Solar Farm Alternative Site Assessment

Client: Various

Following changes to national Planning Practice Guidance, local authorities are increasingly requesting Alternative Site Assessments (ASAs) to accompany planning applications for ground-mounted solar farm developments. To assist our clients, Lichfields has developed a data rich model for assessing proposed and alternative sites against a range of key environmental, policy and visual impact criteria.
We use mapping and spatial analysis techniques to help demonstrate that the application site is of low environmental sensitivity, relative to alternative sites in the area. The outputs illustrate that there are unlikely to be more suitable alternative sites, including previously developed and lower grade agricultural land, for a solar farm development of a comparable scale to that proposed. The model is also used as a site finding tool to assist renewable energy developers to identify relatively unconstrained areas of the country where capacity exists at a point of connection to the electricity grid.