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