I am opposing the planning application for a battery storage facility on the land adjacent to the National Grid Sub-station off Partingdale Lane in Mill Hill and have formally written to Barnet Council with my objections.
Like the application for the installation of a gas peak power facility at this site, the proposal falls within designated Metropolitan Green Belt and has the potential to cause severe harm to the Green Belt and its openness. As such, it constitutes inappropriate development as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
There is no evidence of ‘very special circumstances’ that could not be met at an alternative location, nor am I convinced that this is the best location available.
Furthermore, the proposal does not meet any of the criteria for exceptions as set out in paragraphs 145 and 146 of the NPPF.
The application is also contrary to the London Borough of Barnet’s own Development Management policies on Green Belt/Metropolitan Open Land which state:
“(i) Development proposals in Green Belt are required to comply with the NPPF (paras 79 to 92). In line with the London Plan the same level of protection given to Green Belt land will be given to Metropolitan Open Land (MOL).”
And “(ii) Except in very special circumstances, the council will refuse any development in the Green Belt or MOL which is not compatible with their purposes and objectives and does not maintain their openness.”
I am dismayed that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is not required given the potential impact on human health; biodiversity; land, soil, water, air and climate; the landscape; and the interaction between these factors.
This proposal will increase the built footprint on this part of the Green Belt which will be detrimental to the open nature of the Green Belt and the peace and tranquility of the area. The construction will be unsightly and will have a visually detrimental impact on residential properties to the south and west of the site as well as on those who enjoy this open space. There will be light and noise pollution for those trying to enjoy the surrounding area and there will be acknowledged adverse noise impact on Highview Road.
I believe this application is inappropriate for this site, being harmful to the Green Belt and its openness; failing to demonstrate any ‘very special circumstances’ which could not be met elsewhere; failing to meet any of the criteria for exceptions; having an adverse impact on neighbouring residential properties; and being contrary to Barnet’s policy DM15.
Photo: Visiting the site with Val Duschinsky, Councillor for Mill Hill