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Councillors give the go-ahead for solar panels to be installed on green belt land

South Staffordshire councillors have given the go-ahead for solar panels to be installed on green belt land.

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South Staffordshire District

The ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array is earmarked for an agricultural field at the back of a home in Tinkers Castle Road, Seisdon.

A report to the planning committee said the panels were not proposed for the roof of the property “as this would result in harm to the visual amenity of the property, and possibly the surrounding area.

"ln addition, the presence of mature trees located in the garden of the property would also cause potential overshading issues (if sited in the garden), resulting in a poorly performing PV system.”

South Staffordshire Council planning committee members approved the application at their latest meeting.

They heard that the panels would be considered inappropriate development in the green belt, but “very special circumstances” had been demonstrated in favour of the development.

The planning committee report said: “The proposed ground mounted solar panels would be limited in height and footprint and whilst outside of the domestic curtilage, they are close to its boundary and would not have any meaningful impact on the use of the land for grazing.

“The field boundaries are heavily screened by mature trees and hedges, limiting the proposal’s visual impact. The proposed solar panels would not therefore be considered prejudicial to the green belt or the purposes of including land within it, and therefore there are very special circumstances to clearly outweigh the potential harm on the green belt, by reason of inappropriateness.”

Ward councillor Robert Reade said: “I have no concerns whatsoever and will support the approval. I have heard no parish council issues.

“I’m well aware of that location and it is very secluded. It has no impact at all on the openness and it is well-screened at the back.”