|Application Type: Heritage Statement and Expert Heritage Witness to Support a Planning Appeal|
|Development Description: New Solar Farm Development|
|Local Authorities/Councils: South Derbyshire District Council|
Fuller Long are delighted to have been involved in a planning appeal to the secretary of state for a new solar farm in South Derbyshire.
The proposed ground-mounted solar farm, covering 70 hectares of agricultural land, provides enough energy to power approximately 15,000 homes. The solar farm is designed to operate efficiently for a period of 40 years, following which the farm would be decommissioned and the land returned back to agricultural use.
Following the refusal of the application, Fuller Long was approached to assist with an appeal against the Council’s decision. One of the main reasons for the Council’s refusal was the potential harm to some nearby designated heritage assets, specifically the setting of the historic village of Lullington and the Church of All Saints (Grade II*) which, according to the Council, would not be substantially outweighed by the identified public benefits arising from the scheme.
Our heritage team compiled an in-depth heritage appeal statement in support of the appeal that assessed each of the heritage assets that had a possibility to be impacted by the scheme. Whilst there were several heritage assets in the area, the statement focussed on the two assets that the Council identified in their reason for refusal. Following an assessment of both assets, our team was able to conclude that the contribution of setting to the significance of the Church of All Saints would be maintained, resulting in no harm to its significance, whilst the elements of setting that make a positive contribution to the historic village of Lullington would be preserved.
The proposals were sadly refused permission following the appeal, however the inspector noted in his report that following consideration of our heritage statement, there would indeed be no unacceptable impacts on the historic environment and that the proposals for development would protect, conserve and enhance heritage assets.
Renewable energy schemes are playing a crucial role in achieving the government’s carbon net zero targets and solar farms, in particular, are expected to provide up to 15% of the UK’s total annual power needs by 2030. We are excited to be able to support schemes such as this that seek to achieve these goals whilst maintaining and protecting our historic environment, working with companies to help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy sources. Our heritage team have decades of experience assessing proposals that are likely to impact upon the historic environment and are fully prepared to assist and advise you on how to steer them through to a successful outcome.
If you are a developer seeking planning or heritage assistance with your scheme, Fuller Long can help. To speak with one of our experienced team of planning and heritage consultants, please call us on 0808 164 1288 or email us at email@example.com.