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Joint Statement by CARE Suffolk & Mid Suffolk Council

Joint statement from Mid Suffolk District Council and CARE (Community Alliance for a Rural Environment) Suffolk on Bramford Green solar farm application and appeal:

“Like many rural planning authorities, Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee has been asked to determine large-scale renewable energy developments. The council always tries to balance the benefits of that with any constraints it may face in the district.

“When a council refuses a planning application, like it did this one in February, the applicant has the right to appeal with the Planning Inspector. On this occasion the applicant did just that.

“When the applicant makes their case to the Inspector it is then good practice for the council to review its position and seek legal counsel. This legal advice was considered at the first opportunity on 21 June at the newly-formed planning committee’s first meeting.

“The committee will always consider and value public opinion alongside the recommendations of professional planning officers in reaching a decision, which the committee believes to be in the best interests of the district.

“However, it is bound to reach its decision in accordance with its statutory duty, which is to determine planning applications in accordance with the local development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise, including among other things the National Planning Policy Framework.

“After careful consideration of the legal advice received, and taking into account material considerations that have changed since the original decision, the council will not be defending the reasons for refusal.

“Community representatives will continue to defend similar reasons to the council’s refusal at appeal. They will continue to make their case directly to the inspector, based on their own concerns and evidence.

“We will continue to lobby government to provide urgent clarity through the production of a more joined up strategic plan for energy developments as well as a national plan for agriculture, to help all local authorities find the right balance between food production, protecting our countryside, and delivering energy security.

“The council is considering how it proceeds with a separate ‘free-go’ application for the solar farm, and the various options, as it may influence the appeal process.”

This will also be published on the Councils website and by the East Anglian Daily Times.

We have received a lot of comments from residents about the decision made by the Council and have tried our best to convey those emotions to both the Council and the EADT. It seems to be a very complex situation, and quite unusual, and everyone is trying to figure out what happens next.

1 thought on “Joint Statement by CARE Suffolk & Mid Suffolk Council”

  1. So sad that the authorising authority has caved in because the applicant has made a fuss. It’s about time those that the public who elected the authority got more support.

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