Council’s new planning guidance

Renewable energy: The document includes advice about solar panels and wind turbines
Renewable energy: The document includes advice about solar panels and wind turbines

Two separate public consultations have been launched by South Ribble Council about new planning guidance across the borough.

The first is for renewable energy projects, such as wind turbines and solar panels, and a new draft document sets out advice and guidance on the appropriate location and suitability of such renewable and low carbon energy schemes in South Ribble.

Coun Cliff Hughes, the council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and housing, said: “We have seen an increase in the number of planning applications and enquiries about renewable and low carbon energy projects in South Ribble, and this new document sets out how we will assess this type of development in future.

“It gives guidance, advice and clarity on how we plan to balance the needs of protecting our environment with the growing demand for renewable energy and low carbon technology.

“We are now consulting on the document and are keen to hear people’s views.”

The type of development covered by the guidance includes wind turbines, hydro-electric turbines, photovoltaic solar panels, ground source heat pumps and biomass fuelled boilers.

n The second consultation is about housing developers creating new or enhancing existing open spaces and playing pitches in the area.

The document sets out guidelines on what developers must do to contribute to the borough’s open spaces if planning permission is passed for schemes of more than five houses.

It also sets out an approach to securing new outdoor sports facilities through new housing developments.

It states that residential developments will be required to contribute towards the provision of amenity green space and the provision for children and young people, if there is an identified local deficiency in quantity, accessibility or quality and value within that area.

Sometimes a financial contribution will be required to improve existing sites, which can include when a playing pitch is overplayed, is of poor quality, or if changing facilities are required.

New residential developments will not necessarily be required to contribute towards the provision of new parks and gardens; instead, financial contributions will be required to improve the quality of existing parks and gardens.

This is because ‘the council acknowledges that play areas can cause some nuisance to residents. Only providing play areas for developments of 100 or more dwellings will allow schemes to be designed in such a way to allow the play area to have a degree of separation from the nearest houses.’

Contributions may also be required for improving nearby allotment sites, and some developments may also require links to existing green corridors, open spaces, cycle routes, community facilities and employment sites.

Both consultations last for six weeks, and residents, developers and those with an interest in renewable energy or the open spaces documents are being invited to comment on the proposed new planning guidance.

People can make comments on a feedback form available from the council’s website or from Leyland Civic Centre and local libraries.

Once the consultation is completed, the council will consider any changes to the guidance and the final versions of the documents are expected to be approved in late spring or early summer this year.