Plans for ‘solar panel park’ revealed

PLANS are in the pipeline for the creation of a ‘solar panel park’ near Galashiels.

About 11,000 solar panels could fill a field between Easter Langlee and Glendearg if Green Switch Solutions goes ahead with a planning application to Scottish Borders Council.

The Lancashire-based company has written to the council requesting formal opinion from planning officers on whether an environmental impact assessment will be required along with any future planning application.

Details in the letter reveal the company’s plans, which include the installation of the solar panels in long rows, the creation of access tracks and the erection of an inverter/sub-station.

The field, currently used for grazing, is just north of the council’s landfill site at Easter Langlee.

The letter from Liam Kelly, construction manager for Green Switch Solutions, says: “It is considered that the development would not have a significant impact on the environment.”

Mr Kelly added: “There would be no adverse impact on the conservation, historic or landscape setting of settlements. The impact on character and views would be limited because of the small height and little movement of the panels.

“The proposed development does not encroach on the links between built-up areas within the countryside. The nature of the solar panel farm is reversible, reducing its impact, which is likely to be decommissioned after 25 years.”

The 12.5 acre site, immediately adjacent to the road, has been identified by the firm as having “good potential” for solar power generation, though detailed technical site investigations are still being carried out.