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PART 1: Solar Farm Community Meeting 11th April 2019

Called by Langham Parish Council

Purpose of the meeting was two-fold:

  1. To provide as much information as possible to the community about Elgin’s proposal to build a Solar Farm in Langham.
  2. To gather the views of the community concerning this proposal and to pass them on to Elgin and to RCC in order to inform what happens next.

Background:

Elgin held an exhibition in the Village Hall on 26th January. The law requires them to invite and consult with only those householders who live within 1km of the proposed site.

Langham Parish Council felt that every householder has an equal right to have their opinion heard.

It was decided that a Community Communication Meeting would be held, and an invitation was put through the door of every householder in Langham Parish, along with posters throughout the village.

Shape of the Meeting:

A display was created that showed details of the proposal (as supplied by Elgin, additional information relating to aspects of that proposal and questions highlighting insufficient, lack of, or ambiguous data in the proposal.

This was followed by a 30 minute presentation covering all the above.

A Question and Answer session was designed to provide more clarity via questions of  a member of Elgin, our county councillor and Langham Parish Council(LPC) – unfortunately the former two were unable to attend, so questions were fielded by LPC and informed members of the community.

Finally a Community Opinion Survey was offered to all who attended.

Attendance:

There are around 1,350 residents in Langham – and, as an estimate, around 1000 are adults. 120 people attended the meeting –which would suggest 12% of the adult community. 111 completed questionnaires were returned (92.5%) at the end of the evening.

Part 1: Results:

Q0. Are you in favour of a solar farm in Langham?

YES 23%

N0 67%

No View 6%

No response 4%

         

Q1a. Is this location acceptable?

YES 9%

NO 81%

No view 5%

No response 5%

         

Q1b. Is there a better location?

YES 41%

NO  14%

No view 24%

No response 21%

         

Q1c. If so, where?

Woolfox  15

   

Other suggestions on attached report of comments vs questions

Brownfield site  14

St George’s/N Luffenham  8

SomewhereAway from a village  8

         

Q2a. Is the size acceptable?

YES 6%

NO 80%

No view 3%

No response 11%

         

Q2b. Is it too small?

YES 1%

NO 51%

 

No response 48%

         

Q2c.Is it too big?

YES 85%

NO 5%

 

No response 10%

         

Q2d. If too big, how big should it be?

20 acres/5MW    26%

   

No response 32%

 

Up to 40 acres/10MW   20%

     
 

Up to 60 acres/15MW   16%

     
 

Up to 80 acres/20MW   5%

     
 

Up to 100 acres/25MW   1%

     
         

Q3a. Is it acceptable to take this land out of food production?

YES, ALL    6%

NO  53%

No view 8%

No response 4%

YES, SOME   29%

     
         

Q3b. Is it acceptable to lose this countryside for 30 yrs?

YES   23%

NO  63%

No view   9%

No response 5%

         

Q4a. Is the re-routing of the footpaths, as described, acceptable?

YES  25%

NO  59%

No view 10%

No response 6%

         

Q4b. Should the diversion be shorter?

YES 23%

NO 17%

No view 23%

No response 37%

         

Q4c.Should these footpaths NOT be diverted?

YES  53%

NO  17%

No view  15%

No response  15%

         

Q4d. Should the preferred route of the Langham

Bypass be protected?

YES  88%

NO  6%

No view  3%

No response  3%

         

Q5a. Should legal guarantees be sought beforehand

[before Planning Permission is submitted]?

YES 86%

NO 1%

No view 6%

No response  7%

         

Q5b. Should discussions be held with LPC beforehand

[before Planning Permission is submitted]?

YES  86%

NO  2%

No view  4%

No response  8%

         

Q6a. Do you think the Community Benefit being offered is sufficient?

YES 2%

NO  93%

No view  2%

No response 3%

         

Q6b. If no, should it be….

MORE  87%

LESS  2%

 

No response 11%

         

If you think it should be more, how much should it be [based on Elgin

offer £42/acre/year or £150,000 up front]?

£200-£300/acre/yr     7%

   

No response 32%

£300-£400/acre/yr   6%

   

£400-£500/acre/yr   9%

   

£500-£600/acre/yr   6%

   

£600-£750/acre/yr   40%

   
         

Q6c. Should it be paid up front, in total

YES  18%

NO  25%

No view  14%

Other methods suggested:

Should it be paid as % profit

Should it be index linked-inflation proofed

       

Q6d.Should it be paid annually

YES  25%

NO 22%

No view 12%

       

Q6e.Should it be paid over first 5 years

YES 33%

NO  18%

No view  8%