A decision is set to be made this evening over a 5MW solar farm planned for development on the site of a former quarry.
Staffordshire Moorland district council’s planning committee will meet today to discuss an application submitted by The Solar Building Company (SBC) in April to redevelop the Moneystone Quarry site in Oakamoor after its initial application was turned down late last year.
The developer had previously proposed an 8.5MWp plant on the site in June last year, however the project was snubbed by the council after opposition from local residents and concerns over the environmental impact.
However SBC returned in April this year with an amended application, reducing the site’s size to 14.3 hectares and improving on aspects of its restoration and aftercare scheme which includes the planting of wildflowers during the project’s 25-year lifetime.
The site’s generation capacity has also been reduced to 5MW, the maximum any solar farm can be to still qualify under the RO after the 1.4 ROC deadline expired on 31 March.
But despite the developer’s efforts approval by environmental groups, the site has still been met with fierce opposition. Local resident Sheila Walters addressed the council to argue that SBC’s environmental plan was “inadequate” and failed to address certain areas of concern, while Patricia Mycock claimed the farm would be a “blight” on the local area.
In a letter to planning officer Arne Swithenbank, Staffordshire County Council confirmed it now has no objection to the amended proposal and has backed the project’s biodiversity plans, while the adjacent Kinglsey Parish Council has also said it does not oppose the site’s development.