SH Newsletter January 2021 WEB - Flipbook - Page 15
SOLAR IN THE GREEN BELT
Stephenson Halliday Provide Advice to Potential Developers of Solar Farms in the Green Belt
In planning terms, solar farms are generally considered to be ‘inappropriate development’ in the Green
Belt and therefore very special circumstances need to be demonstrated for a scheme to be found to
be acceptable. Very special circumstances may include the wider environmental benefits associated
with increased production of energy from renewable sources (NPPF para 147) but each site needs to be
considered on its own merits and the need for renewable energy alone is unlikely to be a sufficiently strong
argument. The level of harm to the Green Belt needs to be considered on a case by case basis.
It is recognised that the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence
(NPPF para 133). In assessing the impact of a proposal on the openness of the Green Belt, Planning Practice
Guidance (PPG) acknowledges that openness is capable of having both spatial and visual aspects.
Stephenson Halliday has recently reviewed a number of potential sites within the Green Belt for several solar
developers to consider the extent to which the spatial and visual aspects of openness would be impacted.
This feasibility work is being used by developers in pre-application discussions with
relevant planning authorities and is the basis for presenting a robust planning case for
very special circumstances.
We would be more than happy to discuss how we might be able to assist in
appraising the suitability of your sites for solar development or making the very
special circumstances argument as part of your planning application. Speak to your
existing SH contact or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.