Solar farms set for Wealden villages

Two large Wealden solar farms have received the go-ahead from planners.

Work is already starting on a solar farm on land at Stone Hill, Chiddingly Road, Horam.

The proposal involves the installation of a photovoltaic solar park capable of generating around 2.6 megawatts of renewable energy. It should provide the annual power needs of about 700 households and save approximately 3,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide that would have to be generated through burning fossil fuels.

Agents Pegasus Planning on behalf of contractors Solar Century say the scheme will take about two to three months to construct and would have an operational lifespan of about 25 years. Panels will be mounted on a supporting metal framework and capped at 2.2 metres above ground level on a site covering an area of about 6.5 hectares. The grass beneath could be used for grazing livestock.

In documents attached to the application, agents say the location near an access to the National Grid and not too close to nearby properties made the scheme viable.

At a meeting of Wealden District Council’s south area planning committee, it was resolved that an alternative access should be provided.

At the same meeting, members agreed to give full planning permission to a further solar farm at Pashley Farm, Ninfield Road. Applicants must first supply a construction traffic management plan. Wealden looks set to receive £1,000 per megawatt for the first three years on ‘local projects specific to the aims of the scheme,’ ie: renewable energy, energy efficiency and being green, which would be administered through local parish councils.