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Contact: Sarah Sellers Democratic Services Officer
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Michael Chalk and Councillor Aled Evans
Apologies were also received from Councillor Brandon Clayton who had been due to attend as a speaker in his ward member capacity for agenda item .
Declarations of Interest
To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and / or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.
There were no declarations of interest.
To note Update Reports (if any) for the Planning Applications to be considered at the meeting (circulated prior to the commencement of the meeting)
There was no update report.
Application 21/00195/FUL - Land South Of Astwood Lane Feckenham Redditch B96 6HP - Mr Michael Fletcher (Statkraft UK LTD) PDF 513 KB
Construction of a Greener Grid Park comprising energy storage and grid balancing equipment along with associated infrastructure, landscaping and access
Officers updated Members that since the committee report had been published one further representation had been received in objection but that this had not raised any new issues not already covered in the summary of public consultation responses on pages 11 to 12 of the agenda.
Officers presented the report and took Members through the slides in the presentation pack. In doing so officers set out the physical elements of the proposed battery storage facility and the reasons for the selection of the particular location for the site adjacent to the existing electricity sub-station. It was noted that the equipment would be used to store, import and export electricity and that the energy park was designed to support the flexible operation of the National Grid and the decarbonisation of electricity supply.
The development would be operated remotely with occasional inspection and maintenance visits. Significant landscaping works were proposed including retention of existing trees, new planting and biodiversity enhancements. These measures would be secured through conditions and the implementation of a Landscape and Biodiversity Mitigation Plan.
It was noted that the site was located entirely within the Green Belt and Members were referred to the Green Belt assessment on pages 19 to 24 of the agenda. Officers had concluded that the impact on the openness of the Green Belt would be limited given the low scale of development and proposed landscaping. Further, that the applicant had demonstrated that Very Special Circumstances existed which could justify the proposal in the Green Belt as set out on page 24 of the report.
With regard to the local highway network, it was noted that during the construction phase there would be an impact arising from daytime HGV deliveries to the site and from an estimated 8 to 12 deliveries of abnormal loads. Officers described the options for HGV routing that had been considered with reference to the Proposed HGV Routing Plan on page 25 of the Site Plans and Presentations Pack, and summarised the reasons why routes A and C had been discounted.
The route preferred by County Highways was Route B along the A441 through Astwood Bank onto the Saltway and then Rockhill Lane, and this had been agreed by the applicant. Provision had been made for necessary upgrades and post completion remedial works at Rockhill Lane which would be carried out at the expense of the applicant. To mitigate the impact of Abnormal Load Vehicles measures adopted would include night working and road closures.
In commenting on other aspects of the application, officers referred to the issues around fire safety which had been raised by Feckenham Parish Council. Members were advised that a further fire safety report had been submitted by the applicant, and that a more detailed suite of documents addressing fire safety would be developed by the applicant during the design phase. Based on the fire safety measures proposed to ... view the full minutes text for item 41.