Lightsource SPV 72 Limited were the operators of the solar farm at Barn Farm, Wix Road Bradfield until the summer of 2016 when all operations were transferred to Estio Solar Limited - the solar farm development falls within the parish boundaries of Bradfield Parish Council.
Lightsource and Estio Solar provide voluntary financial contributions to communities where Solar Farm Projects are situated.
As such they have entered into a Community Benefit Deed with Bradfield Parish Council, whereby they will pay to Bradfield Parish Council an annual sum for 20 years equivalent to £750 per MW of installed capacity.
The original signed deed between the Parish Council and Lightsource can be viewed here COMMUNITY BENEFIT DEED
Estio Solar are honouring this Community Benefit Deed with the final annual payment expected in November 2040.
Annual Payments to the Parish Council
In accordance with that deed, these payments are made directly to the Parish Council, and the Parish council have the discretion to decide how these funds will be used, with the provision that the monies go towards projects 'that will benefit the Communities of the Parish Council'.
The first payment of £3519 was received in November 2015, and this sum formed part of the £5000 year end reserves detailed at the budget meeting in January 2016. In February 2016, it was agreed that this £5000 reserve would be used towards the new playground equipment project- hence the Council's agreement to use the first payment received towards the new playground equipment. The Council have also agreed that the payment of £3519 received in November 2016 will also be used towards this project.
In the summer of 2016, the terms of the planning permission granted by Tendring District Council were varied to extend the life of the Solar Farm from the originally agreed 25 years up to 30 years. The Parish Council will not receive the annual community benefit payments as detailed above for those final five years and in recognition of that, Estio Solar paid a one off sum of £10,000 to the Parish Council. This money was put towards the cost of the new playground which was installed in July 2017.
The deed relating to that transaction can be viewed here:
2017 - Management passed to Quintas Energy
November 2017 - payment received £3519 - ring fenced for use by Bradfield Village Hall Management Committee legal fees to enable up to date constitution and government documents to be prespraed.
2018 - Funds received December 2018 £4113.63. Funds being used to re-surface road between Village Hall entrance gates and road leading to the Village Hall Car park. Works due to be completed January 2019.
Lightsource have provided a useful 'Frequently Asked Questions' sheet detailing how the Community Benefit Payments are received and managed. This can be viewed here COMMUNITY BENEFIT FAQS