Lincolnshire solar energy farm will be 'UK's largest'

The site of the former RAF base Image copyright Barton Wilmore
Image caption The former airfield will be transformed into a solar farm with 196,000 panels

A solar energy farm the size of 210 football pitches has been given the go-ahead in Lincolnshire.

Planning permission was granted for 196,000 panels at the old RAF base in Faldingworth near Lincoln.

The solar farm, believed to be the largest in the UK, is expected to generate 50MW of electricity, enough to power the equivalent of 12,000 homes.

Last year, a similar sized farm in Leicestershire was switched on, which it was claimed was the UK's biggest.

The 370 acre (150 hectare) site was granted permission for 20,000 panels in 2011 but this week that was updated to create the larger farm which is expected to run for 30 years.

'Reduce carbon emissions'

Chris Collett, the senior planner at Barton Willmore, the firm responsible for the planning application, said: "This under-utilised former airfield was an ideal site for solar energy because of the topography and limited visual impact.

"By providing clean energy to more than 10,000 homes it will make a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions in Lincolnshire."

RAF Faldingworth was used during World War Two by Number 300 (Polish) Squadron, the first Polish-manned bomber squadron in the RAF.

It was then used to store nuclear weapons before it was decommissioned in 1972.

The application received one letter of opposition.

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