Agenda and draft minutes

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No. Item




The Chairman, Councillor Mrs Spikings welcomed everyone of the meeting.  She advised that the meeting was being recorded and streamed live on You Tube.


The Democratic Services Officer carried out a roll call to determine attendees.



To receive any apologies for absence and to note any substitutions.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mrs Nockolds (Councillor Sampson substitute), Councillor Parish (Councillor de Whalley substitute) and Councillor Patel (Councillor Bambridge substitute).


The Chairman thanked the substitutes for attending the meeting.



To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 February 2022.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 February 2022 were agreed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman, Councillor Mrs Spikings.


Declarations of Interest

Please indicate if there are any interests which should be declared.  A declaration of an interest should indicate the nature of the interest (if not already declared on the Register of Interests) and the agenda item to which it relates.  If a disclosable pecuniary interest is declared, the Member should withdraw from the room whilst the matter is discussed.


These declarations apply to all Members present, whether the Member is part of the meeting, attending to speak as a local Member on an item or simply observing the meeting from the public seating area.


Councillor appointed representatives on the Internal Drainage Boards are noted.



There were none.


Urgent Business Under Standing Order 7

To consider any business, which by reason of special circumstances, the Chairman proposes to accept, under Section 100(b)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.


There was no urgent business pursuant to Standing Order 7.


Members attending under Standing Order 34

Members wishing to speak pursuant to Standing Order 34 should inform the Chairman of their intention to do so and on what items they wish to be heard before a decision on that item is taken.


The following Councillors attended under Standing Order 34:


Cllr T Parish                8/1(a)               Walpole


A statement was read out from Councillor Blunt in relation to 8/1(a)


Chairman's Correspondence

To receive any Chairman’s correspondence.


The Chairman, Councillor Mrs Spikings reported that any correspondence received had been read and passed to the appropriate officer.


Receipt of Late Correspondence on Applications pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To receive the Schedule of Late Correspondence received since the publication of the agenda.


A copy of the late correspondence received after the publication of the agenda, which had been previously circulated, was tabled.  A copy of the agenda would be held for public inspection with a list of background papers.


Index of Applications pdf icon PDF 14 KB

The Committee is asked to note the Index of Applications.

Additional documents:


The Committee noted the Index of Applications.


Decisions on Applications pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To consider and determine the attached Schedule of Planning Applications submitted by the Executive Director.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered schedules of applications for planning permission submitted by the Executive Director for Planning & Environment (copies of the schedules are published with the agenda).  Any changes to the schedules are recorded in the minutes.


RESOLVED:  That the applications be determined, as set out at (i) – (iv) below, where appropriate, to the conditions and reasons or grounds of refusal, set out in the schedules signed by the Chairman.


(i)              21/01442/FM

Walpole:  Land east Marsh, S of Gunthorpe Road, W of Flowers Farm and Frenchs Road, The Marsh, Walpole St Andrew:  Installation of a solar farm and battery storage facility with associated infrastructure:  Walpole Green Limited


Click here to view a recording of this item on You Tube.


The Senior Planner introduced the report and explained that this was a cross-boundary application duplicated with application ref: H18-0741-21 being processed by South Holland District Council (SHDC).   At its meeting of the Planning Chairman’s Panel on 21 January 2022, SHDC devolved its decision-making authority to this Council, with a recommendation of approval.


The site (approximately 78 ha of agricultural land) was located immediately west / south-west of the hamlet of Walpole Marsh and east of Foul Anchor and Tydd Gote.  The latter two settlements were sited on the opposite side of the River Nene, which ran along the western site boundary, and beyond the Borough Council’s remit (Fenland District Council and SHDC accordingly).  The site had a flat topography with open views, but with 4 no. overhead high voltage power lines supported by the pylons that crossed the site.  The Walpole St Peter Footpath 1 also crossed the centre of the site in an east west direction. This effectively constituted the administrative boundary with SHDC, so the NE parcel of land was located within SHDC and the SW parcel was located within this Council’s jurisdiction (plus the connection route to the National Grid).


This was a full planning application for the installation of a solar farm and battery storage facility with associated infrastructure and access via Gunthorpe Road.


The solar farm was predicted to have a peak output of 49.9MW, which could power the equivalent of more than 10,150 average homes in the England.  The development was anticipated to have a lifespan of 35 years, after which the land would be returned to full agricultural use.  Sheep grazing was proposed in the interim so the land would not be fully lost to agriculture / food production.  Biodiversity and landscaping enhancements were proposed as part of the development.


The electricity generated by the solar development would be fed into the National Grid at the Walpole Substation via underground cables mostly following the highway network.


The application had been submitted following Environmental Impact Assessment screening and a public consultation exercise.


The application had been referred to the Committee for determination at the request of Councillor Blunt and there were also objections from Walpole Parish Council and Sutton Bridge Parish Council that were contrary to the officer recommendation.


The Committee noted the key issues  ...  view the full minutes text for item PC35:a