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  • Amanda Stobbs

Appeal success for Ground Mounted Solar Scheme in Green Belt

Tyler Parkes is delighted that the Planning Inspectorate allowed this appeal for a ground-mounted solar energy scheme, supporting our client’s ambition to be achieve a net zero home.  The appeal followed Stratford on Avon District Council’s refusal of this small-scale scheme located in the applicant’s own garden, solely on Green Belt grounds. 

 

Our client was determined to see the application through to the very end, a demonstration of his drive and passion to address his own carbon emissions and how strongly he felt about the future he was leaving his grandchildren and particularly, that the notion the Green Belt ‘trumped’ addressing climate change had to be challenged.

 

Having withdrawn his first application, he sought Tyler Parkes advice on addressing the matters raised, which essentially amounted to a lack of justification for the Very Special Circumstances needed due to the Green Belt location.  Tyler Parkes submitted the second application, supported by 3D visualisations, prepared by Fabric Design and Build Limited, and a detailed justification set in the context not only of the client’s own energy use, but also in the context of national and local planning policy, energy strategy, international and national carbon emission reduction targets and notably the declared Climate Emergency.

 

However, the Council retained their position and refused the second application on the basis that, in the opinion of Council, the harm to the Green Belt was not clearly outweighed by the benefits of the scheme, with no account taken of the site’s context or the additional benefits to biodiversity arising from the proposed landscaping.

 

Determined to see it through, our client sought to appeal the decision, Tyler Parkes appealed the Council’s decision on behalf of the client.

 

In allowing the appeal, the Inspector found that other than the harm derived by inappropriate development in the Green Belt and the limited harm to openness to which substantial weight is afforded by policy, there were no other matters weighing against the proposal.  Conversely, the Inspector determined that the contribution towards renewable energy and carbon emissions should be given great weight, added to which the reversibility of the scheme and the landscape and biodiversity enhancements should also weigh in its favour.  Overall, the Inspector concluded that the benefits of the scheme clearly outweighed the harm to the Green Belt and therefore determined that Very Special Circumstances had been demonstrated sufficient to justify the development. 

 

This is a great decision for our client and one that we hope will support future permissions for these much-needed ground-mounted solar energy schemes elsewhere in the Green Belt.

 

 



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