In a welcome and hard-hitting letter to the Government's Planning Inspectorate, Swale Borough Council has slated the proposed Cleve Hill solar power station at Graveney as 'poorly-conceived', 'dangerous' and 'perverse'.
It says the unpopular project cuts across many of its policies in the 2017 Local Plan aimed at protecting the area. Describing the solar park's scale as 'far in excess of any such project previously tried in the UK', the council's June 26 letter argues the need for such a scheme is 'not established at national level'.
Graveney marshes are vulnerable to flooding and important for bird populations and the letter says 'the effect on the undeveloped and remote character of the area will be dramatic'.
Not only would the power station affect the amenity of residents, spoil the local conservation area and damage local lanes, the council expressed concerns about the battery storage technology which is 'new and untested at this scale' and 'may have many unknown impacts'.
'To experiment with such a sensitive location on such a scale is unacceptable,' concludes Swale, urging the Government to refuse a Development Consent Order.
Read our previous look at the Cleve Hill proposal here.
The Preliminary Meeting was held on Thursday 30 May 2019 at The Alexander Centre in Faversham and concerned procedural matters only, it did not look at the merits of the application. The Procedural Decision, setting the timetable for the Examination including deadlines for receipt of detailed written representations, will be made after the Preliminary Meeting. Look out for the full update in the next edition."
Graveney Rural Environment Action Team (GREAT)