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Solar scheme for campsite in Hulme End

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 23, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A CARAVAN and camping site could soon benefit from solar power heating if a planning application is approved.

Proposals have been submitted to the Peak District National Park Authority to erect 96 ground mounted solar PV panels at Upper Hurst Farm, in Hulme End.

It is proposed that a 40 metre (131 feet) by eight metre (26 feet) section of a field is used to ground-mount an array of four rows of 24 solar panels.

Each individual panel will be fitted onto a Renusol control system that will sit on the field at ground level.

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A design and access statement submitted with the application said: "This particular method of installing ground mounted solar panels is more expensive than other systems, where the solar panels are stacked higher, but has very much reduced visual impact to its relatively low height.

"Since April 2012 there has been a caravan and camping site operating. Towards the end of this year or the beginning of next year two of the barns will be occupied as residential accommodation. In the next year or so there will also be a holiday cottage in use.

"As such, there will be a large demand for electricity and hot water requirements.

"At Upper Hurst Farm, which has 30 acres, the aim has always been to become fully sustainable.

"In the summer of 2013 a biomass boiler was installed that burns wood pellets and logs. This now serves all of the hot water and heating requirements for the caravan and camping site and the farmhouse, and will serve the finished barn renovation and eventually the piggery when it is converted into a holiday cottage."

The design statement states that the greatest demand for electricity, mirrors the time when the sun shines the most.

The reports adds: "It is clear that to harness the energy of the sunshine for the purpose of providing electricity makes perfect sense. The aim is also to provide electricity for all of the dwellings and potential holiday cottage." Currently the field proposed to erect the solar panels is used for growing silage and the amount required for panels would be 320 square metres.

The statement said: "As a percentage of the total field area is 15,500 square metres this represents two per cent. Therefore siting the solar panels will not effect current silage production.

"Furthermore, if the use was changed to grazing of sheep, then sheep can comfortably graze alongside and around the solar panels."

A decision on the application is expected to be made by planners within the next eight weeks.

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