Bluestone Solar Farm

Solar Farm consented on Best and Most Versatile (BMV) land
Site selection to justify use of BMV (including GIS mapping)
Educating officers on food production in the UK
Persuasive Committee speech to address BMV concerns

The site occupied a high proportion of Best and Most Versatile (BMV) land and an application submitted by a previous consultant was originally refused planning permission by the Local Authority. Having been appointed after this refusal, we twin tracked an appeal and re-submission, highlighting the need for the site and the absence of lower grade land anywhere else in the vicinity. Noting the prospects for success at appeal, the Council subsequently granted consent for the resubmitted application and we were since retained to discharge the planning conditions ahead of construction.


We were appointed following a refusal of planning permission due to the presence of Best and Most Versatile (BMV) land within the site area. The site also faced strong local opposition due to perceived cumulative impacts with other nearby energy projects.


A carefully thought out planning strategy involving a dual-tracked planning appeal and resubmitted planning application, reconfiguring the site boundary to minimize BMV land use. A strong case was made which justified the remaining use of BMV land with reference to recent appeal precedence and this was accepted by the Local Planning Committee who approved the revised application.


Going beyond a straightforward assessment against planning policy, the project showed the importance in properly communicating the site selection process and explaining the benefits of the scheme to the wider agricultural enterprise. This enabled a better appreciation of the context of the development which was useful in achieving the support of key stakeholders.

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