Name: Court Colman
Council: Bridgend County Borough Council
Location: Court Colman, Bridgend
Installed capacity: 14.96 MW
Land area: 63.3 Acres (25.63 Ha)
CO2 saving per annum: Up to 6,459 tonnes
Being located next to the Court Colman Hotel, which is a Grade 2 Listed Building and Registered Park, and the Laleston Special Landscape Area, from a planning perspective this site was regarded as being highly sensitive. This was compounded by the need for a convoluted 4 Km long grid connection cable route which meant that any potential adverse effects of the development could be felt within three separate Community Council areas.
Understanding these sensitivities, the project team worked very closely with the Council and the three Community Councils to ensure that appropriate mitigation strategies were put in place to minimise the effects of the project upon the local residents. Listening closely and acting upon the feedback received the project was slightly down-scaled to ensure that there were no adverse visual impacts upon the Court Colman Hotel. The local community flagged up that their biggest concern was the HGV traffic generated during the construction period. To address these fears the project team proposed and agreed a comprehensive construction traffic management plan with the Highways Authority. As a result of all our community consultations, hard work and pro-active mitigations planning consent was granted in December 2014.
Prior to the start of construction work Suncredit set up a Project Liaison Group with representatives from the Community Council, Highways Authority and other key stakeholders. This was to provide a forum to discuss, exchange and disseminate Information to the local community in respect of all construction related activities and HGV deliveries. This greatly smoothed the progress of the project and eliminated many of the fears regarding its effects upon the local residents.
The construction of the solar farm was technically very demanding due to the wettest weather experienced for many decades. In particular, the grid connection cable needed to cross underneath the River Ogwyr and the directional drilling required to facilitate this proved exceptionally demanding and more complex than originally anticipated. Through the project team’s persistence, technical skills and problem solving abilities the solar farm became operational in November 2015.
As part of our giving back initiative, the local community benefit fund was made available and has been put to good use: