Installation of solar farm in green belt dismissed

The secretary of state has dismissed a scheme in the Lancashire green belt for the installation of a 5MW solar photovoltaic array across 3 fields, classified as Grade 4 agricultural land.

The array would comprise of 17,842 solar panels, mounted on structures capable of holding 48 panels. The secretary of state found that the proposal would help meet the renewable energy target for the borough, and this was a benefit that weighed significantly in favour of this proposal. He also acknowledged that the proposal would provide economic benefits, including employment opportunities in the area, and this consideration was given significant weight in favour of the proposal.

The secretary of state found that the proposal would represent inappropriate development in the green belt. In addition, he found that the proposal would reduce openness, and would fail to safeguard the countryside from encroachment. In line with the NPPF, the secretary of state attached substantial weight to this harm. He also agreed that the proposal would result in moderate landscape character and visual impact harm.

Inspector: Richard McCoy; Written representations

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