Controversial wind farm given green light in Polegate

Wind farm. Not actual turbines.
Wind farm. Not actual turbines.

Plans for a three turbine wind farm in Polegate have been given approval.

The proposal for three wind turbines on land in Polegate, known as the Shepham Wind Farm, was rejected by Wealden District Council in May 2013.

But developer Regeneco, the specialist renewable energy arm of Galliford Try Group, submitted an appeal against the decision in January last year.

Following an inquiry, which opened in July last year, an independent planning inspector issued a notice of approval with a number of conditions on January 7.

The planning inspector said the ‘substantial public benefits’ from the proposed development outweighs the adverse impacts on the Pevensey Levels, residential properties, and listed buildings.

Andrew Durling, from the Yes to Polegate Wind Farm group, welcomed the news.

He said: “We welcome this green light for the Shepham Wind Farm.

“It is great news that Sussex will be hosting much more production of energy from a renewable source.

“We have consistently supported the wind farm, because we need to play our part in the clean energy revolution that will help to keep the lights on. The inspector’s decision to grant approval shows that our arguments in favour of the project were valid.”

Brenda Pollack, Friends of the Earth’s South East campaigner, said: “Evidence shows that wind energy is a vote winner and many local people see the need for a renewable future.

“There are limited opportunities for siting turbines in Sussex and this project will have benefits – especially in reducing up to 8,475 tonnes of carbon each year.”

Campaign group Stop Shepham Wind farm, which comprises residents living in Hankham, Polegate and Stone Cross, had opposed the plans, along with Polegate Town Council.

They believe the wind farm will destroy the beauty of the countryside.

The plans were due to be agreed by the district council planning committee in 2013 but were thrown out after hearing concerns from residents that it would have a detrimental impact on their lives.

Speaking last year, the campaign group expressed its dismay at the appeal being lodged.

It said: “It was quite clear that the local community overwhelmingly rejected the original and subsequent proposals and the democratic process endorsed this opposition.”