Solar spokesman storms out of Mansfield planning meeting after application is rejected

NMAC gv's Mansfield civic centre  general shots of the council building and signs
NMAC gv's Mansfield civic centre general shots of the council building and signs

A solar company spokesman stormed out of a meeting in Mansfield and shouted at councillors after they turned down a second consecutive planning application.

Paul Brundell, from Global Renewables Constructions Ltd, was at the Civic Centre to answer questions about his firm’s plans to build on land off Penniment Lane and Water Lane, close to the Mansfield and Ashfield border.

But when the decision went against him, his initial friendly demeanour turned sour as he threatened to take the case to the planing inspectorate in a bid to overturn the decision.

His London-based company had a similar application rejected previously by Mansfield District Council’s planning committee who said it would have a visual impact.

In the company’s latest application, they reduced the size of the proposed farm from 11.6 hectares to 7.61.

During last Tuesday’s evening meeting, Mr Brundell addressed the council in a polite manner asking if the planning committee members had any questions about the latest plans.

Mr Brundell said he wanted to ‘listen to concerns’ and had wanted to work with the councillors, rather than simply appeal against the rejection of the first plans.

But after a lengthy discussion and the committee’s unanimous decision to reject the latest application, Mr Brundell’s demeanour changed.

Sat at the back of the room, he shouted: “There’s no planing grounds whatsoever, let’s go to the planning inspectorate shall we?”

He then laughed and walked out adding: “This is ridiculous”.

More than 150 people had raised objections over the first set of plans, while councillors had also flagged up concerns.

These included a loss of good-quality agricultural land, the risk of flooding, and despite predicting the solar panels could power up to 1,050 homes, there would be little benefit to the area.

Under questioning, Mr Brundell also admitted the money made by generating electricity on the land would go back to London.

One resident recently labelled Global Renewables Contructions Ltd ‘arrogant’ for submitting a second application so soon after the first was turned down.