New data shows Shropshire has a middling record on renewable energy but is top for biodigestion

A year or so before I moved to Shropshire, I drove from Oxfordshire to visit the biodigester on Coder Road. The plant was a work of wonder, new technology that turned food and farm waste into compost, generating gas and electricity in the process. The biodigester has since been shut down but anaerobic digestion has remained a significant green industry around Ludlow. The last I heard, the biodigester industry employed nearly 150 people in the Ludlow area.

It is not surprise therefore to learn that by March last year, Shropshire topped the league table of local authority areas with capacity to generate electricity from anaerobic digestion. It was also ranked third for producing heat from biomass. For all forms of renewable energy, Shropshire was ranked ninth out of the 348 local authorities in England and Wales.[1] That’s not a bad track record.

Continue reading “New data shows Shropshire has a middling record on renewable energy but is top for biodigestion”

Henley Hall solar farm on Ludlow outskirts thrown out by planning committee – we got this right

Update: 14 August 2015

The formal reason for refusal of the scheme has now been published:

The proposal constitutes large scale industrial development and is inappropriate in terms of location, fails to protect and enhance the natural and historic environment and the character and high quality of the local countryside and setting of Ludlow, and would have an adverse impact on leisure and tourism. The renewable energy benefits of the proposal are significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the adverse impacts and as such would be contrary to Core Strategy Policies CS5, CS6, CS13, CS16 and CS17 and paragraphs 14, 17, 28 and 109, of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Main Article: 11 August 2015

The application from Kronos Solar to build a solar farm off Squirrel at Little Ledwyche was today rejected by Shropshire Council’s South Planning Committee by a majority vote after a short debate.

Continue reading “Henley Hall solar farm on Ludlow outskirts thrown out by planning committee – we got this right”

Henley Hall solar farm goes to committee on 11 August after new heritage statement gets nod from Historic England

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.

Continue reading “Henley Hall solar farm goes to committee on 11 August after new heritage statement gets nod from Historic England”

Bid for solar farm outside Ludlow delayed yet again after Historic England renews its objection

Earlier this week, the second set of revised plans for proposed the Henley Hall solar farm were submitted by Kronos Solar. The changed layout was intended to assuage concerns expressed by Historic England and Shropshire Council’s heritage team about the impact of the scheme on the setting of Henley Hall and its gardens.

Historic England is still not satisfied that the changes have addressed its objections. In a letter to Shropshire Council’s planners yesterday, it said:

Whilst the proposed revision to the scheme will remove the area of the development directly from the registered park and the garden boundary is an improvement, having considered the response to our previous advice from the applicant’s heritage consultation, we wish to maintain our view with regard to the proposals. Continue reading “Bid for solar farm outside Ludlow delayed yet again after Historic England renews its objection”

Ludlow solar farm plans changed as dispute breaks out over scheme impact on heritage – updated

Update: 25 June 2015

Kronos have submitted a second revised plan. The initial plan was revised after Historic England and Shropshire Council’s heritage team raised concerns about how well the impact of the arrays on Henley Hall had been assessed (see below). That revision moved part of the array from beyond Colonel’s Plantation near Henley Hall up the slope to join the main array area. Now these plans have been dropped and the array area has been reduced in size. As yet the supporting documents have not been updated, so we don’t know how much energy this smaller solar farm will generate.

Second_Revised_Plan_Henley_Hall

Ludlow Town Council have written a strongly worded objection against the proposal. Continue reading “Ludlow solar farm plans changed as dispute breaks out over scheme impact on heritage – updated”