Issue - meetings
214619 - LAND TO THE NORTH-WEST OF WESTHIDE, WESTHIDE, HEREFORDSHIRE, HR1 3RQ
Meeting: 15/03/2023 - Planning and Regulatory Committee (Item 74)
74 214619 - LAND TO THE NORTH-WEST OF WESTHIDE, WESTHIDE, HEREFORDSHIRE, HR1 3RQ PDF 2 MB
The installation of ground mounted solar photovoltaic array, together with associated infrastructure, security fencing, CCTV, landscaping, onsite biodiversity net gain and permissive rights of way.
Application approved with a change to conditions.
Councillor Paul Andrews left the committee to act as the local ward member for the following application.
The principal planning officer gave a presentation on the application and the updates/representations received following the publication of the agenda as provided in the update sheet and appended to these minutes.
In accordance with the criteria for public speaking Ms Green spoke on behalf of Withington Group Parish Council, Mr Rowlatt, local resident, spoke in objection to the application and Ms Isynova, the applicant’s agent, spoke in support of the application.
In accordance with the council's constitution the local Ward member spoke on the application. In summary, he explained that local concerns regarding the application concerned noise pollution, the loss of agricultural land and flooding from the site. It was suggested that the historic canal on site could be used to attenuate flooding issues. It was recognised that concerns regarding the application needed to be balanced against the need for green and renewable energy. The application represented a development on an industrial scale which would be in addition to the poly tunnels nearby. The scale of the proposed solar farm, the use of fencing and presence of CCTV added to the perception that this was an industrial-scale development. There were other locations in Herefordshire which were more suited to this type of development.
In accordance with the council's constitution the adjoining local Ward member spoke on the application. In summary he explained that 45,000 solar panels of 3 metres in height would have a negative impact upon the local community, agricultural land and the landscape. There had not been an adequate assessment of the impact of the cable to the national grid that that would run from the site to the Dormington sub-station. The term of the development of 30 years should not be considered not temporary and the impact of the solar farm over that period would be substantial. Agriculture would be undermined in the area with the loss of land having consequences on efforts to address food security. The noise emitting from the development would have a negative impact on the local community and the mechanism to deal with noise complaints was not sufficiently robust. The credibility of the biodiversity improvements arising from the development were queried. The impact on the quality of the land over the period of the development could not be accurately assessed. Despite the reduction in the scale of the application the proposed solar farm would still have an adverse impact on the landscape. The number of solar panels proposed and the height of the fence would have a detrimental impact on the landscape. A previous application for a solar farm, that was smaller in scale, had been refused by the local authority and at appeal due to its impact on the landscape.
The committee debated the application.
The committee considered that condition 13 concerning the noise management plan required strengthening. The interval at which the noise management plan was reviewed needed to be more frequent than ... view the full minutes text for item 74