WHAT’S HAPPENING? Hilfield Solar Power Plant (Application 21/0050/FULEI)

The objectives of this note are to update on activity during the last couple of weeks and to emphasise and support the submission of comments and concerns that need to be sent to Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) before 24th February.

Whilst the priority is to maximise the number of objections received by HBC, we have also been researching the use of consultant and expert advice. When it recently became clear that Aldenham Parish Council were considering the same issues (we are not alone!) the Trust contacted the Chairman of the APC Planning Committee to seek agreement to support and use their consultant report. As mentioned in What’s Happening 1, the idea of having multitudinous consultants spraying advice in different directions is inadvisable. APC have now agreed and confirmed that this report (by DLA Planning Consultants) will be available to us and others. Indeed the report is now in the public domain and can be accessed and read at: https://aldenham-pc.gov.uk/document-category/15th-february-2021/ This information has been shared with other groups including Sharon Woolf’s “Save Our Green Belt” campaign and the Radlett Society and Green Belt Association. Give it a read – and if needed use it to support your submission to HBC.

Our friends at Bhaktivedanta Manor plan to use the DLA report to frame their objections, and Greg is encouraging their potentially voluminous support.

For those who Zoomed in to the APC Planning Committee Meeting on Monday afternoon you will have heard the unanimous support of that Committee in opposing the HSPP plans.

Following discussions with the Bursar, The Aldenham Foundation (Aldenham School) have decided to join LHVT in opposing the development plans. The submission subsequently sent to HBC was submitted therefore on behalf of LHVT and The Aldenham Foundation. The fact that the school wishes to help and support LHVT underlines their continuing support for the local community. Not sure of where Habs are on this??

The Trust has written to The Senior Planning Officer (Mr. Max Saunders) pointing out that key planning documents (60 pages of Glint and Glare Report appendices) appear to be inaccessible and unavailable – even though there are more than 1100 pages in total in the proposal. Whilst receipt of message is confirmed, a response is awaited.

Many of you (?) will have seen the posting from the “Save Our Green Belt” Group (Sharon Woolf) who are working their socks off on this thing. This could help ease the route to making submissions. As at Tuesday afternoon (17th) submissions to HBC stood at: Objections: 489 and Support: 63. Many believe that the objection number needs to be closer to 1000!

To repeat the submission options, HBC guidance is as follows – make comments by:

  1. Using their website http://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/comments quoting the planning application reference number: 21/0050/FULEI.
  2. Emailing your comments to: consult.planning@hertsmere.gov.uk
  3. Writing to: Planning and Economic Development Unit, Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 1WA quoting Planning Application 21/0050/FULEI
  4. https://www.stopthesolarplant.co.uk/

If you need help on the content of your submission, please contact Greg at gsrogers@gmail.com , or if you need assistance on how to best submit your response, contact Mike at micheal.pickford@btinternet.com

As you know:


Please ensure that this message is passed to friends and neighbours who may not access the Village Drum or the internet.

All submissions need to be received at HBC by 24TH FEBRUARY.


18th February 2021


WHAT’S HAPPENING? Hilfield Solar Power Plant

The idea of this information sheet is to update Letchmore Heathens on change and hopefully progress towards effective objection to Elstree Green Ltd / Enso Energy’s plans for a 320 acre Solar Power Plant. There is lots of activity from a number of local groups, and where possible LHVT is seeking to work together in support of a common objective. These groups include the Radlett Society and Green Belt Association (RS&GBA) and Sharon Woolf’s Radlett Facebook Group (RFBG).

The advice we have been given is that there will need to be a two pronged attack on this proposal. The first of these – and the priority right now – is to encourage as many locals as possible to submit their comments and concerns to Hertsmere Borough Council. To remind you, the planning application number is: 21/0050/FULEI, and all submissions have to be received by 24th FEBRUARY 2021.

Should you wish to use and reinforce any of the key points of objection, these are available on the website above – there are separate postings from LHVT, RS&GBA and RFBG. You will notice (hopefully) that there is a boring consistency and commonality between all three. None of this should stop you adding further concerns or expressing common points in a personal way.

HBC guidance on making comments is by:

  1. Using their website hertsmere.gov.uk/comments quoting the planning application reference number: 21/0050/FULEI.
  2. Emailing your comments to: planning@hertsmere.gov.uk
  3. Writing to: Planning and Economic Development Unit, Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 1WA quoting Planning Application 21/0050/FULEI

If you need help on the content of your submission, please contact Greg at gsrogers@gmail.com , or if you need assistance on how to best submit your response, contact Mike at micheal.pickford@btinternet.com

It is clear that, contrary to some comment, numbers of objections are vitally important. The planning decision makers will take note of the content and number of objections. And May 2021 is Council Election time! It’s also worth noting that everyone can submit their comments – submissions do not have to be restricted to one per household. It may be that members of the same family have different concerns or comments. THE MORE SUBMISSIONS THE BETTER!

Many informed commentators believe that the single most effective objection rests on the issue of green belt land being used for the Solar Power Plant. The active campaign led by Sharon Woolf and Abigail Levy – with over 500 supporters on the RFBG – is under the banner of: Save Our Green Belt – Stop the Solar Plant. You will shortly) receive their leaflet through your letterbox – as well as seeing their banners.

I mentioned that there were two prongs to this work. The second is to commission expert planning advice together with possible legal counsel. It’s understood that this approach is being considered by a number of groups as well as Councils. LHVT will keep in close contact with these bodies, as we would wish to work together rather than see a multitude of different experts spraying advice in different directions. It will be essential to not only select the right consultants, but to make effective use of their advice at the right time. It would appear that those closer to the planning process believe that decision making after 24thFebruary may be convoluted – witness other contentious planning proposals such as the Radlett Rail Freight Terminal. This could run!

Having said this, in the last couple of days, LHVT has ascertained the names of two planning consultants with a good local reputation who, if needed we could approach and if appropriate commission. The time would then come to test the pockets of those who can provide financial back up to make this work. No problem?!

Two last points. It is recognized that not everyone will agree with what is written above. There will of course be those who wish to support construction of the solar plant. And there will be those who think that we are going too fast / slowly or down the wrong route. If you have comments you wish to make please let us know.

Secondly, it would appear that we are kicking uphill. The proposers of this “horrendous” scheme have had months and years to prepare, taken advice from countless experts, have experience of the planning process, formed alliances with other key parties – all before preparing and submitting their plans. On the other hand, we (Joe Public) are expected to organize our responses, take advice, hire and effectively use experts and consultants in a matter of days. Funny old world.

We’ll post What’s Happening – Number 2 when there’s something to say.


4th February 2021

If you need to contact us:

Alan: alanhlambert@btinternet.com               Greg: gsrogers@gmail.com

Alison: alison.rose111@gmail.com                Linda: lindalambert30@btinternet.com

Andy: andy@cappuccini.net                           Mike: micheal.pickford@btinternet.com

Derek: dmoran@live.co.uk                             Naz: n.mohammed1@btinternet.com

Gareth: gareth@tvgltd.com

LHVT response to Hilfield Solar Power Plant

Letchmore Heath Village Trust response to Hertsmere Borough Council concerning:


Planning Application Number: 21/0050/FULEI

The Letchmore Heath Village Trust recognises that national and local targets to generate cleaner, greener electricity will lead in some part to solar power.

The Hilfield Solar Plant proposals raise serious questions and concerns. These include:

  1. Greenbelt. The Greenbelt was established for many good reasons, including the separation and protection of communities of all sizes – small villages to major cities. This conversion of greenbelt land to what can be described as light industrial use – land covered in solar panels, transformers, batteries and other ancillary equipment – is greenbelt lost in perpetuity. There will be nothing to halt the merging of villages, towns and the creeping urban sprawl of Greater London. The loss of this protective barrier will blight future generations. The visual impact is unthinkable.
  2. Scale. This is a massive area of land and will be the largest solar plant in the region. The benefit of solar power has to be assessed against the loss of 320 acres of productive agricultural land and countryside in the green belt.
  3. Local Amenities. This area of Hertfordshire countryside has many footpaths and rights of access – particularly in the “Eastern Parcel” of this proposal. Notwithstanding the generous proposals to widen and maintain footpaths, the prospect of walking between wire fences through fields covered with solar panels over 10 feet high is Orwellian. The mental and emotional cost of being unable to walk and exercise in recognisable countryside is immeasurable.
  4. Noise Disruption. Electrical storage and transmission equipment is noisy – as witnessed by available recorded evidence. With multiple (15) inverters proposed, noise levels would be intrusive and unacceptable. In addition, noise and traffic disruption during the construction phases, with thousands of lorry movements (through narrow roads), has the potential to create noisy chaos.
  5. Glint and Glare. The principal concern is around Elstree Aerodrome which is used by light aircraft and helicopters, many on flying school and training flights. The potential danger of glint and glare from solar panels, particularly on inexperienced and trainee pilots, should not be ignored.
  6. Environmental Impact. The replacement of green fields and productive food producing agricultural land with “black belt” solar panels, inverters and transformers will have an inevitable and negative impact on animal and bird life.
  7. Temporary Development. Once the “temporary” occupation of this land ceases in 35 years, what happens? Who will manage, execute and (critically) pay for the removal of redundant hardware and restore the landscape?

Letchmore Heath Village Trust.

February 2021

Map of area where Solar Power Plant is proposed.  Around 125,000 solar panels would be located in the two green coloured areas