The Faversham Society has made our latest submission to the Planning Inspector’s inquiry into the proposed solar power station at Cleve Hill. This submission has been made after the first set of hearings– after which we still have some very serious concerns about the proposed power station and felt many questions have yet to be answered by the developer. We do not feel in any way that the case for allowing the proposal to move ahead can be supported.
We have asked the Planning Inspector to hold further issue-specific hearings on two major areas of concern – namely the proposed battery energy storage system (BESS), and the evidence of need for the power station to be built.
In relation to the BESS, we have made clear to the Planning Inspector that we feel the developer has failed to satisfy concerns about safety, including the capacity of Kent Fire and Rescue to deal with any potential emergency. We have also raised that the developer has failed to make clear its plans for installing the BESS, leading to further questions about why the developer has chosen that model.
The Faversham Society has also submitted evidence that there is no evidence of need for the power station to be built. The National Grid has stated that future energy need to 2050 will be met from distributed generation rather than centralised energy plants such as Cleve Hill. We have also raised with the Planning Inspector our firm view that choosing Cleve Hill for the location of the power station is simply opportunistic, and a proper review of alternative sites is necessary.
In addition to these two issue-specific hearings, we have also asked the Planning Inspector to request further evidence on a number of other issues – including biodiversity, carbon sequestration, the financial model behind the proposal, and impact on agriculture, cultural heritage and transport.
We await the Planning Inspector’s response and remain firm in our objection to the proposal for Cleve Hill. Our full submission can be read here: https://favershamsociety.org/deadline-3-submission/
and for all the Society's Cleve Hill posts https://favershamsociety.org/category/cleve-hill/
The exhibition we ran over the last two weeks has gone well and we have received a great deal of support. Depending on the decision of the Planning Inspectorate we may need to launch a campaign in the autumn.