Saturday, 28 September 2013

Solar Farm planning application approved

The proposal we told you about back in April for a solar farm at Says Court Farm, in the countryside to the west of Nibley Lane, has now been approved by South Glos Council's planning committee.

The conditions were largely as in the report but with two additions (the conditions proposed by the Coal Authority and Network Rail). The condition about what should happen at the end of the 25 years was reworded so that it also required removal of the apparatus if the generation of power ceased some time before then.

During the meeting, officers also clarified the use of the community benefit fund. While still objecting to the application, Westerleigh Parish Council had negotiated on a "without prejudice" basis a community benefit of £1000 per MW generated, which could mean up to £17,500 a year for environmental projects to benefit the local community. Officers emphasised that their recommendation did not depend on this, it was a unilateral undertaking by the applicants, AEE Renewables. In the first year, £7000 will be available for ecological improvements on site, in conjunction with Avon Wildlife Trust.

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