Allerton Bywater Parish Council backs Leeds solar energy park proposals

January 20, 2021 | Barnsdale Solar News

Pictured above: An operational solar farm in the UK

Plans for an innovative new renewable energy scheme to the south east of Leeds have won the backing of the local parish council.

Independent renewable energy firm Banks Renewables has put forward a planning application for the new Barnsdale solar energy park, which will be able to produce enough energy to meet the annual requirements of up to 12,000 family homes and would displace over 9,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network each year by doing so.

The scheme would include solar panels covering an area of around 50 hectares of south-facing land between Kippax and Allerton Bywater, around three miles from the Hook Moor wind farm which Banks Renewables owns and operates.

And having discussed the project at their most recent meeting, the members of Allerton Bywater Parish Council have expressed their support for the project to Leeds City Council, which is expected to consider Banks’ planning application in the coming months.

Councillor Ken Asprey, vice chair of Allerton Bywater Parish Council, says: “It’s up to all of us to do what we can to reduce the impact of global warming and making greater use of renewable energy is one way in which we can address this.

“The Barnsdale scheme clearly tallies with national green energy policies and would be located in a secluded position which would have little impact on the local landscape.

“The benefits fund that would come with the project would make a big difference to the facilities that residents can access for decades to come, and with funding for community projects getting ever more difficult to obtain, it will be central to fulfilling the plans we have for developing what’s available in our area.

“Banks has worked here for a long time, we’re comfortable with how they operate and can see no reason why the Barnsdale project shouldn’t be approved.”

As part of Banks Renewables’ policy of delivering tangible benefits to the local communities in which its operations are based, over £800,000 of the revenues generated by the Barnsdale solar energy park would be directed into a benefits fund that would provide funding for local charities, community groups and good causes over the lifetime of the project.

The project would link directly into the Ledston Primary electricity sub-station which is situated along Barnsdale Road, to the south east of the site, while it would also see a detailed ecology and biodiversity strategy delivered to ensure the site provides a net local benefit in biodiversity.

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “Our Barnsdale proposals have drawn a positive response from a wide range of local residents and stakeholders, and we’re very grateful that Allerton Bywater Parish Council has also given its backing to our plans.

“The Barnsdale solar energy park will extend the contribution that we can make towards generating more of the energy used in our homes, schools and workplaces via renewable means while also substantially benefiting the community in which it would be located.

“We hope Leeds City Council’s planning committee will recognise the many environmental, ecological and community benefits that the Barnsdale scheme will deliver and will be minded to support our vision for this important project.”

Local residents, businesses and community groups can find out more about the proposed Barnsdale solar energy park, share their views and register their support for the project by visiting www.banksgroup.co.uk/barnsdalesolar

Members of the project team can also be contacted with any queries about the proposals via barnsdale@banksgroup.co.uk

Banks has worked here for a long time, we’re comfortable with how they operate and can see no reason why the Barnsdale project shouldn’t be approved.

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