Project

Longney Solar Farm

Location

Gloucestershire

Client

Elgin Energy EsCo Limited

Services Used

A Pegasus Group team of planners, landscape architects and environmental planners were appointed in 2016 to assist Elgin Energy in gaining a planning consent for a solar energy scheme near Longney, in Gloucestershire. As part of the project the team provided the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA), that was part of the Environmental Reports Compendium. The assessment provided a comprehensive review and analysis of views in and out, and effects upon the local landscape. The site, being located on a localised higher ground, is enclosed by a mature and tall hedgerow, and tree belts. The application was recommended for approval, however, was refused at Committee on the grounds of significant effects on landscape character and residential visual amenity.

In early 2019 Elgin Energy asked Pegasus Group to appeal against Stroud District Council’s decision. The Landscape Statement included a detailed review of the inter-visibility between the site and various locations in the locale. The previously assessed viewpoints were supplemented by the assessment of sequential visibility along the nearby PRoWs, particularly around the village of Longney and along the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. The additional assessment was based on the detailed ‘screened’ ZTV which took into account varied height of the site boundary hedgerows, and the anticipated vegetative growth. Pegasus Group was able to argue that with a minor changed to the layout the previously proposed mitigation and enhancement planting would successful screen and help absorb the development into the site. The appeal statement also responded to the stipulated adverse effects upon the Cotswolds AONB, which we argued would not the be significant.

The appeal was allowed in September 2019.

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