A PROPOSAL to extend the life of a large solar farm on land near Highampton for an extra 15 years has been agreed by West Devon Borough Council.

WDBC’s planning committee approved Quintas Energy UK’s application 2961/22/VAR for the site at Willsland, which seeks to extend the operational farm for a further 15 years beyond the current expiry date of 2037, up until 2052.

The application states that all the equipment must be dismantled within six months of energy generation stopping on the site.

A statement issued with the application said: ‘The extension of the life cycle of this development will increase the production of renewable energy.

‘Those aspects of the condition that seek the technology to be removed and the site restored would be retained on cessation of the 40-year period or if the panels stop producing renewable energy.

The site is 2.3km to the west of Hatherleigh, with farm buildings to the north and open fields on all other sides. It is spread over five fields, with 13,244 static solar PV panels on 208 arrays. The applicants state that while the solar farm was originally set up for the 25-year lifespan of the Feed in Tarif subidies, it was now felt that the farm could continued operating commercially without subsidies beyond that.

Also in Highampton, an application for up to 19 residential dwellings including public open space has been withdrawn (1266/22/OPA). The application has been made by Mrs Urand at Hawley House on Church Road. The application has received a number of ojbections from individuals, but has been supprted by Highampton Parish Council, provided that it is carried out in accordance with the Parish Plan. Details of the mix of housing has not been supplied at this stage.