Plans are under way to create a solar energy farm in the grounds of a global motorsports business in Dovenby.

Custom Solar Ltd, from Derbyshire, has applied to Allerdale Council to build a ground-mounted solar PV system to provide power to on-site buildings at M-Sport.

The installation would cover an area of 0.252 hectares and would have an operational life expectancy of 25 years.

It would be built at the south west corner of the M-Sport racetrack site, which is currently grassed and was previously parklands at Dovenby Hall.

The installation of solar panels and associated infrastructure includes an access route and cabling route to a substation.

PV panels would be mounted on steel stanchions raising the solar panels a minimum of 600mm above the surrounding ground level to a maximum of 2000mm above ground level.

As part of the application Wilde Ecology was consulted on the potential impact on habitat from the build.

Jenny Holden-Wilde, from Wilde Ecology, did not anticipate any ecological concerns. She said in her report: “As can be seen from the landscaping plan, panel location layout and aerial image, the location does not impact any of the existing mitigation for wildlife on site.”

She added that after installation, the run off from the panels and access to maintain them would need to be taken into account, but there would be no risk in the long-term to the ecology if measures were taken such as matting/skid boards to prevent further erosion of the soil, matting walkways to stabilise the soil where people will regularly walk to maintain the solar panels, and the application of native grass and wildflower mix following installation.

A drainage strategy by BMG Surveys Ltd supports the planning application to the council by Custom Solar Ltd. The drainage strategy considers the risk of flooding from all sources, including from fluvial, tidal, surface water, groundwater, existing and proposed drainage infrastructure, and other artificial sources, but concludes that the development is safe and appropriate.

Further information can be found at Allerdale council planning portal under FUL/2021/0050.

M-Sport were contacted for a comment on the proposed installation.