We have now undertaken over 150 glint and glare assessments and we would like to share with you the five most significant things we have learned along the way…
1. Aviation assessments can be requested up to 25km from an airfield
If you are within 5km of an aerodrome we recommend you complete a glint and glare assessment to determine whether there could be an impact upon the safe operations of aircraft. However, if you are within 25km of a large airfield i.e. an international airport, an assessment can still be requested. Therefore, if you are within 25km of an airport, it is worthwhile consulting with the relevant personnel to ensure an assessment request is not received late into the planning timeline. A sustained objection from an aviation stakeholder will most likely result in your application being refused planning permission.
2. Network Rail will likely request an assessment if you are within 50m of their infrastructure
Network Rail can require an assessment to determine whether there is likely to be an impact upon train drivers, railway signals or level crossing warning lights. An assessment is typically requested when the solar farm is to be located within 50m of Network Rail’s infrastructure. Therefore, like aviation stakeholders, early consultation is key to avoid delays within the planning process.
3. Solar Farms near motorways, A and B roads will likely require an assessment
The Highways Agency or the Local Planning Authority (LPA) can request a glint and glare assessment if the proposed solar farm is to be located next or near to a motorway or A road (however an assessment of local B roads can also be requested). More about the impact of solar developments on drivers can be found here.
4. From 50kW up to 1MW and beyond, guidance states a glint and glare assessment can be a requirement
Permitted Development rights cover the installation of 50kW up to 1MW photovoltaic systems. The guidance states that a glint and glare assessment may be required for an application to be processed. An overview of this guidance is presented here.
LPAs throughout the UK also have varying policies on whether a glint and glare assessment is required to accompany your planning application for solar farms over 1MW. Asking your LPA whether this is a requirement is crucial to preventing delays or a last minute rush once the application is submitted.
5. Understanding any impact on residential amenity is key to a successful application
When proposing a solar farm it is important to keep local residents onside, especially the ones that may have a view of the solar farm from their residency. Our experience suggests that understanding any impact upon residential amenity is essential. We usually run geometric glint and glare analysis for any dwelling within approximately 1km of a proposed solar farm that may have a view of the solar panels.
Can we help you?
If you require a Glint and Glare Assessment to be undertaken for your project, get in touch with us and see how we can help. Call +44 (0) 1787 319001