Aura Power is developing a solar farm project on land near Newton in East Staffordshire.
If approved, Moreton Brook Solar Farm will be built without subsidy and would generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of over 16,000 homes, saving around 12,000 tonnes of carbon entering the atmosphere each year.
The UK has a legally binding target to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050 as well as completely decarbonising the UK’s power supplies by 2035 and solar farms like this play a big part in reaching that target.
Solar farms not only increase the supply of clean power but as solar is the lowest cost form of new energy generation will also help to reduce national power prices.
It offers a number of benefits locally with net gains in biodiversity and a community benefit fund of £20,000 a year for the lifetime of the solar farm amounting to £600,000 in total. The fund is offered to support local social, educational and environmental projects.
As a local business, the development will be contributing over £80,000 in business rates to East Staffordshire Council every year as well as providing local green jobs.
Listening to the views of the local community is vital in helping us shape our plans and developing the best possible scheme. We held an online webinar and in-person public exhibition on the 24th and 25th October. The webinar and exhibition boards can be viewed further down the page.
We will now be taking on board the comments received and look to refine our plans before submitting a planning application to East Staffordshire Council. Community engagement is an ongoing process and we welcome feedback and comments on our plans at any point.
Initial plans presented at public exhibitions to gain feedback from local community.
Intention to submit planning application to East Staffordshire Council. We will work with the Council's Planning Officers to address all elements of the scheme.
Continue to engage with local community and take on board comments to address.
Anticipated decision on the planning application.
Anticipated construction year. Construction is expected to take around 6-8 months.
equivalent number of homes powered every year
Estimated figure is calculated using BEIS ‘Sub-national electricity consumption statistics 2021’ which reports an average domestic consumption per LPA Household
tonnes of CO2 saved every year
estimated figure calculated using the UK Government Gas Conversion Factor, BEIS, July 2021 of 0.2133 Tonnes Carbon/MWh. NV Calculations based on conservative expected electricity generation.
equivalent number of electric cars powered every year
Estimated figure calculated using an average mileage of 9435 miles per year (MOT data from RAC Foundation) and an average power consumption of 2,887 kWh (Electric Vehicle Database 2021)
Consulting with the local community is very important to us and a crucial part of getting our plans right.
To gain as much feedback as we can, we are offering an online event as well as two in person public exhibitions. Both events provide a platform to learn about the proposal and ask questions to our project team. Details of both can be found below:
Online event: Held on Tuesday 24th October 2023 at 6pm
Please see recording of webinar below.
In-person Exhibition: Held on Wednesday 25th October 2023 4pm - 7pm - Admaston Village Hall
The exhibition boards can be found in the Useful Links box.
If you were unable to make either of the events and would like to speak to us, please contact us using the contact details below.
0117 214 1971
•As well as solar panels and associating infrastructure, the proposal will include new planting such as species rich wildflowers, native tree and hedgerows, improved grasses
•Significant gains in biodiversity and improvements to habitats
•Avoids using the most productive agricultural land
•Environmental studies underway including; visual impact, heritage, ecology, highways, noise and hydrology
•Continued agricultural use and food production with sheep grazing
•Community feedback will help shape the design before we submit a planning application.
This proposal includes species rich wildflower meadows, grassland, native trees and hedgerow planting with a predicted Net Gain in Biodiversity.
Solar farms are proven to have a positive impact on biodiversity and nature recovery as evidenced by a recent study on solar farms in the UK by Solar Energy UK. To view the full report please click here.
The increase required in solar power cannot be achieved through rooftop and brownfield sites alone. As a result, ground mounted solar is also needed. This site has been carefully selected due to:
•Well separated from residential areas with potential to plant a significant amount of trees and hedgerows
•No environmental or landscape designations on site
•Opportunity to connect into the electricity grid
•Opportunities to boost biodiversity
CONSTRUCTION & ACCESS
• Indicative route to site from A51 via Colton Road, B5013 and Lea Lane, using major road networks as far as possible
• Peak construction traffic will take place in the first few weeks across a 6-8 month period
• Local residents along the route will be notified in advance
• A Construction and Traffic Management Plan will be prepared and agreed with the Council prior to construction
Your feedback is very important to us. Please leave a comment and one of our project team will get back to you as soon as possible.