Issue - meetings

6/22/9003- Land at Sandscale Park

Meeting: 28/02/2023 - Development Control and Regulation Committee (Item 113)

113 Application Reference No. 6/22/9003 - Planning permission for a 2 mega-watt (MW) ground mounted Solar Array and associated infrastructure on land at Sandscale, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 4QS pdf icon PDF 333 KB

[Electoral Divisions: Dalton North]


To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy & Infrastructure (copy enclosed)


Mr Betton left the meeting at this point.


Members considered a report on an application for planning permission for a 2 mega-watt (MW) ground mounted Solar Array and associated infrastructure on land at Sandscale, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.


The Lead Officer – Development Control took members through the report showing them plans, aerial images and photographs of the site and its immediate surrounds and the proposal.  The Lead Officer explained that an assessment of whether glint and/or glare from the solar array would adversely affect flight paths of aircraft from nearby landing sites, had been carried out and that this concluded that there would be no significant glare affecting pilots using the airfield and the scheme would not lead to hazardous situations for aircraft.


The Lead Officer considered that the proposed solar farm struck an acceptable balance between benefits and impacts, and whilst there were some landscape impacts, effects on sensitive receptors from glint and glare, and the possibility of some disruption to users of the public right of way during the construction and decommissioning phases, he felt these to be relevantly limited.  He therefore recommended that planning permission be granted, subject to condition in Appendix 1 of the report.


Mr Betton returned to the meeting at this point.  He did not take part in the vote.


One of the members asked if it would be possible to amend Condition 3 of the planning permission to provide more precise criteria for when the solar array should be removed.


The Lead Officer highlighted the difficulties of establishing a precise performance based threshold which could easily be ascertained/measured and felt the current wording was sufficient and noted the economic imperative for ensuring the productivity of the panels and re-use of the site at the end of the operational life of the solar array.


The Chair then invited the registered speakers to address the meeting.


Mr Dale Hunter the agent for this application addressed the meeting.  He raised the following points:


·           Potential impacts on aviation infrastructure as a result of glint and glare and the assessments prepared in relation to this

·           Overwintering and breeding waterbird populations on the Duddon Estuary, undulating sand dunes and barrier effects

·           Access arrangements from A590 and crossing the railway line

·           Health and Safety Executive spatial web app

·           Agricultural land classification, spatial constraints and nature of the development


The Chair thanked Mr Hunter for his presentation.


Upon conclusion of the public participation, and there being no further questions the recommendations were moved and seconded and out to a vote.  The vote was unanimous.


RESOLVED,     that Planning Permission be GRANTED subject to conditions as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.