Company to appeal council’s solar farm decision


The company behind plans to install 20,000 solar panels at Tomkins Farm have said they are going to appeal the council’s decision to reject the application.

Hadstone Energy Ltd were left disappointed last night (Wednesday, July 29) after Lewes District Council’s planning committee turned down the proposal for a solar farm on land in Chailey.

Councillors voted six to four in favour of rejecting the application.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Hadstone Energy is disappointed that, by a narrow majority, the planning committee at Lewes District Council did not follow the planning officer’s recommendation for approval of Tomkins Solar Farm.

“We are grateful to everyone that has supported this proposal, to the committee members that spoke in favour of the proposal and to the specialist consultees at Lewes District Council and Sussex County Council who worked with us to create a best practise solar farm proposal.

“Lewes District Council’s own target in its Emerging Joint Core Strategy requires the district to provide 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Tomkins Solar Farm would provide 5MW of that 100MW target.

“The same committee has already accepted that meaningful renewable energy generation can only be achieved on greenfield sites when it approved Clay Hill Solar Farm in December; unfortunately on this occasion some members of the committee aligned themselves with the Stop Industrialising Tomkins Farm campaign which is led by individuals protecting their interests, rather than supporting the people and businesses that would benefit from this proposal, or recognising the proposal’s significant environmental benefits.

“This means Hadstone Energy, Southern Solar and the tax payer will now have to fund an appeal against the decision of the committee.”

To see what the campaigners had to say about the council’s decision, click here.

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