Guidance Note for the Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Generation in North Somerset Supplementary Planning Document

Document Section Guidance Note Background Background [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 4201985//1
Respondent Network Rail (B Morgan) [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 15 Jul 2013
Current Status Accepted

Network Rail has been consulted by North Somerset Council on the Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Generation Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) – Solar Photovoltaic Arrays. Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to comment on this document.  This email forms the basis of our response to this consultation request.

Network Rail is a statutory undertaker responsible for maintaining and operating the country’s railway infrastructure and associated estate.  Network Rail owns, operates, maintains and develops the main rail network.  This includes the railway tracks, stations, signalling systems, bridges, tunnels, level crossings and viaducts.  The preparation of development plan policy is important in relation to the protection and enhancement of Network Rail’s infrastructure.  In this regard, please find our comments below.

Any proposed installation of Solar Panels adjacent to the railway should consider the following point at design stage to eliminate any risk to railway operations; the provision of any reflective material used in the solar collecting equipment should not interfere with the line of sight of train drivers and the potential for glare or reflection of light from the panels that may impact upon signalling must be eliminated.

North Somerset Council should be made aware that any proposed Solar Farm that includes as part of the remit the installation of cables under the railway to facilitate any works on site or any method of electricity transmission would invariably be objected too as this would necessitate works that could damage or undermine the safety, operation and integrity of the railway.  Any proposal for a solar farm that necessitated any cabling/high tension lines over the railway would also be objected too pending negotiation/consents/agreements with our National Business Team.

Network Rail should be consulted on any planning applications for solar farms as standard and would wish to see our comments included in council documentation in connection with solar farms for consideration and action.