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Special Planning Meeting to Discuss Solar Farm Application

The decision reached after an extensive debate was that the following letter should be sent to the Case Officer, Mr Chris Gomm:
For the attention of Chris Gomm
Planning Department
Sedgemoor District Council
Bridgwater House
King Square
Dear Sir,
Re planning application number 24/14/00007 AshLawn Farm, Pill Road, Rooksbridge Brilliant Harvest 009 Ltd. relating to the Solar Energy farm.
East Brent Parish Councillors met for the second time last night to debate this planning application, before making its formal recommendations to Sedgemoor District Council.
It has previously met on Monday 7th April and had heard addresses from members of the public, the applicants and views of the local Councillors.
The second meeting was considered to be necessary because this is a major planning application and it should receive the proportionate attention to detail, such matters ought to
During both meetings, views were expressed about the lack of assistance and guidance the District Council has given to the Parish Council, regarding this major planning application.
In addition it was generally felt that insufficient time has been given to the Parish Council to consider this matter, before having to make its formal response to your Council. It is believed
that Sedgemoor District Council has been aware of this application for over a year, but the appropriate paperwork was only sent to our Parish Council some two weeks ago. This is very
much unlike the other recent and still in the appeal process Wind Farm major application.
Having debated this application for in excess of two and a half hours, conclusions were finally reached last night and this letter is intended to be the formal response from East Brent Parish
Council, which would normally be conveyed in an electronic format.
However, in view of the decision the Parish Council has reached, that format is neither available, or appropriate to use to communicate with you.
East Brent Parish Council (by a majority vote of its Councillors) decided that it is not able to either support or oppose this application. Instead, it asks that the District Council makes what it
feels to be the right decision about this application, based upon its detailed knowledge of such matters, including local and national policies / guidelines. The long term ramifications of having
a solar farm within its Parish are not foreseeable by the Local Council. It is reasonable to anticipate an application to extend the present site at some time in the future and the scope for
that is thought to be beyond the knowledge of the Local Parish Councillors.
The general consensus of the Parish Councillors was that solar energy production is one of the alternative forms of power which should be promoted and they are not opposing the
matter per se.
The Chairman of East Brent Parish Council therefore awaits your response to this letter, in order that he can advise the Parishioners of the outcome of this major planning application.
Yours faithfully,
Martin Shobbrook
Clerk to East Brent Parish Council