There seemed little prospect of this 5MW solar farm progressing through the planning system a few weeks ago (15/01472/FUL). Historic England had dug its heels in over the impact the solar arrays would have on the setting of Henley Hall and gardens. Since then, a site meeting has been held between a Shropshire Council, an inspector from Historic England and AC archaeology – the heritage consultancy working for Kronos Solar. Following that meeting, the application is set to go to the planning committee for a decision.
A few days ago, an additional heritage impact assessment was submitted by AC Archaeology. It confirms that the north edge of the scheme will be moved away from Henley Hall and screening will be increased. It says the fields surrounding Henley Hall have developed independently of the historic park:
It provides a contrast with the designed landscape of the Park, but neither contributes to, nor detracts from, its significance.
We therefore consider the harm the proposed development would cause falls at the lower end of ‘less than substantial harm’, and as such is likely to be outweighed by the other public benefits the scheme would deliver. On balance, therefore, we do not object to the proposed development on this basis.
This has cleared the way for the application going to the South Planning Committee on 11 August. The officer’s report will not be online until Monday but he has recommended approval of the scheme.
The revised plans
Henley Hall solar farm location