Caus­ing Con­cern

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion -

The huge scheme is al­ready rais­ing con­cerns among en­vi­ron­men­tal groups.

Direc­tor of the Kent branch of the Council for the Pro­tec­tion of Ru­ral Eng­land, Hi­lary New­port said: “Our ini­tial con­cerns focus on the sheer scale of this pro­posal.

“At 890 acres, it’s about the size of Cen­tral Park in New York.

“We are of course sup­port­ive of clean re­new­able en­ergy, but such schemes should be in­cor­po­rated into the built en­vi­ron­ment - in­clud­ing ev­ery new home hav­ing so­lar pan­els - rather than tak­ing up so much agri­cul­tural land in such a sen­si­tive land­scape and in an area that is so im­por­tant for peo­ple and wildlife.”

Kent Wildlife Trust is con­cerned the de­vel­op­ment could im­pact on the neigh­bour­ing South Swale Na­ture Re­serve, which it man­ages.

Greg Hitch­cock, Thames Gate­way of­fi­cer for the Trust, added: “While we are not op­posed to so­lar farms, and in­deed are sup­port­ive of ini­tia­tives to re­duce hu­man reliance on fos­sil fuel en­ergy gen­er­a­tion, we are con­cerned about the po­ten­tial im­pacts from this pro­posal on the in­ter­na­tion­ally im­por­tant habi­tats and wildlife in this area.

“The de­sign pro­pos­als and im­pact as­sess­ments are at an early stage and we will be scru­ti­n­is­ing these as they progress, and we will seek to in­flu­ence any de­ci­sions made to get the best pos­si­ble out­come for wildlife.

“This a very im­por­tant area for wildlife.”

The site of the pro­posed Cleve Hill So­lar Park

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