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Note: This meeting will not be livestreamed
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE/SUBSTITUTIONS
61.1 Apologies were received from Councillor Matthissen.
61.2 Councillor Lay substituted for Councillor Matthissen.
TO RECEIVE ANY DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND OTHER REGISTRABLE OR NON REGISTRABLE INTERESTS BY MEMBERS
62.1 Councillor Hadingham and Councillor Warboys declared an other non-registerable interest in respect of application number DC/22/02667 as the landowners were known to them.
DECLARATIONS OF LOBBYING
63.1 All Members, apart from Councillor Lay, declared that they had been lobbied in respect of application number DC/22/02667.
DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL SITE VISITS
64.1 Councillor Warboys declared a personal site visit in respect of application number DC/22/02667.
It was RESOLVED:
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2023 be confirmed and signed as a true record.
TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATION OF PETITIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COUNCIL'S PETITION SCHEME
66.1 None received.
Note: The Chairman may change the listed order of items to accommodate visiting Ward Members and members of the public.
67.1 In accordance with the Councils procedures for public speaking on planning applications, representations were made as follows:
68.1 Item 7A
Proposal Planning Application - Mixed use development comprising installation of a ground mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) farm; along with continued agricultural use, ancillary infrastructure, substation, security fencing, landscaping provision, ecological enhancements and associated works.
Site Location Grange Farm, Old Bury Road, Palgrave, Suffolk, IP22 1AZ
Applicant Pathfinder Clean Energy UK Dev Ltd
68.2 The Case Officer introduced the application to the Committee outlining the proposal before Members including: the previous Committee decision made at the meeting on 13 September 2023, the contents of the tabled papers, an update on the Palgrave Neighbourhood Plan, the location and layout of the site, the expected energy generation of the scheme, the existing Public Right of Ways (PROW) and enhancements proposed by the scheme, the site constraints including surrounding heritage assets and conservation area, the agricultural land classification of the site, the proposed landscape mitigation plan, access to the site, the design and dimensions of the equipment, the cumulative impact of surrounding proposed schemes, and the proposed seasonal grazing and planting scheme.
68.3 The Case Officer went on to detail the amendments made to the proposal following the previous decision of deferral including: the height of the solar panels, the separation distance to the western edge of the village, the amended mitigation and enhancement plan including landscaping around the substation and hedgerow planting, and biodiversity plans. The Case Officer provided details of the recommendation of approval as per the Committee report.
68.4 The Case Officer and the Area Planning Manager responded to questions from Members on issues including: the future plans for the hedgerows once the scheme had been decommissioned, the proposed fencing scheme in relation to wildlife, the proposed landscaping around the substation including future maintenance, the number of brownfield sites in Mid Suffolk, the potential for the benefits of the landscape and ecology mitigation to be reviewed beyond the existing 5-10 year period, and the weight of the Diss Neighbourhood Plan.
68.5 Following a question from Members the Planning Lawyer provided clarification regarding the previous decisions made by the Planning Inspectorate on similar applications, and advised Members that the decisions made were not precedents but did illustrate trends in decision making.
68.6 The Case Officer responded to further questions from Members on issues including: conditions which could be added to ensure that there were no herbicides or pesticides used on the land, the refence in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) of the need to support local businesses, and the location of the new permissive footpath to the west of the site.
68.7 Members considered the representation from Neil Weston who spoke on behalf of Palgrave Parish Council.
68.7 Members considered the representation from Fiona Bowden who spoke as an Objector.
68.8 The parish Council Representative and the Objector responded to questions from Members on issues including: the outcomes of the re-consultation following the previous decision of deferral, and the community funding offer made by the Applicant.
68.9 The Case Officer advised Members that the community ... view the full minutes text for item 68.
69.1 None received.