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Amendments to solar scheme at Aberporth’s QinetiqQ site backed

Ceredigion Council headquarters at Penmorfa in Aberaeron (Pic: Google Streetview)

AMENDMENTS to a scheme for a solar panel array at MoD Aberporth’s QinetiqQ site, which would provide nearly half the power needed by the facility, has been backed by Ceredigion planners.

At the May meeting of the authority’s development management committee an application, made by the Secretary of State for Defence, for the installation of ground-mounted solar panels and associated works at the Mod Aberporth Range, was backed by members.

A report for committee members said: “The planning statement submitted as part of the application states that the proposed development would provide around 42 per cent of the energy needs of the compound and would contribute towards the sustainability and net zero goals of the MoD facilities and the wider Government’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

“The solar panels would be sited on currently underused area of land within the compound.

“It states that other options such as wind turbines would be unsuitable within this location due to potential landscape and visual effects, and would also have the potential to interfere with the radar capabilities within the MoD compound and could also impact on aircraft landing and taking off at nearby airfields.

“The use of ground-mounted solar panels are considered to be an effective and viable option to meet the energy demands of the compound in a sustainable and carbon reduction manner.”

It finished by saying the proposals “would not have an adverse effect on natural heritage objectives and the local community, or any other matters”.

Since that approval, an application was submitted for amendments to the approved plans; an officer report detailing the proposed amendments, saying “The application seeks to amend one of the approved plans to allow for an amended PV layout scheme. There are no changes proposed to the approved site boundary. The new layout would consolidate a number of panels located at the northern extremity of the site to the centre of the site.

“In addition, the panels that would previously have been located in the south-western extremity of the site would be consolidated within the remainder of the hardstanding area in the south.”

The amendments were approved by officers under delegated powers.

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