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Proposal to install solar panels on former colliery land near Chesterfield

Published: 8 May 2024

We've submitted a planning application to place solar panels for renewable energy generation on 2 fields near Chesterfield.

We received planning consent to install solar panels in 2015 on land which we own, next to Williamthorpe Country Park off the A617 Mansfield Road

But the removal of subsidies, or money from central government that renewable energy generation projects could claim meant the project was not progressed further at the time and planning permission for the site expired.

Now we are reapplying for planning permission to develop a small solar farm on the site, which is on reclaimed land formerly part of Williamthorpe Colliery.

A recent review of county council-owned property found that the 2 fields in Williamthorpe were the most suitable for renewable energy generation from solar power.

The layout, size and scale of the proposed development will be largely unchanged from the previously approved plans. But the new proposal will include additional planting, wildflower seeding and tree planting, to improve the habitat for wildlife and insects, and help to screen the site from view.

The solar panels could produce around 3 million kWh of electricity each year, which will help to offset carbon emissions generated by the council’s estate and generate future income for the council by selling the energy back to the National Grid.

Councillor Carolyn Renwick, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment, said:

“In recent years, the issue of climate change has become increasingly important. The need to switch towards renewable energy - away from fossil fuels - is a necessary part of the UK strategy to reduce carbon emissions and our own journey to becoming a net zero council by 2032 or sooner.

“That’s why we’re looking to put this former colliery land to good use to generate ‘clean’ renewable energy to help tackle climate change.”

Anyone interested in viewing and commenting on the plans can do so as part of the normal planning process by visiting