Archive for November, 2013

My objection to the to Planning Application 20131408

As the County Councillor that represents namely Salhouse, Wroxham and Rackheath, I wish to hereby register my objection to the Planning Application 20131408 Land north of Stonehouse Road Salhouse submitted to Broadland District Council and ask that it should be withdrawn or recommended for refusal to the planning committee. The proposed development is the wrong scheme in the wrong location.

As a local councillor I have ascertained that the above application has no support amongst the residents I represent. Put straightforwardly, all residents I have had correspondence with object to this application.

I wish to support the points made by Salhouse Parish Council in their submission:

* Contrary to statements in the submission, due to its exposed and highly visible location, the solar farm will yield significant adverse impacts on the surrounding landscape character and visual quality.

* It is extremely unlikely that the proposed development will be absorbed into the existing landscape context as the submission tries to suggest.

* The proposed development will be visible from at least 500 metres in a southerly quadrant, and
will be clearly visible from (and beyond) the Grade-I listed All Saints’ Church, Salhouse, which is
within the Salhouse Village Conservation Area.

* The location of the installation will have a considerably more significant impact on the southerly view of the church than the developers claim.

* The proposed development lies adjacent to the boundary of both the Conservation Area and an
area of Landscape Value (ENV8) and will be clearly visible from and will have a negative visual
effect on both.

* The site has significant complex gradients, sloping gently downward from the west , and dipping
more steeply down from the southern boundary to the north into a depression adjacent to road, before ascending again towards the northern boundary. This topography, which is matched by
the profile of the adjacent road, will make the development more visible and will serve to emphasise the negative visual impact.

* The site is stated by the applicant (EIA Screening Request, section 2.4) that the land is Agricultural Grade 2/3. This is a sufficiently high grade to represent a significant loss to local agricultural

* Drainage is across the site from west to east towards Wroxham Broad a short distance away to
the north-east via a probable glacial palaeochannel.

* Drainage is normally sub-surface but surficial run-off is observed at times of high rainfall and when de-cropped. When runoff is highest, this causes soil erosion on the site and flooding of the B1140. The inevitable loss of vegetation and
increased runoff created by a solar farm will exacerbate this problem.

* The Norfolk Heritage website records a rectangular enclosure, visible as a cropmark on aerial
photographs, located northeast of Oldfield (now Milestones) on the Stonehouse Road (NHER
18128) which is thought to be of Roman date, together with evidence of a field system of Iron Age to Roman age (NHER 50726). These features lies exactly on the proposed site.

* The visual impact of the proposed development will have a negative effect on the area’s tourism
value, as the B1140 is one of two main tourist routes from the south into Wroxham, and the
environment of the adjacent Salhouse Lodge Hotel and campsite will also be degraded.

* The site is just off the B1140 close to a junction on a deceptive bend with a very high accident
rate. The proposal to possibly access the site from this stretch of road is totally unacceptable on
safety grounds (although this is now the developer’s second choice access).

* The installation of security cameras and fencing and other hard infrastructure will be entirely out
of keeping with the rural character of the area.

* The proposed development fails to meet the NPPF requirement to “recognize the intrinsic
character and beauty of the countryside….”.

* The proposed development fails to meet the criteria set by various National Government and
Local Authority policies and guidelines.

In submitting my objection, I wish to draw Broadland District Council’s attention to a quote from Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, which he released on 29th July 2013 with respect to renewable energy applications:

“The views of local people must be listened to when making planning decisions. Meeting Britain’s energy needs should not be used to justify the wrong development in the wrong location.
Planning always works best when local communities themselves have the opportunity to influence the decisions that affect their lives.”

Clearly (from my view) it is evident that this application does not have local support.

I would be grateful if you could acknowledge receipt of my submission.

Councillor Tom Garrod
Conservative Norfolk County Councillor for Wroxham Division
Telephone: 07515 356821
Twitter: @TomGarrod

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