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Grafton Underwood Solar Project

The Development comprises solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that will provide up to 38MW of power.

Grafton site plan

Above: Grafton Site Location Plan


ScottishPower Renewables (UK) Limited, (SPR) is developing Grafton Underwood Solar PV Scheme, comprising of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with associated infrastructure including inverters and a substation compound as well as fencing, security cameras and cabling. The solar PV farm will export up to 38 Megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity to the wider electricity network.  The site is located near the villages of Grafton Underwood, Geddington and Brigstock in North Northamptonshire.


Grafton Underwood Solar PV Scheme is located within the Boughton Estate, approximately 0.5km to the north of the village of Grafton Underwood, 2.5 kilometres (km) to the southwest of Brigstock and 1.5km to the southeast of Geddington. The site lies immediately to the south of Old Head Wood and is approximately 68.8 hectares (ha). The site will be accessed off Geddington Road to the south.

The site is predominantly, in agricultural use and comprises a number of arable fields of various shapes and sizes extending from Geddington Road to Old Head Wood to the West of Brigstock Road which were once a former RAF base (RAF Grafton Underwood) in use from c.1941, later also being used by the US Air Force, Eighth Air Force (known as Station 106). The site is outside of the Flood plain, forming Flood Zone 1 land. The site is not subject to any statutory designations, it is not located within a Conservation Area and nor are there any Listed Buildings or environmental designations within or immediately adjacent to the site.

Development & Project History

A planning application for the Proposed Development was submitted on 22nd August 2019 to North Northamptonshire Council (Kettering Area) and validated on 22nd August 2019. North Northamptonshire Council consented the development (planning reference KET/2019/0369) on the 23rd of September 2020.  Since this time, SPR have been working with North Northamptonshire Council to discharge pre-commencement planning conditions. 

Design Considerations & Evolution

The site will consist of a Solar PV Farm and associated infrastructure including housing for inverters and a substation compound as well as fencing, security cameras, cabling and a new network of internal single tracks.

The solar PV farm is proposed to consist of rows of solar panels known as strings orientated to face south and installed at a 10-25˚ incline from the horizontal.  The panels would be mounted at approximately 0.8 metres (m) from the ground at the bottom of the panel, reaching a maximum height of 3m to the top of the panels.

Each string of panels would be mounted on a metal frame, with metal supports, pile driven into the ground to a depth of approximately 1 to 2m, depending on ground conditions.  Alternatively, the frames could sit on concrete footings in the eventuality that pre-construction geophysical surveys reveal certain areas to have archaeological potential.  Between each frame there would be a distance of between approximately 2m and 6m to avoid inter-panel shading and provide suitable access.

The substation compound is currently consented be located to the east of Brigstock Road (to the east of the existing site) however, a planning application (ref: NE/22/00812/FUL) is under consideration for a revised location for the substation, within an area of land to the north of Old Head Wood.  The substation will contain a control building, a transformer, a storage building and communications mast, surrounded by 3m high palisade fencing.  For security purposes there will be CCTV cameras located at multiple locations throughout the site, mounted on poles measuring approximately 3m in height and facing into the site, as well as perimeter stock proof fencing and gates of 3m in height at various locations throughout the site.

Preferred areas for the arrays and the ancillary development will be selected based on environmental, landscape and visual assessments.  Further details on the finalised design will be available prior to commencement of construction.

View an indicative Site Layout and Landscape plan.

Site Enhancements & Key benefits

In addition to the generation of renewable energy, Grafton Underwood Solar PV scheme will also provide a host of ecological and landscape benefits to the site.  The landscape proposals have been designed to preserve and enhance the existing landscape features, to screen views of the solar panels from outside the site and to enhance the biodiversity and habitat value of the site.

The landscape scheme will include the following elements:

  • Enhancement of existing landscape features and new planting, such as hedgerow and native trees;
  • A new dormouse habitat area within the centre of the site;
  • Grass and wildflower mix to encourage further biodiversity enhancements;
  • Enhancement of local wildlife through the introduction of wide ecological corridors, bird boxes and insect hotels;
  • Existing field boundaries and mature woodlands will be retained; and
  • Construction exclusion zones identified through a detailed tree survey to protect exposed trees during the construction period.

Community Consultation

Consultation is key to the way SPR develops projects and ensure that local communities and stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback throughout the various stages.

As SPR progress with the Grafton Underwood PV Scheme this webpage will be revised on a regular basis with project updates.  You can contact the Project Team on the project mailbox address noted in the "Contact" section below.

Project Documents

Please click on the following link to the North Northamptonshire District Council (Kettering Area) website to view the Grafton Underwood Solar PV Scheme planning documents (planning reference KET/2019/0369):


The Project Team can be contacted directly by email.

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