Plans submitted to North Yorkshire Council to build solar farm on land next to Wetherby Services
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The land north of the service station, which is currently used for agricultural purposes, spans more than five hectares but it would be turned over to solar panels under plans submitted by Moto Services to North Yorkshire Council this month.
According to planning documents, the proposal forms part of Moto’s strategy to bring forward solar farms on land next to Moto’s existing service stations.
Moto Services is the United Kingdom’s largest motorway service station operator with 59 sites.
It is expected the solar panels would be able to generate up to 7MW of renewable energy.
The screening opinion application asks the council if an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be submitted for a future full planning application for the solar farm.
The majority of the site is in a zone with a low flood zone risk.
However, as part of it is also located in areas with medium to high risk of flooding, North Yorkshire Council has recommended that its flooding department is consulted on the proposal.
The solar farm application follows the launch of 12 EV charging points at Wetherby Services last year.
Planning documents state: “The proposed development is deemed crucial for the ongoing functionality of the associated Wetherby MSA.
"Electric vehicles will play a big part in the transition to zero emission transport, but to achieve these targets, it is imperative that suitable infrastructure is provided to support electric vehicles.
“The proposed development forms part of Moto’s wider strategy to bring forward solar farms on land adjacent to Moto’s existing MSAs, which will generate much needed electricity to power the EV Chargers at their services.”
In May, neighbouring authority Leeds City Council approved plans for 762 homes just 600m south of the site.
However, Moto says considering the “scale and nature” of the proposed solar farm development it would “unlikely lead to significant adverse effects” on the housing development.