PLANS for a large solar farm on the highest hill overlooking Swansea have been recommended for approval by council officers.

Thousands of solar panels are proposed on 19 hectares of land at Kilvey Hill, but not on the more recognisable south and west flanks.

The scheme would nevertheless be visible from Mawr and Birchgrove, several miles to the north, according to planning officers.

A decision is on the Innova Renewables Ltd application is due to be made at a remote planning committee meeting on June 2.

A large section of the site in question already has planning consent for a solar farm but the scheme didn’t go forward for commercial viability reasons.

The Welsh Government wants 70% of Wales’s electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2030, and also for renewable energy projects to have at least an element of local ownership by this year.

The application site is mainly made up of sloping farmland, facing Bonymaen. It is currently used for silage production but has previously been used for grazing.

The new proposal will, according to Innova Renewables, generate the equivalent electricity used by 3,000 households.

New fencing, CCTV cameras, hedgerows and trees are proposed, along with the retention of all existing greenery.

Planning officers considered a number of factors, including rights of way, access, visual impact and glare.

Their report said the proposed solar farm was unlikely to have any significant additional impact on the landscape, over and above the effects predicted for the smaller, consented scheme.

But it added: “However, the increased area of solar panels may have a more negative effect upon the landscape character of the northern flank of Kilvey Hill and its perceived change in land use when viewed from settlements to the north.

“Whilst not being able to completely screen the development it is considered the proposed woodland block and hedgerow planting will, in time, have a moderate beneficial effect upon the landscape character of the site and surrounding area and will enhance biodiversity.”

They also recommended several conditions about landscaping, access and construction.

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