Dorset CPRE’s letter to Secretary of State Pickles asking for Rampisham permission to be called in

Dorset CPRE have just published their letter asking for the Rampisham Down Solar Factory planning permission to be called in for determination by the Secretary of State.

I am republishing it here. They make an extremely interesting point.

There have been a flurry of recent applications for Ground Mounted Solar Factories to be built in Dorset. West Dorset considered two recently:

One was not in the AONB and not on an SSSI: Natural England did not object, but the Planning Officer recommended refusal and the Committee agreed to delegate the decision to the planning officer. It was duly refused.

One was in the AONB but not on an SSSI: Natural England objected on landscape grounds, the Planning Officer recommended refusal and the Committee agreed to delegate the decision to the planning officer. It was duly refused. One of the reasons why this application (from British Solar Renewables) was rejected, was the loss of skylark plots.

So why on earth would the Committee decide to approve one which was on an SSSI and in an AONB; which Natural England objected to on nature and landscape grounds; and which the Planning Officer strongly recommended refusal? Why did the committee not delegate the decision the the planning officer in this case?

 

Here is the full CPRE letter.

Dorset CPRE Letter to NPCU Ref Call-in 1 D 12 001664 5 February 2015P2 Dorset CPRE Letter to NPCU Ref Call-in 1 D 12 001664 5 February 2015

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About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and I don't write on behalf of anybody else.
This entry was posted in CPRE, Rampisham Down, Solar Farms, West Dorset District Council and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dorset CPRE’s letter to Secretary of State Pickles asking for Rampisham permission to be called in

  1. Is there only one page to the letter, or am I missing something?

  2. Adam Mantell says:

    My experience of Councillors in general is that while there are some very, very good ones about, unfortunately many are not the sharpest tools in the box. You can understand how developers become incredibly frustrated with this kind of insanely irrational and inconsistent approach which seems to be making approval a complete lottery. It doesn’t really help anyone, does it?

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