Sunnica Ltd is proposing to build a new energy farm with solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage infrastructure connecting to the Burwell National Grid Substation. The Scheme is located across four sites:
- Sunnica East Site A, near Isleham
- Sunnica East Site B, near Freckenham and Worlington
- Sunnica West Site A, near Chippenham and Kennett
- Sunnica West Site B, near Snailwell
Information about the proposals can be found on the Sunnica Website
The proposed Sunnica Energy Farm is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) because its proposed generating capacity is higher than 50MW. NSIPs are major developments which require planning permission to be granted by the relevant Secretary of State through a Development Consent Order (DCO).
Unlike local planning permissions, which are considered by local authorities, DCO applications are made to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). This independent body administers the application process on behalf of the relevant Secretary of State, including normally a maximum six month examination into the proposals with which interested parties can get involved. In this case, the appropriate government department is the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The planning process for the application will be managed by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, not East Cambridgeshire District Council.
East Cambridgeshire District Council is a Statutory Consultee and will make representations on the application to PINS at the relevant times in accordance with the process set by PINS. Sunnica Ltd is expected to submit the DCO application in late Summer 2021 with the examination stage to follow and a decision is expected in 2022. Further information on the DCO application process and how to participate can be found on the National Infrastructure Planning website.