3. Noise and visual considerations

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3. Noise and visual considerations

Landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA)

We appreciate that for many local residents, what the scheme looks like is a key consideration. To assess the impact of the proposed solar farm on the local area, a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) has been carried out as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

The LVIA assessed an area, circa 2.5km around the site as the likelihood of the panels being visible beyond this is very low. The panels themselves will sit up to 3m high and whilst they will be visible from some specific vantage points, given the nature of the landform, existing natural features, including hedgerows and trees, they will likely be screened from most angles and viewpoints.

We have undertaken various baseline studies and assessments to aid us in the design of each plot of land to ensure minimal visual impact. This has been undertaken in line with other considerations such as ecology and habitat preservation.

Where required, we have included mitigation such as additional planting and enhancement of hedgerows, trees and woodland blocks. This mitigation planting would be maintained throughout the lifetime of the project.

Further detailed information about this can be found in Chapter 7 of the ES, and also in the Design and Access Statement.

Noise and vibration

Solar farms are very quiet energy generating facilities. They have very few moving parts and as such require less ongoing maintenance and generate little noise or vibration. Transformers are required to convert the electricity to the correct voltage to export, and whilst these are not particularly noisy, they do generate a ‘low hum’ at close distances.

By its nature, the solar farm is only operational during daylight hours, so noise impacts at night would be negligible.

During construction, noise from construction vehicles and plant materials would be generated. This noise would vary, however normal daytime operating period and measures to reduce potential noise impacts (such as the erection of hoarding) would be adhered to.

As part of the EIA, we have undertaken a noise assessment, utilising information about the proposed scheme including proposed construction activities. To inform this, we have undertaken baseline noise monitoring to understand current noise levels around the site.

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