• Please wait..

Why here?

We fully appreciate that projects such as these in a rural setting may appear to be less favourable to those in built-up areas or brownfield sites. Mainly due to the potential they have to blight the landscape as well as the impact the construction may have on the biodiversity of the area. However, this location has been carefully selected as part of a detailed feasibility process.

Extensive consideration has been given to key criteria such as: maximum solar gain, environmental designations, ecology, biodiversity, flood risk and agricultural quality. Detailed studies have been carried out by technical specialists addressing these factors in the proposed scheme design and response to each of these points.

Benefits of Aston Marina solar array

It will assist Staffordshire County Council’s ambition to produce zero carbon emissions across the borough and to deliver a completely carbon neutral borough by 2050 to align with local, national and international targets.

The project will contribute to the UK’s urgent need to transition to a sustainable, clean future by enabling energy security and self-sufficiency in the local area.

Compared to pastoral farming, solar farms can support a biodiversity net gain by providing an overall increase in natural habitat and ecological features. Whilst there is an initial change to the countryside, the unmanned solar array and proposed planting scheme will fast become a haven for wildlife, producing a 10 – 15% biodiversity net gain.

Solar arrays are minimally invasive and allow land to lie fallow upon operation. A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) is undertaken by a qualified, independent surveyor to mitigate any effect on the landscape. Extensive design work has been conducted to ensure that the array will have a minimal visual impact on the landscape by using natural shielding methods.

The proposed array will allow us to install up to 10 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points on the site. Not only will they be predominantly powered by renewable, green energy sources but it assists with the continual growth of the EV network and positively impacting further to the 2050 net zero targets.

The anticipated construction period is approximately 3 - 4 months. With little to no impact on the local highways.


The proposed development will be sunken into the landscape, using natural soil bunding methods to shield the array from negatively visually impacting the landscape. All excess ground material from the proposed area will remain on site, recontouring the surrounding field to create a sympathetic yet aesthetically pleasing addition to the landscape.

It is paramount our proposal supports the natural existing landscape, the removal of trees and vegetation will be minimal, with a detailed planting scheme being implemented to create an overall biodiversity net gain in excess of 10% to the current site calculations. No hedgerows will be removed to accommodate this scheme.

Climate change and ecology

According to the UN, climate change is the ‘defining crisis of our time and it is happening even more quickly than we feared’. We have to create more renewable energy.

The UK Government has committed to reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68 percent by 2030, compared to1990 levels. In addition to this, the Government has made a legal commitment to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. This will require a rapid and expanded deployment of low carbon power, including solar. We recognise the importance of environmental protection and betterment as part of our commitment to operating sustainably and responsibly.

We have procured independent qualified ecologist advice to measure the biodiversity value of this project and to design enhancements to deliver a net biodiversity gain, consisting of improvements to natural habitats for a range of invertebrates, bees, small mammals, reptiles & birds has been a key consideration in the design of the array.

The review of the proposed site by an independent agricultural consultant stated that; ‘the proposed solar panels does not contain any best and most versatile (BMV) agricultural land and no lower quality land is available within the marina’s land holding for the siting of solar panels. The installation of solar panels in any event does not preclude the agricultural management of the land which can continue to be grazed or cut.’
The continuation of grassland, introduction an area of woodland around the external fencing and the planting of a varied array of flora and fauna provides suitable habitat & food sources for wildlife throughout the food chain.

How else are we working towards net zero emissions

Installation of up to 10 x new EV charging points to be powered predominantly by renewable energy, produced onsite, by ourselves.

In 2023 we installed a total of three air source heat pumps throughout the site. Increasing energy efficiency by an estimated 400% and significantly lowering our fossil fuel consumption in the form of LPG.

Ground source heat pump technology is used in our wedding & events venue to provide heating and hot water requirements without the aid of additional fuel sources.

All lighting on the site has now been successfully replaced with LED equivalents and smart technologies introduced where possible to monitor and control power consumption.

Smart monitoring equipment installed to gauge power requirements, peaks and identify potential reductions.

Two out of our three kitchens now run solely on Induction and electric equipment, with plans for our final kitchen to be moved fully electric in 2024. This has reduced our LPG consumption by an estimated 75%. The kitchens will be predominantly powered by the proposed solar array.

Smaller18kVA solar array has been successfully installed and is operational on the boat workshop, taking special consideration to the positioning in order not to create glare to the road or to impact negatively on aesthetics of the site.

This brochure forms part of our pre-submission consultation efforts in which we are asking for your opinion on this proposed solar array. Further consultation on the final scheme will be undertaken by the Local Planning Authority when the final application is registered with them.

Please take your time to consider the information within this brochure and should you have further questions or matters you may want to clarify, please simply contact a member of our team who will be happy to help. We would be grateful if you could complete the feedback form which will be used for the purpose of providing feedback to the project design team. And planning authority.

We agree and support with the guidance issued by the UK Government’s Chief Planner, which emphasised that planning applications that positively impact the country & local communities must continue to come forward. In addition, We believe that it is vital that local communities are able to see and shape planning applications that may have an impact. We therefore invite you to attend our public consultation event on Wednesday 31st January, between 3pm – 6pm.

During the event you will have the chance view our plans, learn more about our proposal and talk to the project team. We’re holding our public consultation event at The Hideaway, Aston Marina, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8QU.

Please wait while flipbook is loading. For more related info, FAQs and issues please refer to DearFlip WordPress Flipbook Plugin Help documentation.