West Oxfordshire District Council ask the Botley West Solar Farm developer to make significant improvements to their plans
West Oxfordshire District Council has responded to the Scoping Report submitted by the developers of the proposed Botley West Solar Farm which sets out what elements of the local environment the developer is considering as part of their proposal.
Andy Graham, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said, “We have been clear from the inception of this proposal we need to follow this process correctly and review the proposals put forward by the developer as part of the process.
“At this stage we have been asked by the Planning Inspector to review their plans from a technical perspective along with other affected councils before they go to public consultation.
“We have given feedback on a number of areas where we think the developer needs to do more to consider issues such as flooding, wildlife protection, why this site has been selected, the impact on farming, housing, recreation and heritage among a wide range of topics we have been asked to comment on.
“We are listening to all residents' views on this proposal which have helped steer these responses which we hope will lead to a proposal that better considers the local area.
“The next stage will show the detailed proposals that will be consulted on in public where all residents will be able to give their views. We will make sure to let residents know about that consultation and I would encourage people to take part when it is live to make their views known.”
“As the district council we must remain neutral until those full plans are published so that we are not seen to be biassed before having all the facts. We believe that by taking this approach we can make a properly informed submission that will carry more weight with the Planning Inspector.”
The Council response to the Scoping Report has been given to the Planning Inspectorate who are managing the application and will make the decision on the site. The Planning Inspectorate will review feedback on the Scoping Report from West Oxfordshire District Council along with affected parish councils,.other host authorities and statutory agencies.
The next round of public consultation is expected in Autumn 2023 according to the developers website. Residents can find more information at www.botleywest.co.uk
The Botley West Solar Farm is a national level proposal being brought forward by a private developer and ultimately the Planning Inspectorate and Secretary of State will be making a decision on whether it is approved.
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.
West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team
Notes to editors
The full scoping report and responses can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/botley-west-solar-farm/?ipcsection=docs