Skip to main content
ScottishPower |

Select Language:

Pipplepen Solar Project

The Development comprises solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that will provide up to 32MW of power.


Above: Pipplepen Solar PV Scheme Location Plan


In June 2023 ScottishPower Renewables (UK) Limited, (SPR) acquired the proposed development, Pipplepen Solar PV Scheme, from Elgin Energy Ltd.  The scheme will export up to 32 Megawatts (MW) of renewable energy for the National Grid, and it falls within the administrative area of Somerset Council (previously known as South Somerset District Council, SSDC) and partly within Dorset Council.


Pipplepen Solar PV Scheme is located in the south of South Somerset, near the border with Dorset.  The site is located approximately 1 kilometre (km) to the south of North Perrott and 800 metres (m) north of South Perrott, on land to the east of Pipplepen Farm, School Hill, Crewkerne DT8 3HS, and south of the Yeovil - Exeter railway line.  

The site comprises of a collection of small fields that, when combined, extend to approximately 54 hectares (ha).  The local landscape is characterised by predominantly pastoral fields bordered by hedgerows and trees, and the site is currently in agricultural use as grazing land for a dairy farm.

Vehicular access during construction will be taken from the A356 to the south of the site in Dorset Council’s administrative area.  During operation, the solar farm will be accessed from Pipplepen Lane using existing farm tracks and proposed new permeable access tracks where necessary.

Proposed Development / Project History

A cross-boundary planning application was submitted to SSDC on 01 March 2021 and Dorset Council on 03 March 2021, due to the location of the scheme.  SSDC consented the scheme on 24 January 2023 and the Dorset Council application was consented a few months later on 11 April 2023. 

SPR completed the acquisition of Pipplepen solar PV scheme in June 2023 and since this time, have submitted material for the discharge of pre-commencement planning condition 4 attached to the Somerset Council consent, a deconstruction and restoration plan (reference: 23/01878/DOC1). This application is available to view on Somerset Council’s public access and was approved on 13th March 2024.

SPR kicked off work with a planning consultant in early 2024 and are currently in the process of discharging pre-commencement planning condictions with Somerset Council. Details of submitted planning applications can be found on the Council's website.  

Design Considerations & Evolution

The Proposed Development at Pipplepen Farm would comprise solar panels and ancillary structures including a substation, Point of Connection (POC) compound and associated equipment, internal gravel access tracks, and a main operational access track to Pipplepen Lane.

The site layout has been influenced by various on-site constraints, including areas at risk of surface water flooding, ecology ‘buffers’, and Public Rights of Way (PRoW).  In addition, pre-application discussions with the Council and public consultation has further influenced the layout and other design features of the proposed Solar PV Scheme, particularly landscape mitigation planting.

The indicative locations of the solar arrays and the ancillary development can be viewed in the Site Layout Plan. SPR are currently having initial discussion with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO), SSEN, to ascertain connection details and a programme for energisation.

Although the solar farm design has been consented, SPR are reviewing project documents and the scheme design as part of the discharge of planning conditions scope to ascertain whether any amendments are required.  Further details on the finalised design will be available prior to commencement of construction.

The Point of Connection (POC) for grid connection is proposed at a 132kV pylon just outside of the southwest boundary of the site.

Site Enhancements / Key benefits

In addition to the generation of renewable energy, the Pipplepen Solar PV Scheme will provide a host of ecological and landscape benefits for the site including:

  • The retention and protection of all existing hedgeline (except 4m), woodlands and individual mature standard trees both within the proposed solar array and along the entire temporary southern construction access route;

  • Creation of 1.48km of new species-rich hedgerow;

  • Reinforcement of retained hedgelines and inclusion of planting belts to provide additional scrub/woodland edge habitat alongside key hedgeline.  These green corridors will strengthen the links between important woodland habitats to the east of the site with similar habitats to the north and west;

  • All areas of improved grassland disturbed by the construction activities are to be re-seeded with a species-rich grassland and native wildflower mix to enhance value for wildlife including pollinators;

  • Provision of 51 bat boxes;

  • Provision of 10 log-pile refugia; and

  • Provision of 5 clean-stone hibernacula.

The additional hedgerow and tree planting set out in the Landscape and Ecological Management Plan (LEMP) will act both as a natural form of visual screening through the summer and winter months and provide additional habitat for wildlife.The LEMP was submitted as part of the planning process and can be viewed on the planning portal here. A detailed LEMP is currently being drafted for the discharge of condition 20 by Somerset Council.

A Public Right of Way (PRoW) runs through the site. It is a footpath which follows a field boundary through the middle of the site and joins the villages of North Perrott and South Perrott.  Hedgerows with standard trees are proposed to be added either side of the PRoW to create a new landscape feature and screen open views of the development.

View the submitted landscape strategy.

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 Pipplepen Solar 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 links below to view the Pipplepen Solar PV Scheme:

South Somerset District Council Planning Documents

Dorset Council Planning Documents


The Project Team can be contacted directly by email.

Back to top