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Outwood Solar Farm

Essex, MS Power Projects Ltd

OPEN was commissioned by MS Power Projects to undertake the Landscape and Visual Appraisal (LVA) of Outwood Solar Farm, Essex. The screening opinion from the local planning authority stated that although there was no requirement for an EIA for the solar farm, a landscape and visual appraisal should be submitted with the planning application.

The Development is situated within a 24.6 ha site and consists of a series of Photo-voltaic (PV) panels, mounted in double rows approximately 2.5m above ground level, with a capacity of up to 12MW. The panels are spread across the site alongside associated transformation enclosures and grid connection enclosures.

The application for Outwood Solar Farm was approved by Basildon Council in December 2014. Through a combination of desk based research, site visits and 3D modelling, OPEN assessed that most of the main effects of the Solar Farm were likely to be in the immediate surroundings of the proposed site due to the low lying nature of the site and the degree of natural screening from surrounding vegetation.

3D modelling assisted in the design and illustration of mitigation planting proposals.
The site, set across four fields, is currently used for agricultural crops. The mitigation planting will assist in enhancing the ecological and landscape value of the site and follows guidance set out in the landscape character assessment for the area through the repair and enhancement of hedgerows.