'Significant' archaeological find means change of plans for solar farm site near Bedford

Changes needed to protect the “sensitive” area
Site location. Screenshot Application Statement for 23 02238 M73Site location. Screenshot Application Statement for 23 02238 M73
Site location. Screenshot Application Statement for 23 02238 M73

An archaeological dig on a solar farm site near Bedford has led to a change of plans so the “significant” find can be protected.

Planning permission for the solar farm on land north of College Farm, Green Lane, Clapham was granted by Bedford Borough Council in January.

However, an archaeology evaluation that had to be carried out before the development started identified an area of “significant archaeological interest”.

This fieldwork found an Iron Age feature which has been identified as an “archaeological sensitive area”.

The applicants are now seeking to exclude that area from the approved panel deployment area.

It is proposed that to compensate for this change, solar panels should be installed along the southern extent of the panel deployment area.

The applicants added that this area is still within the planning application boundary.

If approved, this change would result in two additional short rows of panels located in the western half of the site.

More information can be found on the council’s planning portal, reference 23/02238/M73. The overall consultation expiry date is Monday, November 20, 2023.