Solar Farm Victory for tp bennett
Working with landscape architects, Corylus Environmental, tp bennett demonstrated that, while there were some negligible to moderate impacts, these would not harm the overall integrity of the area and would be mitigated by screen planting. More importantly, the scheme would make a significant contribution to renewable energy targets, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with climate change and energy security benefits. The Inspector concluded that the planning balance was such that the energy benefits outweighed localised harm to the landscape.
The appeal was complicated by third party concerns about the validity of the proposals in relation to the Environmental Impact Regulations. The public inquiry was twice postponed for legal submissions to be considered but the appellants' position in relation to EIA Screening was supported each time. Furthermore, the decision was 'recovered' by the Secretary of State given its importance in relation to the national renewable energy policy. Eric Pickles agreed with his Inspector's recommendations and allowed the appeal.