MINUTES
MEETING OF BENTLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT 7.30 ON MONDAY 22ND JUNE 2015
IN THE MEMORIAL HALL, BENTLEY
Present:
Mr P Hurley (Chairman)
Mrs J Turner (Vice Chairman)
Mr B Dickinson
Mr P Curwen
Mr P Harrison
Mrs S Thornely
Mr J Fuller
Mrs J Hutton (Clerk)
Also in attendance Cllr Ken Carter
44/15 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Alan Lockey.
45/15 To receive any declarations of interests from Members
Councillors were reminded of their responsibility to declare any disclosable pecuniary
interest which they may have in any item of business on the agenda no later than when
that item is reached. Unless dispensation had been granted, they may not participate in
any discussion of, or vote on, or discharge any function related to any matter in which
you have a pecuniary interest as defined by regulations made by the Secretary of State
under the Localism Act 2011. Councillors were reminded that they must withdraw from
the room or chamber when the meeting discusses and votes on the matter.
46/15 To approve the Minutes from the meeting on Monday 8th June 2015
The minutes for the meeting held on Monday 8th June 2015 were formally agreed and
signed by the Chairman.
The formal meeting will be adjourned for 10 minutes to enable local residents to
address the Council.
None.
47/15 Planning
Planning applications to consider:
a) Proposal: Two storey side extension and detached garage/log store
Site address: 4 Northbrook Farm Cottages, Farnham Road, Bentley, Farnham, GU10
5EU
Case no: 56131
Following a discussion it was RESOLVED that the Council would submit the following
comment:
Signed by …………………………………………………………… Chairman
13th July 2015
“The Council has no objection to this application but requests that materials sympathetic
to the original house are used in the construction.”
Action: Clerk
b) Proposal: Eight dwellings following refusal of planning application 49352/004
Site address: Land West of Bentley Industrial Centre, Main Road, Bentley
Case number 49352/005
Cllr John Fuller declared an interest in this application due to the proximity of the subject
site to his home. He left the room and did not participate in the discussion.
Following a discussion it was RESOLVED that the Council would submit the following
comment:
“Bentley Parish Council OBJECTS to this planning application for the following reasons:
1. This employment site should be retained to encourage the creation of new
business and jobs in the village. It has been retained for employment use under
the Bentley Neighbourhood Plan (currently in Reg.16 consultation period) and
therefore it would not support residential development on it.
2. The proposed entrance to this development appears to be through the adjacent
industrial estate, which gives rise to road safety concerns due to the movements
of large commercial vehicles, and lack of adequate walkways. The proposed
walkway behind the industrial units appears to be inadequate as it is not wide
enough.”
Action: Clerk
c)
Proposal: EIA Screening opinion – proposed solar farm
Site address: land east of Vickery Cottages/Lane, Station Road, Bentley, Farnham
Case number 56174
Following a discussion it was RESOLVED that the Council would submit the following
comment:
“The Council considers that an EIA should be carried out for the proposed solar farm for
the following reasons:
1. The size of the development and its impact on the landscape
a. both the height of the panels, the position and size of the transformers,
and the scale of the development means that it will have an
environmental impact on the surrounding landscape, including the
adjacent South Downs National Park, the local footpath network (Bentley
footpath 13b – alongside the site itself – and Binsted footpaths 32, 33, 35,
38, 43 and 44 from which it would be visible) and the residential
dwellings in Station Road and Vickery Lane. Therefore, the impact of the
development on the landscape, the footpaths and the dwellings during
both the summer and winter months, must be assessed with regard to its
overall visibility and the glare from the solar panels. Specifically; Northern
views from SDNP – Alice Holt, Binsted Hanger and Binsted. South western
view from footpath 13b to SDNP.
Signed by …………………………………………………………… Chairman
13th July 2015
b. Feasibility of screening of the proposed site in winter months and early
development years
c. the method by which the proposed solar farm will be connected to the
local grid (whether this is to be by underground power cables or
overhead power lines) and its impact on the environment must also be
assessed. The proposed site is on a gentle slope forming one side of an
historic river valley and any proposals to erect overhead power lines
along the valley floor will have an impact on the surrounding landscape,
habitats and potentially the water quality in the River Wey. Similarly the
environmental impact of installing underground cables along the valley
(and potentially the river bed) to the nearest connection point to the
local grid (we understand this to be several miles away in Wrecclesham),
needs to be assessed.
d. there are several historic monuments (as noted on the Planning Map
used by East Hampshire District Council) and the proximity of the
proposed solar farm to them and any resulting impact therefrom must be
assessed.
2. The cumulation with other development – given that there is already a solar farm
at Cheeks Farm in Bentley, the cumulative impact of connecting the proposed
solar farm on the local grid and its propensity for frequent power outages must
be assessed.
3. Conservation of natural habitats – the proposed site is situated in an area
designated by Natural England in its Priority Habitat Inventory as “No Main
Habitat But Additional Habitats”. Additionally, the proposed site is adjacent to an
area designated “Coastal and Flood Plan Grazing Marsh”. Therefore, (i) the impact
of the proposed development on these habitats (including an ecological survey in
relation to the species and habitats given the proximity to the South Downs
National Park and SSSI), and (ii) any potential pollution from the solar farm and its
impact on these habitats, must be assessed. Recovery of ground and natural
vegetation below proposed solar panels after construction. We understand that
the solar panels will be mounted on poles which are driven into the ground and
that there would be extensive underground cabling linking the solar panels.
4. Pollution and nuisances
a. the proposals must be assessed to ensure that there will be no pollution,
(either directly from the installation and continued existence of the solar
farm on the site or any run off from the site due to soil erosion) and in
particular that there would be no effect to the water quality in the
adjacent river Wey. Please note that there are water abstraction licences
upstream and downstream of the site and the water quality is stated as
being “at risk” by the Environment Agency.
b. the proposals must be assessed to ensure that there is no detrimental
impact on the aesthetic quality of the local environment by installing
CCTV cameras, security fencing or road signs.
c. Infringement of privacy on local residents from CCTV cameras.
d. Given the proximity to the dwellings in Station Road and Vickery Lane the
proposals must be assessed to ensure that the solar farm will not cause a
nuisance by wind noise at the site.
e. Vehicle movements to and from site during construction and operation.
Signed by …………………………………………………………… Chairman
13th July 2015
In addition to the current consultees, the Council considers that the following
bodies/persons should also be consulted on this application; (1) English Heritage, (2)
Historic England, (3) River Wey Water Bailiff, (4) Binsted Parish Council, (5) South Downs
National Park Authority, and (6) adjacent landowners.”
48/15 To receive a report on the public consultation for the proposed solar farm on land east
of Vickery Lane, River Road (formerly known as Station Road), Bentley
Cllr Paul Harrison reported the information he gleaned from the consultation event as
follows:














One of the key considerations given by Solstice Renewables for choosing the site
was proximity to the grid connection point at Wrecclesham; it needs to be within
2km (although it would appear that the actual distance is far greater).
There is a 5m drop across the site, from 92m to 87m. To screen this from the
south Solstice are proposing to use mature trees; yew and holly were mentioned,
with native hedge species as an understory. The trees would already be 15 feet
high at planting, which would commence from day one of the installation or
earlier if necessary.
Additional planting will be provided along River Road, too.
There were lots of Photoshopped pictures claiming to show how effective the
screening would be, though none were from first floor windows on Station Road.
There would a 2m security fence around the perimeter (deer fence) with CCTV
and intruder alarms. There would be no lights. The CCTV uses infrared.
To minimise glint and glare from the installation anti-reflective coatings are used.
Solstice were unable to adequately quantify to what extent these mitigate glint,
just said "94 to 99% effective". I was told that wet grass produces worse glint
that solar PV panels.
The land will remain the property of the land owner, leased to Solstice for 25
years. At the end of the lease the installation would be removed and the land
returned to agricultural use; for planning purposes it has to be an entirely
temporary structure.
Solstice were unable to confirm what happens if the generation capacity is still
required after 25 years. Similarly, it's too early to know whether these sites will
effectively be treated as brownfield in the future.
A bond can be used to cover costs of decommissioning in the event that Solstice
is insolvent when generation ceases.
Solstice have never looked at the issue of wind noise around their installations.
Having spoken to the land owner it is likely that just sheep will be grazed on the
land rather planting wild flowers.
I asked about the impact on footpath 13b on the eastern boundary of the site.
The landowner suggested that this would be an opportunity to manage the path
better.
The suggested community fund would likely be managed by the parish council,
possibly with a trustee from Solstice Energy. Details could be set out in an S.106
or similar as required. Giovanni Maruca pointed out that the community fund
should not be a material consideration in the planning decision.
The education programme is made available to any local schools that want to get
involved, with Solstice consulting with each school on curriculum.
Signed by …………………………………………………………… Chairman
13th July 2015



6.
During installation there will be a peak of 2 HGV movements a day and a total of
around 100 vehicle movements (all types) over a six-week period.
There will be a temporary compound on the site during installation which would
be converted to grass on completion.
Solstice would be willing to enter into binding agreements to manage the site in
an agreed manner (the term LEMA was used - Land Ecology Management
Agreement?)
Village matters and correspondence to be brought to the attention of the Council to be
considered at a future meeting:
Site visits for planning applications?
 Case:29427/016 – Variation of Condition, Northbrook Estate
 Case: 56165 – Kittyshawe House, 2 storey rear extension, single storey front
extension. The Clerk will arrange a site visit to consider this application during the
week commencing 29th June.
Action: Clerk
 Case: 39480/002 – 1 Crocks Farm Cottages, Main Road, Replacement shed.
7.
Chairman’s closing comments and date of next meeting
Monday 13th July 2015.
Signed by …………………………………………………………… Chairman
13th July 2015
Download

22nd June 2015 - Bentley Parish Council