Councillors go against officers’ advice and approve Herongate solar farm
Essex is to get another solar farm.
The scheme, targeted for Herongate, west of Dunton Wayletts, was approved by Brentwood Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, November 23.
Councillors rejected their officers’ advice to refuse permission on the grounds that the solar farm was against the local authority’s policy and “unacceptable” on Green Belt land. The committee concluded that the development could be classed as a special circumstance due to the net-zero carbon benefits.
James Hartley-Bond, from developer Low Carbon, said the solar farm would convert a site of low biodiversity value “into something genuinely providing net gain”.
This included, he said, “the conversion of the land to a species-rich grassland, creation of wildflower meadow areas, 770 metres of new native species hedgerow to support foraging bats and nesting birds, bird and bat boxes around the site, log piles for reptiles and small mammals, as well as the provision for beehives and sheep-grazing”.
It is claimed the development will generate some 30 megawatts of energy, enough to power the equivalent of 9,968 homes.
- To read the CPRE Essex policy statement on solar farms, click here