What Has Happened This Week

Campaign Update: What Has Happened This Week


Objection Update

The last week has seen us reach over 208 objections, including one from a pre-eminent charity. We sat in on another parish council meeting’s zoom call to capture the local conversation around the solar farm and newly submitted battery application. Whilst we also launched a new campaign to get pictures from you!  

CPRE Objects 

On Sunday 14th February CPRE, the countryside charity, submitted a letter of objection to the planned solar farm. Like us they “recognise the benefits of providing energy from renewable sources” but believe that the size, scale, and lack of appropriate mitigation measures means the proposal would have “an irretrievable detrimental impact” on our landscape. 

You can read the whole objection letter by Des O’Donnell, on behalf CPRE Hampshire, for yourself on the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Planning Portal.

It discusses how the proposal is in conflict with Basingstoke and Deane’s Local Plan and the Bramley Neighbourhood plan. They give great deference to the impact on our countryside, environment and wildlife as one would expect from such a renowned charity that has a clear green agenda at its forefront.  

We hope other environmental groups and charities will follow suit. 

Bramley Parish Council Discuss Battery Application 

On Tuesday 16th February Bramley Parish Council met for their monthly meeting and Item 9.1 on the agenda was the Planning Committee Report, including updates on solar farm application and battery application. 

The clerk confirmed that their solar farm objection letter has been submitted on the planning committee then they moved onto the suspiciously recently submitted battery application. click here to see it

Bramley PC had asked for an environmental assessment for the battery farm at a meeting a few months ago when it was at its pre-application phase and they were concerned that the applicant had now gone for full planning before that was actioned. Cllr Tomblin questioned the fact that the battery application had been submitted separate to the solar farm. He said they [Bramley Parish Council] should all be concerned but noted that it is legal.

Cllr Tomblin also questioned what “moderate harm” [that the applicant said the battery would do to our environment] meant in the planning statement. Whilst Cllr Durrant said it was laughable that they can camouflage the battery farm.

There was then a debate between Cllr Durrant, Cllr Munday and Cllr Oborn. With the former two questioning the ‘noise’ that the applicant’s planning statement made around green energy when it does not actually produce green energy and is solely reliant on the solar farm application and any other renewable farms to do so. Cllr Oborn took another viewpoint positing that the battery is good in terms of renewable energy because it stores energy for when it is needed most and this allows the generating capacity to be made more “green” in the long term. 

The parish council is still to schedule a full discussion and decision on the battery farm. However, they raise an interesting point about the interlinkage of these two sites. We are exploring any link between Enso and the new application, analysing the planning application and hope to formulate a response next week. 

Submit Your Photos 

We have just launched a campaign and we need you. Please share your loved photos of the 210 acres of land the solar farm threatens to destroy. 

We want your images so we can show Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council what an invaluable contribution this green open space and network of pathways makes to our lives. To illustrate how it is more than just footpaths and good quality soil but it is part of our community!

Submissions so far include pictures of dogs on walks, sunrise views and selfies. Please flick through your phone’s camera roll and see what you can contribute to this initiative. 

Conclusion

Overall, we have seen some amazing progress recently. However, the final decision has yet to be made and we still need you to tell the decision makers at the council that this solar farm is the wrong size, in the wrong place and being delivered by the wrong company

You can still object here