Telford & Wrekin Council will legally challenge the government’s decision to allow Steeraway Solar Farm to go ahead.
Latest update from Telford and Wrekin Council Newsroom:
The council believes there are arguable legal grounds to challenge the government’s decision because the Planning Inspector who considered the case did not properly apply planning policies.
Councillor Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council (Labour) said: “On the stroke of a pen, Whitehall have sealed the fate of some of our most strategically important and much valued landscape. The Steeraway Solar Farm site will be even more intrusive than New Works Lane, blighting the surrounds of the Wrekin for generations to come.
“Together, the sites extend to 230 acres, the equivalent to 174 football pitches and on the Steeraway site alone, 77,000 solar panels will blight a much-loved beauty spot.
“As a council, we fully support the production of green energy. We are one of just a handful of councils in the country to run our own successful solar farm and as a planning authority, we have approved many solar farms in appropriate locations across the borough, but green energy should not be prioritised blindly over green space. These farms need to be built in the right places.
“The decision to allow Steeraway to go ahead goes against the views of our communities, our planning officers and the planning committee and we will be asking for it to be overturned in the courts as we set out in our 100 Day Action Plan”.
The council’s planning committee refused planning permission for the 99-acre solar farm at New Works between Arleston and Lawley and the government appointed local planning inspector agreed with that view, but a minister at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities overruled this in March 2023, giving the solar farm the green light.
In May 2023, another appointed planning inspector then approved the Steeraway Solar Farm development. In making their decision the inspector considered the Secretary of State’s decision at New Works and relied on this heavily to justify the decision to approve the second development.
The council will keep residents up to date as the legal challenges progress.
Quoted from Telford and Wrekin Council’s online newsroom. Original article can be found here: Newsroom – Council submits legal challenge against Steeraway Solar Farm (telford.gov.uk)
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