the site.
There will be no lighting at night.
Site access will utilise existing field entrances. Access tracks within the site will be kept to a minimum and they will be approximately 3.5m wide with the purpose of facilitating operation and maintenance of the solar farm.
Being a passive technology with low maintenance, the solar farm will only require low levels of vehicle movements once operational.
Contact and Feedback
Please provide any further comments you have on the proposal in the text box below.
You can also submit comments by email or post using the details provided.
Comments provided by the local community will be taken into account in shaping the final planning application submission. All comments must be provided by Wednesday 20th April .