It is with much disappointment that we learnt the Planning Inspectorate has allowed the Enso Energy appeal, which was heard at a public inquiry on 15th August 2023.
This means that, after almost 3 years, Enso Energy have been given the planning permission they needed to build a large-scale solar and battery storage facility in the open countryside villages of Flowton and Burstall.
This is obviously not the outcome we and many in the community had hoped for, but it is sadly the outcome we have been given.
There is not enough thanks that can be expressed to all of those who fought this from the start, and have continued to do so over such an unexpectedly long time. Many residents turned up to the public inquiry to give evidence against the application. This is a daunting task beforehand, terrifying during, and you will always wonder if you said the right things after. But they did it. Our Green party Councillors couldn’t be bothered to turn up.
Many of the conditions are not as stringent as they could have been, but there are nonetheless a lot of conditions that must be dealt with before any work can even be started. We can only ask our Council and officers to not water these down and be so carelessly unenforced in the same way they are failing to do so for the Anesco battery storage site.
The full decision notice is published below for those who wish to read it. Otherwise please do enjoy these beautiful fields while you still can.
UPDATE: 31st August 2023
Within the Decision Notice above there is the mention of a claim of costs by the developer against Mid Suffolk District Council, which is subject to a different decision notice. The Costs Decision Notice has now been made available and is below for those who are interested in reading it.
The Decision to approve was disappointing enough, but now it will ultimately be the taxpayer who pick up Enso’s costs for the appeal. The Inspector makes several comments in his decision that further compound the peculiar decisions and behaviour by the Council, such as their unfounded reasons for not defending the appeal and the pre-determination of the “free-go” application.
We are left to wonder… if the Council had bothered to defend its original refusal, would we have an entirely different outcome to this absolute shambles?