Agenda and minutes

Special, Planning Committee - Thursday, 31st August, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 1GH

Contact: Democratic Services - Email: 


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Higgins. Councillor Butcher was appointed as his substitute.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Members to declare any interest as appropriate in respect of items to be considered at this meeting.


Cllr Allnatt declared an other interest as a campaigner for solar panels but stated that he would judge the application on its merit.


Schedule of Applications


Application 22/00537/FUL pdf icon PDF 478 KB

Fields OS 6700 6722 and 5200, Muston Lane, Easthorpe

Additional documents:


The Senior Planning Officer (AC) addressed the Committee and provided a summary of the application. Two further letters of objection had been received since the publication of the report. The application was recommended for approval subject to the conditions as detailed in section 11 of the report.


The following points were raised following the Officer presentation:

·       It was noted that despite the hedgerow management for the majority of the year the solar panels would be visible.

·       In response to a query, Members were informed that important view seven is sighted east of the site and therefore was not included in the presentation.

·       It was noted that the report stated that the Conservation Officer had stated that the impact of the scheme upon the settings of the designated heritage assets would result in less than substantial harm to their significance, although the written advice was not available to the Committee.

·       It was noted that Historic England stated that the impact of the proposals upon the settings of the designated heritage assets would result in harm to their significance. Members sought clarification on whether further modelling exercises had taken place to acknowledge the comments. The Committee recognised that they needed to be fully satisfied that the damage to the area was outweighed by the benefit of the scheme.


Pursuant to Chapter 2, Part 9, Paragraphs 2.8-2.28 of the Council’s Constitution in relation to public speaking at Planning Committee, the Chair allowed the following to give a three minute presentation:


·       Bob Bayman, Bottesford Parish Council

·       Brean Hammond, Objector, Save Our Vale Environment

·       Conor McAllister, Applicant, JBM Solar


During the questioning of the speakers, the following key points were raised:

·       It was noted that the amount of power produced by the scheme is expected to be at the higher end and that this is because scheme will using tracking powers to track the sun.

·       It was explained that the proposed site is the best location for the scheme, in terms of energy harvesting, when assessing against the criteria set by JBM Solar. It is expected that the scheme will produce enough power for 19000 homes.

·       Following a question of whether the site could be smaller but with the same amount of electricity being produced, as with other similar sites, the applicant stated that the site had to be the size proposed so that the project was economically viable.

·       Members were informed that the 2½ acre recreational area within the scheme is a cumulative total and would be spread across the area of the scheme.

·       There will be internal tracks laid as part of the scheme. They will be made from crushed stone and single tracks between four and five metres wide.

·       It was explained that after the 40 year lease, the landowner has the choice of the internal tracks being returned back to the state it was in when it was first leased.

·       The planting will be carried out the first growing season following construction, although the planting of the perimeter hedge could be  ...  view the full minutes text for item PL28