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Cleve Hill: Our concerns raised with Planning Inspectorate

The Faversham Society Opposes the Cleve Hill Power Station

The Faversham Society has registered its objection to the Cleve Hill development. Although we support alternative energy, we have grave reservations about the developer's plans for Cleve Hill.

Our strong objection to this planning application is based on these areas of serious concern:

Batteries

This is one of the largest Li-Ion battery installations in the world, with no track record of this scale of installation in the UK. This remains an emerging technology. It is well-established that such batteries can catch fire or explode, especially when exposed to water. The safety of the batteries has not been adequately addressed.  Given that the batteries are the shortest-life components with individual variability, what are the replacement arrangements for these units, including traffic management and hazardous waste removal? How much traffic will be generated by the need for maintenance?  The batteries will occupy an area the size of Faversham recreation ground - the equivalent of 20,000 Tesla cars piled two deep. How will Kent Fire and Rescue Services gain access in the event of a fire which could start in any one battery?

Access and Traffic 

Construction plant, equipment and materials will be delivered to the site via three access routes.  All are routed via junction 7 on the M2, which is already overloaded and has a poor accident record.  Any blockage or closure will result in lorries using unsuitable rural roads. During the two year construction phase it is estimated that there will be up to 80 HGV movements per day. ie one very six minutes during the working day. 

Despite the application’s claims of negligible risk, heavy vehicles engaged on construction projects have a poor safety record particularly as regards collisions with cyclists.  The freight access route coincides with the Sustrans National Route 1, frequently used by cyclists. No risk mitigation measures have been proposed.

Graveney Primary School is on the access route for site traffic. Children must cross that road to access the playing field. Increased industrial traffic will pose an increased safety risk to these children. Also, increased industrial traffic may disrupt access to the school for staff and parents. The raised levels of goods traffic will erode the quality of the environment and the quality of life for local people. The associated loss of amenity is unacceptable, whether or not there is residual damage.

We also have serious concerns about noise, vibration and air quality.

Landscape, Visual Impact and Loss of Amenity

The proposal would have a destructive impact on this landscape. The Grade 1 listed All Saints Church, Graveney, constructed in Norman times, is mainly 14th century and will  be adversely affected. Graveney Marshes is part of Kent level Area of High Landscape Value and this has recently been endorsed as such for the new Local Plan.  Graveney arable lands have been designated moderate condition/sensitivity and Graveney grazing lands as good condition/high sensitivity.  Views from England Coast Path/Saxon Shore Way will suffer major impact. It is also harmful to distant views, including Wraik Hill. The developers have admitted that the significance of the Church will be 'harmed' but claims this is 'less than substantial'. The Faversham Society disagrees.

Graveney Marshes are at the entrance to Faversham Creek and this area has amenity value for Faversham, the marsh provides valuable open space and places to walk and cycle. The population of the town could double to over 40,000 in the next two decades. The loss of amenity land is a serious issue for Faversham,

The Faversham Society's Vice Chair, David Melville, was interviewed on KMTV video

June 3, 2019

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Registered Charity  Number 1135262 - The Faversham Society

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