Author Topic: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park  (Read 15229 times)

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Offline epiphany

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http://publicaccess.welhat.gov.uk/rpp/index.asp?caseref=S6/2013/1570/EI

A huge 33 hectare solar farm has been proposed for several fields adjacent to A1M near
Home Farm and North Mymms Cricket Club.

Bizarrely the consultants acting for Camborne Energy Investments Ltd claim that their proposal
'will not impact adversely on the Green Belt'. ???

Originally posted on Welwyn/Hatfield forum by mythoughts on Aug 7.

Note - edited only to correct spelling of Company
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 09:56:07 pm by James Bentall »
 

Midnight

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 03:20:34 am »
Well, without more detail about the real owners and beneficiaries of the scheme, I'd be inclined to favour this type of renewable energy scheme over wind turbines.  I presume that we get enough sunlight in the area to make this work.  Having seen solar schemes elsewhere, it need not be unsightly, would be silent, non-polluting to the local environ and certainly preferable to the wretched incinerator project for net energy contribution. 

Heaven forbid that there'd be local officials/politicians that have some kind of vested interest in the proposed (solar) scheme unlike the incinerator monstrosity.
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2013, 07:51:58 am »
Having seen solar schemes elsewhere, it need not be unsightly

I'm not sure about that, a google images search for large solar farm produces some fairly unpleasant sights.

Once green fields are gone, they're gone!
 

Offline BrookyP

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 09:22:08 am »
if an incinerator producing many giga watts is proposed for nearby, whats the reason for a field covered in solar panels. Must be for private use I guess.
 

Offline Nimbus

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 09:34:29 am »
Having seen solar schemes elsewhere, it need not be unsightly

I'm not sure about that, a google images search for large solar farm produces some fairly unpleasant sights.

Once green fields are gone, they're gone!

Yes. Degrading the land so permission for their ultimate, as yet unstated, objective is easier to obtain?
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 11:11:38 am »
Think I'm far happier with a solar farm than an incinerator.

Other than the visual impact if you are able to see it at all (compared with a chimney stack several hundred feet tall) and zero emissions I can't see the two can be compared. It wouldn't generate much extra traffic if any.
 

Offline motherchuck

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 12:19:34 pm »
If anyone would like more information about solar farms try www.bowlerenergy.co.uk which is one of many companies that offer to set one up. They regularly advertise in Farmers Weekly looking for land owners, as do others.

They are also promoted by the Government as a way of producing energy without the use of fossil fuels.

The land owner is a financial beneficiary.
 

Offline Chungdokwan

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 03:56:51 pm »
Making hay while the sun shines?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327375/The-solar-panel-gold-rush-threatens-ruin-countryside.html

Presumably the ground would require the application of something like Agent Orange to prevent weeds from growing all over the panels. That won't do much for already threatened wildlife.

There is a big financial incentive to install such things but I'm sure that the government will reduce the subsidy in the near future and I also understand that the benefit to the electricity consumer is outweighed by the cost to the tax payer.

It's a real shame that farmers can't now make much of a living growing or rearing things but instead have had to resort to making ends meet in this way. I believe that such installations require planning permission. Proximity to North Mymms House might be an issue as it's Grade I listed.

http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-158539-north-mymms-park-with-adjoining-garden-w

I fully expect to hear about fracking in South Mimms next.
 

Midnight

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2013, 02:28:43 am »
I don't think we're talking about the kind of installations you see in Spain which can be immense in scale and structurally pretty tall.  I think the Agent Orange thing is a bit over-dramatic Chungdokwan.  Anyway, if a farmer wishes to turn some part of his land over to energy production that is green and beneficial to him/her then it doesn't seem a lot different from the householders that place solar panels all over their property albeit on a smaller  scale.  As said elsewhere, it's better than an incinerator with all the downwind consequences  :)
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2013, 01:17:30 pm »
Anyway, if a farmer wishes to turn some part of his land over to energy production that is green and beneficial to him/her then it doesn't seem a lot different from the householders that place solar panels all over their property albeit on a smaller  scale. 

The issue here is that the proposed solar farm is within the green belt and covering it with a sea of grey silicon is not appropriate development irrespective of whether or not it provides additional income for the landowner.
 

Offline Chungdokwan

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 02:07:22 pm »
Actually, I understand that high-security* sheep will be utilized to keep the grass short.

(*The proposed installation will have a >2m tall high security fence surrounding it. Nice addition to the countryside.)
 

Midnight

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 12:08:55 am »
Point taken about the green belt, and of course any ugliness re fencing (if you discount the solar panels). However, I think we have to consider that there's going to come a time when we will need to consider how we produce energy locally.  To do that we are likely going to have to compromise on things like land use.  If it came to it, I'd rather see solar arrays than the dreadful blight of the Veolia incinerator. But they're not about the same issue.  Maybe this proposed development may spur some forward thinking from our planners.  Maybe?    :-)
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2013, 12:43:40 pm »
This story has now appeared on the front cover of the current edition of the Potters Bar  ??? edition of the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

Unfortunately they seem to be under the impression that residents discussing the development on the online Brookmans Park Forum are not against the idea although I actually make it 4/5 posts against and only two posts in favour. ???

A quote from Sasquarten (sic) has been printed that says a solar farm is preferable to an incinerator, which it obviously is, but that is not an issue here as an incinerator has not been
proposed at this site. ???

The caption on the photograph used says "Many residents have already welcomed the idea"
I will be contacting Helen Wright who wrote the article to find out who (other than the two
people on this site) has welcomed the idea.

More classic newspaper journalism............. ::)

« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 12:58:53 pm by epiphany »
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2013, 03:19:58 pm »
I didn't say that I wanted a solar farm - just that it wasn't as bad as an incinerator. Which I think most people would agree.

That's not the same as saying I am 'welcoming' it.

The comparison with an incinerator is hypothetical and just for discussion that's all.
 

Offline Arietor

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2013, 05:28:47 pm »
Quite a coincidence that this article appeared in The Mail yesterday.
So that's what a huge solar farm might look like!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2403265/An-idyll-blighted-18-000-solar-panels-Seen-sky-reality-alternative-energy.html
 

Offline Chungdokwan

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2013, 11:08:09 am »

Ye Hah! Welcome to the Klondike

What I am concerned about, apart from high security fencing adding nothing to the environment, is the precedent that might be set should the scheme be approved. Potentially, what we may face is a domino effect: you allow one solar panel scheme and then along come 20 others. Let's be honest, this is not entirely about being carbon neutral and making use of an almost unlimited natural resource but about making money from a government incentive. Will our energy bills decrease? Of course they won't.

Secondly, having looked at photos of schemes elsewhere - all devoid of grazing animals as far as I could see using Google Earth, I am not sure that the sheep might in fact be a red herring and that herbicide will in fact be required to kill all plant life within the proposed site. It's very easy to promise one thing and then find a reason to do something else - e.g.  because of possible RSPCA objections and animal husbandry issues?



 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2013, 11:51:07 am »
Quite a coincidence that this article appeared in The Mail yesterday.
So that's what a huge solar farm might look like!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2403265/An-idyll-blighted-18-000-solar-panels-Seen-sky-reality-alternative-energy.html

Looks like a major eyesore / blot on the landscape. However, given concerns over global warming and the volatility of the middle east, with the corresponding impact on oil prices, we do need to look at alternatives to fossil fuels.

Although, given concerns about lasers dazzling pilots, I wonder whether it poses any risk to aircraft on final approach into Panshanger and Luton airports?

Just imagine looking out of your cockpit at the wrong moment and being dazzled by that lot.

 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2013, 01:47:38 pm »
Given that a solar panel's aim is to absorb as much energy as possible from the sun I'd doubt they'd reflect anywhere near what a mirror might.
 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2013, 09:40:13 am »
You may be right - I just noticed that they appear to have mirrored surfaces.
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2013, 06:34:29 pm »
http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/anger_grows_over_solar_park_plan_in_north_mymms_green_belt_1_2876601

Glad to see some factually based reporting from Helen Wright at WHT this time :)
 

Offline Casual Observer

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2013, 07:36:02 pm »
I wish them luck!  Solar panels work quite well in hot countries where there is at least 6 months of clear skies and hot sun.  In this country every dull day cuts the output considerably.

In addition, while the fuel is free, no mention is made of the manufacture and ecological costs of the panels.  They are getting cheaper but even with the subsidies they are still relatively expensive and we are all paying through charges on our fuel bills.

No mention is made of the maintenance costs.  These panels do not last the reputed 25 year pay off period.  Maintenance starts when some of the panels stop working at five years.
 

Offline LMS

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2013, 06:10:42 pm »
Does anyone know............once these solar panels aren't needed / used anymore will the site revert back to green belt or will it become  a brownfield site?
 

Offline Tubbs

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2013, 12:41:47 am »
In response to LMS: A solar panel, and the solar process, per se, does not / need not cause a green field site to become a brown field site (it's just catching the solar radiation).

To explain being as non-tech as possible): Solar panels catch solar radiation and turn it into electricity, within the panel. This electricity is then collected from the panels to a central point (or a number of sub-collection points), via cables from the panels to those points.

These cables can (quite likely to be ) routed through pre-cast conctre 'cable ducts' buried in the ground (for reasons of minimal damage, protection / non-deterioration / exposure to the sun, security). Alternatively they may be run on 'cable trays' above the ground.

Solar panels themselvse, being failrly large and heavy flat things (on this scale) mounted at an angle, will each have support colums /posts; quite possibly in the form of a steel column, embedded in turn, in in-situ (ie site-cast) concrete in the ground (similar to garden fence posts).

At the end of the solar farm's life / usefulness, the expensive / valuable components (the panels, cables, electrical switch equipment) and visible items will likley be removed. The low value / expensive-to-remove items (concrete columns and ducts below ground) might well be left behind (I suppose this will depend on the planning conditions and their enforcement). So whilst te solar process itself won't tunr the land into brownfield, te detritous left afterwards may make it unesable for ploughing and thus crops.

But here's my cynical bit: Only increased the increased land vale for housing (= urban sprawl in an over-populated country) will justify the cost of removing the below-ground concrete coluns and ducts. So we get more houses on greenbelt land.

As to the economics of the  solar farm itself, it's only possible because of the subsidies and feed-in tariffs given by te government. (Just look at the web-pages of the solar industry to see this); without these subsidies it would be uneconomic. Yes, we need to be more energy conscious, but is this the way to do it? Bearing in mind that the government has deemed that for most / all development the presumption is to be in favour of it, on te (untested and undfined grounds of) it being 'sustainable'. But (I may be wrong) I don't think the word 'sustainable' in this context has been defined, despite many requests. It seems to mean 'what makes sombody some money'; never mind any other consideration. So the issues go way beyond te immedite local one; they are matters of policy. I suggest you press the local MP on this point!
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2014, 07:16:03 am »
Looks like there might be a rethink going on regarding the spread of solar farms and the £100-an-acre grant scheme in place, which, according to the BBC, is worth £2m a year.
Solar farms 'blight on landscape'
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline Purrfect

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2017, 09:47:15 pm »

Unsure what’s happening with the North Mymms Solar Farm but the attached photo shows another huge solar energy farm under construction in fields along the footpath between Brookmans Park Station and Potters Bar Station (near Cranborne Road).


Hertsmere Planning Application 15/1289/FUL implies it will cover two fields and hold about 20,000 solar panels.


I hope this will help to keep our electricity bills down in future!

 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2017, 10:31:08 pm »
This application should NOT have been allowed.


BUT



1) The site is owned by Hertsmere Borough Council.


2) Hertsmere Borough Council applied for planning permission for Solar Farm


3) Hertsmere Borough Council approved the application.




There is actually another Solar Farm also currently being constructed adjacent to Swanland Road.


This application should NOT have been allowed,


BUT


1) The site is owned by Lord Salisbury


2) Hertsmere Borough Council were unable to access their Solar farm from Cranbourne Ind Estate, Potters Bar so needed access across Lord Salisbury's land.


3) Hertsmere Borough Council approve Lord Salisbury's Solar Farm


4) Hertsmere Borough Council construct access across Lord Salisbury's land.




Democracy in action!!!
 
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Offline Adrian

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2017, 11:31:15 pm »
Democracy in action!!!


So you saying it's

1) Coincidental
2) Unethical
3) Corrupt
4) Tory

?
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2017, 10:02:00 am »
I do sometimes think that some people are against all forms of development

Solar power has the potential to reduce emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels. It has minimal impact on the environment and decommissioning  is easy

Growing crops is harnessing the power of the sun, just in a different way.

Would you rather have a coal / oil fired power station to generate electricity instead ? Or nuclear ? I know which sort of development I'd rather have.

Our energy consumption is increasing all the time, it has to come from somewhere. We cant have our cake and eat it.
 
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2017, 11:54:03 am »
What about legislation requiring all new development to have roof top solar? (As opposed to green fields)


I cannot understand why this has not already happened.
 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Green belt threat - Huge solar farm proposal for North Mymms Park
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2017, 11:58:45 am »

If overseas trials are successful, solar farms in this country may become obsolete in the not too distant future.


World's first solar cycle lane opening in the Netherlands - Wednesday 5 November 2014
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/05/worlds-first-solar-cycle-lane-opening-in-the-netherlands


World's first solar panel road opens in Normandy village - Thursday 22 December 2016
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/22/solar-panel-road-tourouvre-au-perche-normandy


Incidentally, it seems to me that authorities are missing a trick with streetlights by not having a small solar panel on top of them (and if the light frequencies are compatible and there's no issue with reflections dazzling drivers - why not include them on the outside of the post so that they can 'recycle' light from drivers' headlights).
 
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