Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Proposed new solar farm in Exmouth: public consultation: Tuesday 18th August: questions about community benefit...

There has been a lot of controversy around plans for solar farms in East Devon over the last couple of years:
Futures Forum: Solar farms in East Devon: the approvals... and the debate...
Futures Forum: Solar farms in East Devon..... an approval at Exmouth.......... and a new application at Sidbury.....

Proposals by Clinton Estates in 2013 for a solar farm near their Liverton industrial estate in Exmouth were widely objected to:
13/2202/MFUL | Proposed solar farm comprising the installation of solar arrays, equipment housing, fencing and ancillary equipment and alterations to existing access onto B3179 and widening of access track. | Land North Of Liverton Farm Salterton Road Exmouth EX8 5BW

A planning application for a solar farm near Lympstone last year was only narrowly approved:
Major solar farm approved despite concerns - News - Exmouth Journal

And the proposals for Clyst St Mary still rumbles on:
Futures Forum: Latest planning application for solar farm at Clyst St Mary > >>> hearing in Aylesbeare >>> reports and next steps

Perhaps each case should be considered on its merits or otherwise...

There are proposals for another solar farm near Exmouth:

Increased traffic possible if Exmouth solar farm project gets go-ahead

09 June 2015

Residents in Brixington are facing the prospect of increased traffic under plans to build a new solar farm. There are already plans to build similar facilities at Liverton Farm and Bystock Farm, which have been approved by district council planners.

Now there could be the prospect of a 25-acre solar farm application on land adjacent to St Johns Road. If it goes ahead, there could be as many as 60 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) using the road over the course of three months.

James Hartley, of developers Inazin, spoke to councillors at a planning committee meeting on Monday about the plans. He said he is proposing a ‘lay down’ area where the HGVs can offload to smaller vehicles north of St Johns Road. James said: “What is really important to note is that this is the start of the process for us so we are using this opportunity to understand from the community exactly what types of issues there could be in developing this site.”

Inazin is holding an exhibition and public consultation event at Brixington Community Church at 3.30pm on Thursday, June 11.

Increased traffic possible if Exmouth solar farm project gets go-ahead - News - Exmouth Journal

The East Devon Watch blog posted this yesterday - about what appears to be the same site and another public consultation at the same village hall:


AUG 10, 2015

Not ANOTHER Pegasus – we have enough winged horses in this district (presume no link with Pegasus Life developing Knowle!).

Proposed new solar farm in Exmouth: consultation Tuesday 18 August 4-8 pm | East Devon Watch

As confirmed in today's planning agenda at Exmouth Town Council:

Pre-application – 
Proposed Solar Park development land north of Liverton Brakes, St. Johns Road, Exmouth – 
Public Consultation to be held at Brixington Church, Churchill Road, Exmouth on Tuesday 18th August from 4pm until 8pm.


It is all very confusing.

The similar public consultation at Brixington Community Church in June
Increased traffic possible if Exmouth solar farm project gets go-ahead - News - Exmouth Journal

... was with a different developer:
Inazin Power - a leader in UK renewable energy development

The poster above tells us that it is indeed a certain Pegasus which is leading this development:
Pegasus Group Ltd | Sector

... although this is not the same as Pegasus who want to develop Knowle:
PegasusLife | Retirement living, but not as you know it

It would be interesting to know who is now leading the application at St John's Rd.

If it is Inazin, we have to be careful about promises made to the local community:
Community 'short-changed by £600,000' over solar farm | Cornish Guardian
Futures Forum: Solar farms in East Devon..... an approval at Exmouth.......... and a new application at Sidbury.....

If it is now Pegasus PG, as appears on the poster, their website does not show any such proposals and there are as yet no plans submitted - as we are still at the 'pre-application' stage.

Such are the ways of trying to gain planning permission: 
All very opaque...

Meanwhile, central government has all sorts of planning guidance available:
Particular planning considerations for hydropower, active solar technology, solar farms and wind turbines | Planning Practice Guidance

And yet at the same time, the government seems determined not to allow local planning decisions to hold sway when it comes to hydraulic fracturing projects - otherwise known as fracking:
Fracking to explode | East Devon Watch
Futures Forum: Fracking: kick-starting the shale gas revolution when local planners prove obstructive

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