• Planning cttee set to endorse new guidance on solar/windfarms

    10th July 2013 | News | Claire
  • A report that will be considered at next week’s (Wednesday 17 July, 2pm) development management committee meeting, states the following:

    Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment to report that Devon County Council has produced specialist technical landscape impact guidance for development proposals.

    This document provides technical guidance on how landscape character and quality should be taken into account in planning applications and forward planning for onshore wind energy and free-standing solar photovoltaic developments. It examines the potential landscape effects that may arise from these developments and highlights aspects of Devon s landscape that may be sensitive to these, with reference to Devon s landscape character assessments.

    Generic guidance is presented to encourage a good standard of siting, design and assessment. The document concludes with advice on managing landscape change, both proactively through strategic planning and reactively in response to planning applications. The Devon Landscape Policy Group s draft policy position is also stated, aiming to achieve consistent local landscape policy and guidance on renewable energy development in Devon.

    The intention is that the Advice Note will be taken forward and used consistently as a Devon-wide supplementary planning document for each Local Devon Planning Authority, with local relevant information appended to the Advice Note.

    The Government has recently acknowledged that the cumulative effect of wind turbines is becoming an issue, and has changed planning guidance to allow landscape and visual impacts to be given greater weight in planning decisions on windfarms, and for communities potentially affected by these developments to have more influence on local decision-making.

    By endorsing the document, the County Council will lead the way for the other councils to do likewise, thereby fulfilling the duty to co-operate which has now replaced the strategic role of County Council through the Structure Plan.

    RECOMMENDED that the specialist technical document be endorsed by the Development Management Committee allowing it to be used in carrying out Devon County Council s development management responsibilities.The link to the agenda and relevant paperwork is here – http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/councildemocracy/decision_making/cma/cma_document.htm?cmadoc=agenda_dvc_20130717.html