The Government has renewed its commitment to supporting community led renewable energy developments across the UK. This has been welcomed by all. However, where such schemes are located and how they impact local land-use falls to LPAs, governed by local and national policies.
The Government’s energy policy for on-shore wind generation suggests that Planning rules are not likely to be changed significantly. There will be consultation covering planning rules to strengthen policy in favour of ground-mounted solar development on non-protected land.
At all times HM Government expects local communities to continue to have their preferences heard and understood. Local planning policy should ensure that existing protections for the natural environment are front and centre. Alongside this, legislation for the protection of local cultural heritage and historic environments, some unseen, will add to the win-win for local communities who treasure their local heritage as markers of identity and distinctiveness.
AB Heritage has a long history of working with LPAs to ensure renewable energy developments, either as part of community-led projects, or on Local Authority-owned land, can proceed to plan confident that heritage issues are managed professionally, cost effectively and pragmatically as part of phased works.
Our case study at the former RAF Desborough Airfield, one of the UK’s largest Solar Farm developments, illustrates how our team managed a highly complex site for a proposed solar farm dealing effectively with both built heritage and archaeology.
AB Heritage is a registered organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.