To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery, (copy enclosed, Members’ Update to be circulated)*.
Hall Farm Land at 583941 203977, Hazeleigh Hall Lane, Hazeleigh
Variation of condition 4 on approved planning permission 22/00261/FUL (The construction and operation of a solar photovoltaic farm and associated infrastructure, including inverters, security cameras, fencing, access tracks and landscaping.)
Mr James Hartley-Bond – Low Carbon Solar Park 1 Limited
Mr Jordan Martin – DWD Property and Planning
Target Decision Date
Reason for Referral to the Committee / Council
Proposal is a ‘development of strategic interest’ as defined under the Scheme of Delegation
Following the Officers’ presentation the Applicant, Mr Hartley-Bond addressed the Committee.
The Chairman moved the Officers’ recommendation of approval and this was duly seconded.
Councillor A S Fluker provided some further information regarding this application and the previous one and then proposed that the application be approved.
Following some further discussion the Chairman put the proposed approval to the Committee and this was duly agreed.
RESOLVED that this application be APPROVED subject to the following conditions:
1 The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.
2 The solar panels / solar array hereby permitted shall not exceed the limits contained within the approved Development Zone Plan Reference LCS033- DZ-01 rev 10
3 No development shall commence until full details (which must be within the parameters set out in the submitted Planning Design and Access Statement dated June 2022 Ref 15115 and completed by DWD Property & Planning) of the final layout, locations and dimensions, design, materials and colour (where appropriate) to be used for the panel arrays, inverters, substation, control building, switch room, CCTV cameras, fencing and any other components of the scheme shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The development shall only be carried out in accordance with the approved details and thereafter retained as such for the lifetime of the use.
4 Full details of the provision and subsequent retention of both hard and soft landscape works, including the boundary planting, on the site shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority prior to any works occurring above ground level at the application site. The details of the proposed landscaping shall include a vegetative screen. These details shall include:
1. Details of the proposed vegetative screen and soft boundary treatments (including schedules of species of trees and shrubs to be planted, planting layouts with stock sizes and planting numbers / densities) shall demonstrate that the species of trees and shrubs shall be capable of growing to a size, and density to provide the necessary screening of the site by the fifth year of the development. The agreed vegetative screen shall be retained for the lifetime of the development. The boundary treatment shall be completed in accordance with a timetable agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority. Development shall be carried out in accordance with approved details.
2. Details of the planting scheme implementation programme, including ground protection and preparation, weed clearance, stock sizes, seeding rates, planting methods, mulching, plant protection, staking and/or other support.
3. Details of the aftercare and maintenance programme. The soft landscape works shall be carried out as approved within the first available planting season (October to March inclusive) following the first operation of any part of the development hereby approved unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. If within a period of five years from the date of the planting of any tree or plant, or any tree or plant planted in its replacement, is removed, uprooted, destroyed, dies, or becomes, in the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, seriously damaged or defective, another tree or plant of the same species and size as that originally planted shall be planted in the same place, unless the Local Planning Authority gives its written consent to any variation.
4. Hard landscape works: Details of hard surfacing, with materials finishing and edgings. The hard landscape works shall be carried out as approved prior to the first use / occupation of any part of the development hereby approved and retained and maintained as such thereafter.
5 If use of the hereby approved development should cease for the purposes of energy generation for a concurrent period exceeding six months or more, all the equipment and structures hereby approved shall be removed from the land and the site reinstated to its former condition. In any case, the Panels, associated structures, and infrastructure shall be removed at the latest by the 31 December 2065. Prior to the removal of any panels and equipment a scheme (to include timescales) for the reinstatement of the site to agricultural land alongside any retained ecological habitat areas shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA. The site shall be reinstated in accordance with the approved details.
6 No development or preliminary groundworks of any kind shall take place until a programme of archaeological investigation has been secured in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted by the applicant and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
7 No development or preliminary groundworks of any kind shall take place until the completion of the programme of archaeological evaluation identified in the WSI defined in Part 1 and confirmed by the Local Authority archaeological advisors.
8 A mitigation strategy detailing the excavation / preservation strategy shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority following the completion of the archaeological evaluation.
9 No development or preliminary groundworks can commence on those areas containing archaeological deposits until the satisfactory completion of fieldwork, as detailed in the mitigation strategy, and which has been approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
10 The applicant will submit to the Local Planning Authority a post excavation assessment (to be submitted within six months of the completion of the fieldwork, unless otherwise agreed in advance with the Planning Authority). This will result in the completion of post excavation analysis, preparation of a full site archive and report ready for deposition at the local museum, and submission of a publication report.
11 No development shall commence until a Construction Traffic Management Plan is submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority to include the following:
a. the parking of vehicles of site operatives and visitors
b. loading and unloading of plant and materials
c. storage of plant and materials used in constructing the development
d. wheel and underbody washing facilities
e. construction traffic routing
f. construction signage and traffic management measures. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved Plan.
12 Prior to occupation of the development, the access at its centre line shall be provided with a clear to ground visibility splay with dimensions of 2.4 metres by 102 metres west and 2.4 metres by 122 metres west as measured from and along the nearside edge of the carriageway. Such vehicular visibility splays shall be provided before the road junction / access is first used by vehicular traffic and retained free of any obstruction at all times.
13 Prior to the commencement of any work on the site a joint inspection of the local road (A414) and the public right of way network which is to be used by construction vehicles should be carried out by the applicant and the Highway Authority, to include photographic evidence. The route should then be inspected again, after completion of the development, and any damage to the highway resulting from traffic movements generated by the application site should be repaired to an acceptable standard and at no cost to the Highway Authority.
14 The public's rights and ease of passage over public footpath's No.23 (Woodham Mortimer), No.41 (Maldon) and No's. 2, 3, 7, 8 (Hazeleigh) shall be maintained free and unobstructed at all times.
15 Prior to the commencement of the development a minimum 2.5m wide unobstructed buffer strip shall be left on both sides of the adopted routes of public footpaths No.2 and No.3 (Hazeleigh) to allow for grow of vegetation without obstructing the footpaths. The applicant or any successor in title will be responsible for the maintenance of the buffer strips.
16 During the construction phase of the development, banksman shall be present whilst vehicle cross public footpaths No.7, No.8 (Hazeleigh), No.23 (Woodham Mortimer), No.41 (Maldon).
17 As detailed within TN01, during the construction phase of the development banksman shall be present when vehicles route along public footpath No.23 (Woodham Mortimer). The banksmen shall be located at either end of footpath No.23's shared alignment with the access track. The banksman shall ensure no construction vehicles use the footpath when PROW users are present.
18 No works shall take place until a scheme to provide an enforceable and robust soil, grass, and/or land management plan to keep land in good condition has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the LPA. The scheme shall subsequently be implemented as approved.
19 Prior to the first operation of the development a maintenance plan detailing the maintenance arrangements including who is responsible for different elements of the surface water drainage system and the maintenance activities / frequencies, has been submitted to and agreed, in writing, by the LPA. Should any part be maintainable by a maintenance company, details of long-term funding arrangements should be provided.
20 The applicant or any successor in title must maintain yearly logs of maintenance which should be carried out in accordance with any approved Maintenance Plan. These must be available for inspection upon a request by the LPA.
21 The development hereby approved shall be carried out in accordance with the details set out in the submitted Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy, April 2022, and shall be fully implemented and in place prior to the first operation of the development hereby approved and retained for the lifetime of the development.
22 Prior to the commencement of development a detailed Arboricultural Method Statement providing specific detail on how the trees in and around the site will be protected during the construction of the development shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA.
23 All mitigation and enhancement measures and/or works shall be carried out in accordance with the details contained in the updated Reptile survey report (Cherryfield Ecology, June 2022), the Ecological Assessment Revision A (Landscape Science Consultancy, January 2022) and Addendum Report (Cherryfield Ecology, June 2022), as already submitted with the planning application and agreed in principle with the Local Planning Authority prior to determination.
24 Any works which will impact the breeding / resting place of Great Crested Newts, shall not in in any circumstances commence unless the LPA has been provided with a GCN District Level Licence issued by Natural England pursuant to Regulation 55 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) authorising the specified activity/development to go ahead.
25 Prior to the commencement of development a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP: Biodiversity) shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The CEMP (Biodiversity) shall include the following:
a) Risk assessment of potentially damaging construction activities
b) Identification of "biodiversity protection zones".
c) Practical measures (both physical measures and sensitive working practices) to avoid or reduce impacts during construction (may be provided as a set of method statements) to include retained trees and Priority habitat (River Pant)
d) The location and timing of sensitive works to avoid harm to biodiversity features.
e) The times during construction when specialist ecologists need to be present on site to oversee works.
f) Responsible persons and lines of communication.
g) The role and responsibilities on site of an ecological clerk of works (ECoW) or similarly competent person.
h) Use of protective fences, exclusion barriers and warning signs.
i) Containment, control and removal of any Invasive non-native species present on site. The approved CEMP shall be adhered to and implemented throughout the construction period strictly in accordance with the approved details, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority."
26 Prior to first operation of the development hereby approved, a lighting design scheme for biodiversity shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA. The scheme shall identify those features on site that are particularly sensitive for bats and that are likely to cause disturbance along important routes used for foraging; and show how and where external lighting will be installed (through the provision of appropriate lighting contour plans, lsolux drawings and technical specifications) so that it can be clearly demonstrated that areas to be lit will not disturb or prevent bats using their territory. All external lighting shall be installed in accordance with the specifications and locations set out in the scheme and maintained thereafter in accordance with the scheme. Under no circumstances should any other external lighting be installed without prior consent from the LPA.
27 "A Landscape and Ecological Management Plan (LEMP) shall be submitted to, and be approved in writing by, the LPA prior to the first operation of the development hereby permitted. This should detail management measures to achieve the objectives of the BNG calculations outlined within the Biological Impact Assessment (BIA) (Cherryfield Ecology, February 2022). The content of the LEMP shall include the following:
a) Description and evaluation of features to be managed.
b) Ecological trends and constraints on site that might influence management.
c) Aims and objectives of management.
d) Appropriate management options for achieving aims and objectives.
e) Prescriptions for management actions.
f) Preparation of a work schedule (including an annual work plan capable of being rolled forward over a five-year period).
g) Details of the body or organisation responsible for implementation of the plan.
h) Ongoing monitoring and remedial measures.
The LEMP shall also include details of the legal and funding mechanism(s) by which the long-term implementation of the plan will be secured by the developer with the management body(ies) responsible for its delivery. The plan shall also set out (where the results from monitoring show that conservation aims and objectives of the LEMP are not being met) how contingencies and/or remedial action will be identified, agreed and biodiversity implemented so that the development still delivers the fully functioning objectives of the originally approved scheme. The approved plan will be implemented in accordance with the approved details."
28 No development shall commence until a Skylark Mitigation Strategy, to secure 8 skylark mitigation plots to compensate for the losses or displaced territories arising from the development, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The Skylark Mitigation Strategy shall include the following:
a. Purpose and conservation objectives for the proposed Skylark nest plots;
b. Detailed methodology for the Skylark nest plots following Agri Environment Scheme option: 'AB4 Skylark Plots';
c. Locations of the Skylark plots in nearby agricultural land by appropriate maps and/or plans;
d. Persons responsible for implementing the compensation measure.
No development shall commence until the approved Skylark Mitigation Strategy has been implemented to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority, and thereafter all features shall be retained for a minimum period of 10 years."
29 The Solar Panels hereby approved shall be of an anti-glare design.