Case Study: Community engagement at Eastfields Solar

By working in partnership with local communities, JBM Solar unlock a project’s full potential by ensuring that the benefits of solar energy developments are realised in a way that positively impacts the surrounding community.

The team pride themselves on listening to and knowing the communities they work with by prioritising the understanding of local sentiment early on in the planning process. They build relationships with the people, organisations, and stakeholders they work with, to understand their views and accommodate change where possible, helping to leave a positive legacy behind when work is complete.

Local feedback

As a solar developer, the team understands that not every project is going to be popular. The passionate team works hard to convey the benefits of solar energy to local communities, to help secure support. Project managers spend time on the ground, reaching out to local residents, organisations, and parish councils, through community consultations to better understand their thoughts and feelings.

This localised feedback helps shape the final proposals that are brought forward. The team listens, learns, and where appropriate, amends the designs, to ensure local feedback is incorporated. The final plans always include community benefit proposals that align with a community’s wants and needs. The JBM team help to ensure that community visions become reality.

Securing support

Securing localised support was critical to guaranteeing the approval of the 35MW Eastfields Solar project with co-located battery storage near Harbury in Warwickshire. The dedicated project manager worked around the clock to listen to, and respond to, the wants, needs, and concerns of local residents. This proactive level of engagement led to strong support from within the local community, and resulted in the parish council submitting a letter of support for the project during the planning process.

In addition, the team received over ten times more letters of support for the project than objections, demonstrating strong support from local residents, and the value of JBM’s personalised approach to local engagement.

Setting the standard

The Eastfields Solar project has set the standard for a community-based approach to solar energy engagement. JBM values what communities have to say and place this listening and learning at the heart of its approach to development.

This has led to projects in planning securing significantly more local support than objections.

To find out more, take a look at who we work with.