West Oxfordshire District Council ask the Botley West Solar Farm developer to make considerable improvements to their plans

West Oxfordshire District Council has responded to the most recent consultation from the developers of the proposed Botley West Solar Farm setting out multiple areas of concern with the proposal.  

Andy Graham, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said, “We have been clear from the inception of this proposal that the Council needs to follow this process correctly and provide well considered, evidence-based responses which is what we are doing. We believe that by taking this approach we can make a properly informed submission that will carry more weight with the Planning Inspector. 

“We have been working with local groups and communities to make sure that their views have been directed to the developers before they submit their plans to the Planning Inspectorate. We have also submitted our own in-depth response to the most recent consultation as one of the consulted planning authorities. 

“We have given feedback on a number of areas where we have concerns with the plans. This includes impacts on the landscape and heritage of the area, local wildlife and the wider environment.  

“We have also asked the developer to consider a much higher community payment linked to the amount of electricity generated from the site. 

“I would like to thank all the local community groups and organisations for their efforts in responding to the recent consultation and I hope all their views will be taken on board by the developer.” 

The recent consultation was discussed by the Council’s Development Control Committee on Monday 5 February with local residents giving their views to feed into the council response which has been submitted to the developer.  

The developer is planning to submit their application to the Planning Inspectorate in summer 2024. The district council will submit further representations at this time, to explain whether the developer’s pre application consultation has been adequate. (The Adequacy of Consultation Representation). If the application is accepted, the Planning Inspectorate will carry out what is known as an ‘examination’ before the Government decides whether to approve the scheme.  

The district council, other key stakeholders and local communities will have further opportunities to respond to the proposals during the examination process before a final decision is made. Key to this will be the submission of the Local Impact Report by the district council, which will provide details of the likely impact of the proposal on West Oxfordshire. 

Residents can find more information at www.botleywest.co.uk 

The Council has previously expressed its disappointment that the proposal will bypass the local planning process, limiting input and decision making at a local level. 

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]

Notes to editors

The council’s response to the latest consultation can be found on the council’s website at https://www.westoxon.gov.uk/botleywestsolarfarm