Solar Farm Consent, Belfast Road

Outline of Project:

This week, Lightsource Renewable Energy achieved consent for a 10MW solar farm development within County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The development is capable of generating enough clean energy to power 2,563 average homes and offset 4,830 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Neo Environmental’s involvement:

Neo Environmental undertook all of the environmental assessments required for the successful consent of the proposed development and advised on the final design of the solar farm. The assessments and reports completed by Neo Environmental included: Cultural Heritage & Archaeology (including a geophysical survey), Ecology (Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (including 3D visualisations), Construction Traffic Management Plan (including swept path analysis), Flood Risk Assessment (including swale design), Landscape Plan and Biodiversity Management Plan.

With regards to archaeology, the Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record identified 5 potential sites. In order to identify the extent of possible archaeology within the site, a geophysical survey was undertaken which identified three archaeological sites within the development boundary, including two possible enclosures and a possible prehistoric barrow. An archaeological evaluation is required as part of the discharge of conditions process, which will provide further information on these sites and will allow micro siting to avoid significant remains.

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