LHVT Solar Plant Appeal Submission

LHVT object to the Solar Plant appeal for the following reasons: 

  • The degree of impact on the openness of the Green Belt is unacceptable and any identified benefits of the proposed development are insufficient to amount to very special circumstances which would outweigh the harm to the Green Belt. 
  • The impact and level of harm to designated Heritage Assets is significant. Furthermore, although only 7 heritage assets are referred to in the application there are actually 41 Listed buildings within 1 kilometre of the proposed site and insufficient attention has been given to the development’s effect on these. 
  • Any identified benefits of the purposed development overall do not outweigh the identified harm.
  • The impact of the proposed development on residential amenity and upon visual impact will be severe and is not agreed as being neutral.
  • The minimum 5 metre stand-off either side of all public rights of way is insufficient and will adversely impact both the openness and enjoyment of this much used network.
  • The proposals conflict with policies in the Local Plan and, being proposed on Green Belt, planning permission should not be granted.
  • The enhancement of biodiversity is insufficient to compensate for the loss of open Green belt land.
  • Government policy towards acceleration of carbon reduction should not override the above considerations which are particularly inappropriate on Green Belt land with very close proximity to London.
  • The proximity of the National Grid Elstree Substation to the site, and the fact that some of its pylons are already sited on the subject land may be a convenient commercial factor for the Appellant but should be entirely disregarded when assessing the merits of the Appeal itself.
  • The  Appellant has failed to demonstrate that the impact of its proposals has been made acceptable to the residential community as required by the National Planning Policy Framework and attention is drawn to the 1433 objections against the original application and the fact that no Councillors voted to support the application. 
  • Whilst it is recognised that renewable energy is an important requirement, the impact of these developments and whether they are in the right place is of paramount importance too. The adverse impact on the surrounding area’s landscape character, visual amenity and substantial loss of Green Belt renders the scheme unacceptable as is the fact that loss of productive agricultural land diminishes the important ability to maintain and enhance food security.