Venue: Council Chamber, Wallfields, Hertford. View directions
Contact: Peter Mannings Tel: (01279) 502174 Email: email@example.com
To receive apologies for absence.
An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Redfern. It was noted that Councillor Brady was substituting for Councillor Redfern.
There were no Chairman’s Announcements. He made a number of safety related announcements for the benefit of the large number of public in the room.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any Members' declarations of interest.
Councillor Newton said that whilst it did not relate to application 3/21/2601/FUL, she wanted to mention the following for the purposes of transparency and openness. Her family owned land north of Ware Park Farm which was subject to a screening request in relation to a solar farm development by an independent company in 2022. She said that no full application had been submitted by this company yet and she wanted to put on record that this had no bearing on her ability to determine application 3/21/2601/FUL and she had come to this meeting with an open mind.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on Wednesday 7 December 2022.
Councillor Ruffles proposed and Councillor Page seconded, a motion that the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED. Councillor Beckett abstained from voting as he had not been present at the meeting on 7 December 2022.
RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2022, be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
3/21/2601/FUL - Erection of a solar photovoltaic farm with an output capacity not to exceed 49.9MW of energy, with supporting infrastructure and battery storage, inverters and transformers, fencing and landscaping works at Wickham Hall Estate, Hadham Road, Bishop's Stortford PDF 279 KB
Recommended for Approval
The Head of Planning and Building Control recommended that in respect of application 3/21/2601/FUL, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions detailed in the report.
The Interim Development Management Team Leader introduced the application and presented a detailed series of plans and visuals in respect of the application. He summarised the planning history and detailed the key features of the scheme. Members were referred to the additional representations summary and the reworded conditions.
Members were advised that the solar panels, associated infrastructure and ancillary equipment would be removed after the lifespan of the solar panels and the proposed biodiversity improvements were permanent. The Interim Development Management Team Leader said that the biodiversity net gain target was 10 percent and this application would result in an 82 percent net gain as 10,000 trees would be planted along with improvements to footpaths and hedgerows.
The Interim Development Management Team Leader set out the material planning considerations and summarised several key considerations for Members. He said that water would naturally integrate into the ground between the solar panels and there would be very little highways impact.
Mr Horner addressed the committee in objection to the application. Mr Hilton and Mr Urquhart spoke for the application.
Councillor Klimowicz addressed the committee on in her capacity as the Vice-Chairman of Albury Parish Council. Councillor Williamson addressed the committee as the local district councillor for Little Hadham ward.
Councillor Page said that he was also a local ward Member and made the point that he could not attend this meeting as a Member of the Development Management Committee with his mind made up. He asked how construction traffic would be managed and asked for confirmation as to whether there would be any detrimental effect in respect of historic heritage assets.
Councillor Page said that the conditions being applied in respect of flooding could not be seen as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) being supportive of those conditions. He asked for confirmation as to how the applicant would be monitored in terms of the application of the conditions.
The Interim Development Management Team Leader said that the LLFA had not removed their objections and had recommended conditions 17, 18, 19 and 20 that were included in the recommendation.
The Interim Development Management Team Leader said the conservation and urban design team had not objected to the application. He said that a transport statement had been submitted that set out how the construction would occur and condition 5 was for the submission of a construction management plan. He drew attention to condition 10 and said that there had been no objection from Hertfordshire Highways.
Councillor Beckett asked about conditions in respect of archaeological digs prior to the development of the land. He mentioned the comments of the crime prevention design advisor in respect of certified fencing. He asked how the decommissioning enforcement plan would be triggered.
The Interim Development Management Team Leader said that a desktop survey had been undertaken by the applicant and the council’s ... view the full minutes text for item 300.
(A) Appeals against refusal of Planning Permission/ non?determination.
(B) Planning Appeals Lodged.
(C) Planning Appeals: Inquiry and Informal Hearing Dates.
(D) Planning Statistics.
RESOLVED – that the following reports be noted:
(A) Appeals against refusal of planning permission / non-determination;
(B) Planning Appeals lodged;
(C) Planning Appeals: Inquiry and Informal Hearing Dates; and
(D) Planning Statistics.
To consider such other business as, in the opinion of the Chairman of the meeting, is of sufficient urgency to warrant consideration and is not likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information.
There was no urgent business.