This application is for planning permission to install 4kW of solar PV; create a new entrance from the main highway (B3306) into the farm and put in a small access gate at the rear of the site.
The original application (PA15/05399) for 50kW of solar PV panel to be installed along 90 metres of hedge in the middle southernmost field at Bosavern Community Farm was submitted in June. This was withdrawn after objections that the proposal site was too visible and would have caused an unacceptable level of visual impact on the landscape.
Key points of this revised application:
Domestic 4kW solar PV system
• To be sited along the northern hedge in the Market Garden field and so will be hidden from external public view by polytunnels and nearby trees.
• The new site was decided in conjunction and agreement with the Cornwall AONB Planning Officer.
• All local Town councillors have been invited to visit the proposed site and the two attending to date have not expressed objections to the plans.
• The farm is owned and managed for the public benefit by a Community Benefit Society with most of its members living locally. The members strongly support the use of renewable technologies at the farm, being part of the ethos of creating a sustainable farming model.
• The solar PV system will have an annual estimated generation capacity of 4283 kWh, approximately 40% of the farms annual use, and will save approximately 1,979kg CO²e per annum, over 50 tonnes over its lifetime. (DEFRA 2015 – Grid electricity 0.46213 kgCO2e/kWh)
• It’s estimated that the feed in tariff payments and savings from using on site a good percentage of the generated electricity from the solar PV, will reduce the fuel bills of the farm by £800-£1000 a year and so improve the long term financial viability of the farm.
• The farm as well as growing produce is a learning centre (e.g. school visits) and the having the solar PV system will allow it to show the benefits of renewable energy to the wider community.
• This is needed on safety grounds as present access has very poor visibility for vehicles leaving the site due to its location.
• We would also like to reduce health & safety risks to volunteers, visitors and staff by restricting vehicle access through the working farmyard area to essential vehicles only.
• Following a site visit (December 2014) we were advised by the Highways Planning Officer where the new entrance in the Home field wall should be and also that we must reduce the height of the present wall to under 1m in height above the road surface. This is to increase visibility further for those leaving the site and also for drivers using the highway.
Further documents and maps are available at http://www.wc-cr.co.uk/bosavern-documents/
We are seeking planning permission from Cornwall Council for a small 50kW ground mounted solar PV system and to create a new safe main entrance to the farm.
The present farm entrance has poor visibility for visitors leaving our site. The proposed new entrance location is 20 metres up the hill and has been suggested by the Highways Planning Officer, following a site visit, as the best place to put it to allow maximum visibility both ways up and down the road (the old entrance will be closed off).
The solar PV panels will be in the middle southern field of the farm, will be less than 1.5m high, and will have the polytunnels and a hedge behind them. The farm is within the West Penwith AONB area. The Cornwall AONB Management Plan states support for small scale renewable energy generation within the AONB area. This is a small scheme appropriate for a farm location, taking up less than a quarter of an acre, close to other structures, not in a prominent position, being hidden from most public viewpoints, so that we believe its visual impact on the landscape will be minimal.
Bosavern Community Farm’s core aim is to farm by sustainable means. It follows Wholesome Food Association principles, keeping chemical inputs to an absolute minimum. It tries to improve the wildlife diversity on the farm and is looking at all ways to reduce overall its carbon footprint. Using a clean, green energy source will be another step in achieving this aim.
Both the new entrance and solar PV system will improve the quality of this local public space by providing a safe access to the site and by having a green clean energy generation source to sustain this community facility. The solar PV will reduce the farm’s electricity bills so improving its long-term financial viability. This will also consequently safeguard jobs at the farm.
The easiest way to give your comments about the application is online at the Cornwall Council Online Planning Register (http://planning.cornwall.gov.uk/online-applications/)
If you would like more details about the application, they can be found online via the link above, or by contacting Rob Pickering at firstname.lastname@example.org.