Solar farm planned for former Desborough Airfield

File picture from the Solar Trade Association
File picture from the Solar Trade Association

Another large solar panel farm has been proposed for the area.

The latest green energy plan is for the former Desborough Airfield, off Stoke Albany Road, south of Wilbarston and the A427.

The solar panels would cover 112 hectares of land – the equivalent of about 80 football pitches.

It would produce about 49 MW of energy.

This is the latest and biggest of four solar farms now proposed for the greater Harborough area alone.

The first application was for a solar farm the size of 70 football pitches on land just 400 metres from the south-eastern edge of Harborough, near Braybrooke.

That site would be between the A6 and the railway line.

The second application, reported by the Mail in July, was for a site north-west of Beeches Farm, Theddingworth, and would cover the equivalent of 62 football pitches.

There is also a plan to create a solar panel park in the Lutterworth area at School Farm adjacent to the A5, about two miles south-west of Lutterworth.

It would cover the equivalent of 35 football pitches.

The newly-formed company behind the Desborough Airfield application is called NF RAF Desb’ Limited.

It has a registered address at New Broad Street in London.

The area it wants to put the solar panels on is mainly agricultural land, plus hard standing and aircraft hangars associated with the site’s former use.

The application, in its very early stages, will be considered by Kettering Council.

The former airfield site is bordered by three sites of special scientific interest, including Pipewell Woods to the east and Stoke and Bowd Lane Woods to the west.

James Beard, a spokesman for the Solar Trade Association, said: “A solar farm, if it’s well positioned and well screened, is an asset.

“It’s all about how well planned it is.”

But the Council for Protection of Rural England is less impressed with solar farms.

The CPRE says: “The increase of inappropriate wind farms and solar photovoltaic parks threatens to severely damage our matchless countryside.”

A recent YouGov poll revealed that 74 per cent of British people want more solar power. The same poll said 67 per cent thought solar power was a realistic way of combating climate change.