– Canterbury Solar Plant: Turning Up The Heat
There are plans to build what would be one of Europe’s biggest solar plants on the outskirts of Canterbury.
The Cleve Hill Solar Farm at Graveney, near Faversham, would cover an area around the size of 900 football pitches in a setting that is currently surrounded by nature conservation areas.
The new park would have a capacity of 350MW and is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). This comes under the Planning Act 2008, known as a Development Consent Order (DCO). It would produce enough electricity to power 110,000 homes.
Whilst solar power has many supporters and a representative from the proposed park has explained that the land will be dual-use, allowing sheep grazing and biodiversity benefits in areas currently intensively farmed, others argue that the proposed park will have a negative impact on the local scenic beauty. There are fears that it will affect thousands of migrating birds and tarnish a landscape used by walkers and nature-lovers.
The result of the planning application rests with the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark.