November 18, 2012
Teignbridge To Debate the Tedburn Solar Farm (Again!)
I've received a letter from Teignbridge District Council informing me that:
The [Fulford Solar Park] application will be considered by our Planning Committee on Monday 26 November 2012 in the Council Chamber, Forde House, Newton Abbot starting at 9:45 am.
You must let us know by 12 noon on Thursday 22 November 2012 2012 if you wish to speak.
I enjoyed the experience so much last time around that naturally I have informed them that I do indeed wish to speak. The only problem is that one of the topics that I have already informed them that I might well want to speak about isn't on the published agenda, even though my comment to that effect is on the public record available via the Teignbridge DC web site.
To summarise the matter, the planning officers recommendation to the planning committee in paragraph 3.44 of his report is that:
The issues are the same as previously considered. Given that officers previously supported a larger scheme of development there is no other recommendation that could be made other than to support the proposal, notwithstanding the decision of the Planning Committee.
I beg to differ. I suggested to the committee last time around (albeit at the last minute) that the claimed benefits of the proposal in:
Reducing reliance on fossil fuels to generate power, the reduction in greenhouse gases and combating climate change.
aren't in practice going to stack up in quite the way the applicant suggests. It now looks as though I'll have to shout even louder to get this crucial issue back on to the agenda. As a starter for 10, according to the rather terse minutes of the committee meeting of July 9th:
Objector, Mr Hunt – Referred to the technological issues in relation to solar panels, sustainability and the storage and distribution of electricity.
Supporter, Mr Homewood – This project would…. result in a saving of 4,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Some 200 sites have been inspected in relation to renewable energy and the current site is one of the best in the south west for efficiency of renewable energy output because of its south facing direction and proximity to the national grid. It would produce energy for 2000 homes.
I suggest that it would be a useful exercise for all concerned if the applicant were to provide a detailed explanation of how any electricity generated by the proposed solar PV "farm" would in fact provide electricity to the householders of Tedburn St. Mary were it to be constructed, with particular emphasis on the modus operandi of any electricity substations involved.
A supplementary exercise would involve a detailed explanation of how those same houses might be supplied with electricity on a cold, dark winter's night, whether the Fulford Solar Park is eventually constructed or not.
It looks like being another very interesting meeting next Monday. Last time around I overran my allotted 5 minute time slot. It seems I will need to be rather more pithy on this occasion.
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