Cleve Hill Solar Park

Representations received regarding Cleve Hill Solar Park

The list below includes all those who registered to put their case on Cleve Hill Solar Park and their relevant representations.

SourceRepresentation - click on an item to see more details
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Wood
"I disagree with the proposed scheme for the following (summarised) reasons... 1: Loss of valuable wildlife habitat. 2: Loss of agricultural land. 3: Loss of open space amenity for locals and visitors alike. 4: Risk of an ecological disaster should the ever rising seas breach the sea defence. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anna Jameson
"Cleve Hill Solar Farm is of such a huge size as to have an enormous detrimental effect on this area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ashley Clark
"                                         I make this represention on both a personal basis and in my capacity as Canterbury City Council Ward Councillor from the consultation area for the above development proposal. This representation is drafted without prejudice to any corporate representations that may be made by Canterbury City Council or Swale District Council.  I object strongly to this development both from a planning perspective and in terms natural justice. May I first state that I am both supportive of renewable energy but at the same time I believe that this burden must fall across the nation as a whole and not disproportionately dumped on  Districts that are both densely populated and already punching way above their weight in terms of renewable energy to the National Grid. I are informed that the national average for renewable energy is in the order of 30%. With the Whitstable Offshore Wind Farm and the extensive areas in the “Green Gap” between Whitstable and Herne Bay as well as other sites the Canterbury City Council area alone is already contributing sufficient energy to power every home in the Council Districts of Canterbury and Swale combined. In other words the Canterbury area alone is punching 6 times its weight against the national average. All Districts within the country have an absolute need for areas of open space to be valued for its openness, scenic beauty and contribution to the physical and mental health of local people. To push this extra development in an area that is contributing far more than many others flies totally in the face of natural justice and the principles of “change for the better “and “ a creative exercise in finding ways to enhance and improve the places in which we live our lives” as espoused in the opening address to the National Planning Policy Framework. Specifically and in planning terms I object to this development as follows: • The entire development area is surrounded by both International and National Nature conservation sites. This is an area that sustains hundreds of thousands of migrating birds. • On the respective Local Plans the area is classified as having High Landscape value. With the extent of the arrays coupled with their individual scale and size this would create a huge blot on the landscape in an area that has been used by walkers and nature lovers since time immemorial. The development is on the route of the nationally significant Saxon Shore Way. • Canterbury City Council, Swale District Council and the RSPB have worked together since 2007 to create a nature reserve of wetland grazing marsh on the Seasalter levels to the immediate south of the area in question. This has involved the cost of large numbers of compulsory purchase orders coupled with hundreds of hours of officer time. This development due to its proximity would undermine that objective. • Every new house in the Coastal Zone or its hinterland is required by Natural England under the auspices of the planning process to pay a contribution to the Swale Special Protection Area. This surrounds the development site to the north, east and west and any development of this extent would be harmful to it by its scale, mass and general appearance. Such development would make a mockery of the contributions made by new residents through the purchase process to the protection of a vital wildlife area. It would only serve to totally undermine the entire Special Protection Area principle                                                                                                                                  "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bridgitte Ham
"I wish to object to this as I feel the Graveney Marshes and surrounding areas are an important wildlife and leisure area. The site is home to many species of resident and migrating birds that are not found on other sites nearby. E.g Marsh harrier. The solar farm is on such a scale that it will industrialise an area of Special scientific interest. I am very concerned how the large battery storage units will be disposed off at the end of their life In a very populated area like the SE, areas such as Graveney and Nagden Marshes provide a tranquil area for residents to walk etc.away from the hubbub of everyday life. The Saxon Shore way is also an important right of way that needs preserving. Solar panels should be incorporated on all new builds and large industrial roofs NOT in an area like this. "
Non-Statutory Organisations
Canterbury Constituency Labour Party
"Our main concerns are: The loss of green amenity space for constituency members. The loss of habitat to migrating birds, wildlife and non migratory birds The changes to flood defences and impact to housing in Whistable/Seasalter Industralisation of the wild space between Whitstable and Faversham adjacent to SSI spaces. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carol Patrick
"The proposed solar park is totally inappropriate both in terms of size and location. This is an amazing area of real beauty . The wildlife is abundant and relies on the environment. Their ongoing sustainability will be significantly harmed if this application goes ahead. It is also a beautiful free resource for walkers , birdwatchers and others interested in wildlife. This proposal does not take account of the natural resource . There are better locations elsewhere and this application should not be approved."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Daniel Frings
"My representation would consider 1) Environmental impact and consideration of alternative sites 2) Role of battery as income generation scheme vs. demand/supply smoothing 3) Assurance of project decommissioning at end of life"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frances Hewett
"I believe the Secretary of State should refuse the Development Consent Order for a vast solar photovoltaic array, and electrical storage and connection infrastructure, at Graveney, Nagden and Cleve Marshes. The scale and location of this development render it wholly inappropriate to the area. It involves environmental destruction which would industrialise 1000 acres of arable landscape, changing it irrevocably. It would entail loss of the amenity, landscape and economic value of beautiful coastal countryside used by innumerable walkers, cyclists, national and international tourists and local people, and wreck the lives of residents in the local community who would receive no benefit. The Saxon Shore Way long distance public footpath runs along the coast and is used by thousands who appreciate 'an unrivalled diversity of scenery from the wide expanses of marshland of the Thames and Medway estuaries,’ (Ramblers’ Association.) Local roads are wholly inadequate to the volume of traffic required for access to the site (tens of thousands of HGV and LGV journeys.) Pollution levels thus generated during the construction period alone give rise to serious concerns over health and safety, particularly in today’s climate. The North Kent Marshes are internationally important for birds and the area borders an extensive Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar-designated site, land to which the site is functionally linked. Much of it is within the Natural England-designated Greater Thames Estuary Natural Area and Character Area, while almost all of it is noted as an Area of Greatest Habitat Opportunity and a Biodiversity Opportunity Area. It adjoins the Kent Wildlife Trust reserves at Oare Marshes and South Swale while the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds manages areas in nearby Seasalter Levels. Birds and bats live, nest, hunt, feed, breed, roost, etc, all over the site as do the insects and mammals providing their food. The site is home to 170 species of invertebrates, more than 30 of which have local or national significance, and protected species of reptiles and water voles. I believe it is obvious that wildlife would not survive or return due to negative impact of habitat disturbance and destruction caused by this development. Not only would biodiversity be devastated but the entire ecosystem will be damaged beyond repair. Security fencing and lighting, plus noise from traffic and the enormous battery storage site, would inflict further environmental harm. Mitigation measures offered by the developer are frankly risible and would not compensate for the scale of damage. Additionally, grave concerns exist over flood risks to adjoining areas regarding sea defence management. The fact of the convenience of access for the developer to the existing substation should not override the environmental and community interests thereby jeopardised. The development of multi-site solar power on rooftop and brownfield locations and other renewable sources of energy shows there is no need or justification whatsoever for a project such as this, and I trust the Planning Inspectorate will accordingly reject this application. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian David Parker
"The loss of a wildlife area with the erection of these oversized panels. This area is a natural area for wildlife throughout the whole year. The area covered by these panels will not allow sunlight or rain to reach the ground, rendering it a lifeless desert. The straight lines of the panels will not allow raptors to hunt, or other birds to "forage". The height of the panels will be a "eyesore" and not sympathetic to the surrounding area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Aaron
"The area of the proposed solar farm is an area of outstanding beauty, important for local people and visitors. The planned area would be an eyesore and ruin the area. It is also an important area for wildlife which is essential because so many natural ares are being lost. The proposed development is far too big for such a small area of Kent and would devastate the area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Bott
"I believe that the solar plant is too large, and in the wrong place. This is a critical site for migrating birds and you cannot assume they will just "move along a bit". The layout if the panels also means that, unlike other solar arrays, the land underneath will not be able to support any life. This is particularly important when you consider the immense area that the panels will cover. The resulting "dead zone" would be the size of a small town."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janice West
"I wish to protect most strongly against the proposed development on the following grounds:- The unprecedented scale of the development; The height of the proposed solar panels; The closeness of the panels will likely increase the impacts and significantly reduce opportunities for wildlife compare to more 'traditional' designs; The landscape and visual impact of this proposed development; The direct effect on habitats within the development site; the landscape, amenity and economic value, cultural, heritage and archaeology; damage to air quality; the access and traffic and the identification and mitigation of long term risks. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret Reynolds
"We live in Grade Ii listed barn in conservation area about 100 yards from All Saints church. From our bedroom windows we look across to the Swale. Our view would be of an industrial site with panels as big as double decker buses. The beautiful area of marshland would be ruined. Besides this we live on the Seasalter Road. This road is already fairly busy with cars but often farm vehicles and recently artic lorries toing and firing to the very large barns in Cleve Hill. We suffered with traffic noise and congestion when substation was constructed. The thought of further construction traffic for two years is daunting. This project is massive and planned in completely the wrong place. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Max Tullberg
"THIS PROPOSAL IS TOO LARGE AND IS MISPLACED IT IS ON AN AREA RICH IN WILDLIFE POPULAR WITH WALKERS BIRD WATCHERS AND THOSE WHO APPRECIATE THE UNIQUE QUALITY OF THIS FORESHORE THE SOLAR PANELS THEMSELVES ARE LARGER THAN OTHERS IN THE AREA AND TOGETHER WITH THE 'BATTERY' INSTALLATIONS WILL CONSTITUTE A SIGNIFICANT AND UNWELCOME INDUSTRIAL SIGHT"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Miriam Layton
"The construction of a large solar farm will destroy a unique wildlife habitat, threatening rare species of birds and other animals. The proposed solar power station will be built on agricultural land and result in a change of use that threatens the character of the local rural landscape in the short and long term, setting a precedent that could destroy our rural landscape more widely. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Flower
"We should not industrialise of one of the few open spaces of our crowded corner of England or take land (even third grade land) out of food production or compromise wild life and important migratory rest areas for the sake of solar power which should be coming from the roofs of homes, shops and factories. The need for green power does not override the need to grow food."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Philip Ashley
" My Representation is: The enormous size and location of the site The local impact is simply unacceptable. The implication of a private company taking over the flood defence management of this area The fact that there’s a brown site available with grid access in the south east region. Philip Ashley "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Filipczak
"The increase in vehicular traffic and ensuing congestion on the local country roads and lanes. Damage to the road surface, and vibration, exhaust pollution and noise from construction traffic. Impact to wildlife on and around the march area. The visual impact of the solar farm, when walking along the local public footpaths that skirt the marsh and proposed development site. Damage to tourism, birdwatchers will be affected due to loss of habitat for rare species of birds. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rosie Duffield MP
"Our main concerns are: The loss of green amenity space for constituency members. The loss of habitat to migrating birds, wildlife and non migratory birds The changes to flood defences and impact to housing in Whistable/Seasalter Industralisation of the wild space between Whitstable and Faversham adjacent to SSI spaces. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sim Evan-Jones
"The Salt marshes of Cleve hill are outstanding and unspoilt. They should stay that way . The Faversham infrastructure is already going to be crushed by the building of 1000 new homes in the next two years . The addition of this unprecedently vast scheme and the changes it will have on the human and physical geaograpt amounts to not just environmental disaster but in in-demacratically derived social engineering."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephen Ledger
"I have attended open sessions and read the November 2018 Cleve Hill Solar Park Community Newsletter with their final changes and have concluded that I am against their proposals based on the following:- The proposal takes away agricultural land, which is used for growing grain, and creates an inappropriate industrial type site on the internationally important North Kent Marshes wildlife area. These two strategic disadvantages outweigh the benefits gained from solar power which are more appropriately sited on land which has less agricultural production capabilities and are not within a long established internationally important wildlife area. I farm on the North Kent Marshes and the new Agricultural Bill is all about increasing productivity, which I have planned to do. To take away so much agricultural land from grain production works against the strategy being established by the new Agricultural Bill. The proposed area has Ramsar Wetlands to its West, North and East with designations of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Protection Area (SPA). As can be seen by simply looking at the map of the wider area, the site forms part of the North Kent Marshes unbroken rural landscape. This unbroken area extends further to the to the east beyond the Ramsar designation. If the application is approved it will mean that this unbroken rural landscape will be fragmented with a very large industrial area. The late inclusion of the seawall area in the proposal needs to be considered with care. Undue influence could be put on the Environment Agency (EA) who had already published their Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy (MEASS). There is now a mention of a plan B which was not in the EA's original plan. The EA must remain totally independent to follow through on their own plans rather than now come under undue pressure to work with the narrower needs of a solar farm. To extend the area and then state that the area to be covered by solar panels is reduced to 45.5% of the development area is simply a play on words and does not change the fact that, if approved, an enormous rural/wildlife area will be covered by solar panels. The type of solar panels are not of the type that are commonly seen as they are higher. These high panels, in such a flat area, will have a significant impact on the area. The generation benefit is only around half a percentage of the UK's energy needs, for houses, and less when other energy needs are taken into consideration. We need to increase renewable energy but to use the capacity of the Cleve Hill station for solar power is perhaps the wrong strategy when this capacity should be reserved for the needs of a future off-shore wind farm as that technology develops. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Wendy Pryke
"Graveney Marsh is a unique place wild and unspoilt which is rare in the South East. To build on nearly 1,000 acres of arable land when we are told we have to produce more food in itself is a disgrace. The marsh is surrounded by the Saxon Shore Way where people from all over the country walk and escape the hassle and bustle of every day pressure of life as well walkers who go to the area to view the wild life as it is a protected area for rare birds. If the building of the so called PARK! goes ahead it will also destroy the natural habitat of endangered species like the Marsh Harrier, Skylarks, Lapwings and many more. Also the Brent Geese over winter on the marsh. We will loose all these marvelous creatures. It will also confuse birds as the solar panels will appear like a body of water. Cleve Hill Solar Park has designated certain areas for the birds - now birds have to read to see where they can go!!. I agree that solar panels are the way to go, but this is 5 times bigger than anything in the United Kingdom and the size of them is nearly twice the height. This is too big and in the wrong place. The South East is being swallowed up with so many houses being built and to loose precious marshland which is quite unique in itself is horrendous. I hope to God somebody sees sense before it is lost. What happens after 20 years at the end of the solar panels life, the earth would have become a dessert and of no use whatsoever. Being a flood plane they cannot build houses on it."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Adrienne Begent
"I object to the Cleve Hill Solar Park Proposal. My main reasons for objecting are Environmental Impact, Landscape and Visual Impact and the loss of habitat for birds. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Angela Websdale
"I am completing this to give my own personal views on the proposal. I am concerned about the scale of this proposed fight and its impact on the landscape and wildlife. I would like to question whether a more appropriate site for this solar park should be found. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carl Braganza
"I oppose this development huge,y, due to the size, it being an eyesore I an area of outstanding beauty and the diverse wildlife which I believe will be affected"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Declan Wiffen
"- Lack of jobs for the local community - Environmental Impact - Alternative site locations - Flood risk and soil erosion - Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment - Ecology - Ornithology - Socio-Economics, Tourism, - Recreation and Land-use - Access and Traffic - Poor technology "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Julie Richards
"I do not agree with the building of Cleve Hill Solar Farm. I understand the need for renewable energy to help protect the environment but it seems that the building of this site will destroy large areas of the very environment this is trying to protect. There are many important species living in this vast area and I do not believe the building of this site will not be detrimental to some, if not all of these. The fact that the solar panels will be the height of a double decker bus also concerns be. These will be visible from miles around creating an incredibly large blot on the landscape of the Swale area. There is also a large amount of other development planned around the Faversham area which will soon turn this relatively rural town into an urban sprawl across the north Kent coast."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Liz Delmage
"The scale of this development is ridiculously enormous, however much one supports renewable energy. It has many aspects of risk to the local area. The current policy to allow marsh areas to gradually return to their original state, thus reducing the impact of flooding to surrounding areas, will be undermined by the intention of Cleve Hill Solar Park to fortify the existing sea wall to protect their development. Sea water will be diverted, particularly up Faversham Creek, endangering the town, and especially those living within close proximity to the creek. I was one of many affected by the flooding in 2013. The marsh provides sanctuary and the perfect environment for a wide diversity of wildlife, some of which is endangered. It is unforgivable to think that this will be plundered by the greed of the developers."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lucy Rutter
"I will strongly object to the building of the solar power station at Cleve Hill on the grounds that the area is a beautiful and well-used local nature area that should be protected because of bird life, farming and historical importance. I believe a particular economic and political situation has brought about the profitability of this project, but these conditions will soon change and an area of importance would be irrevocably changed. It would be better to recommend solar panels on the new planned local housing and prevent a beautiful area from becoming very unattractive. As a walker who uses this area regularly, I feel strongly and am an interested party. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Page
"I object to the Cleve Hll Solar Station on the following grounds: It is too big and the panels are too dense thus killing off any natural greenery that binds the sub-soil together. With heavy downpouring of rain or flooding the soil will get washed away. Explosive vibrations from the Shoeburyness artilery under sea tunnels could damage the panels as we feel extreme vibrations of windows and cracks in indoor plaster and we are three miles from Cleve Hill. Construction traffic will be using narrow country lanes that are also a National Cycle route used daily by many single and group cyclists. Panel should be using roofs of buildings not Green Fields. Will severely jeopodise bird-life as there will be no insect life of any quantity to sustain the local bird life and migratory birds. This will upset the atmosphere of the Marshes where the balance of grazing sheep and cattle compliment these historic marshes. The proposed solid sea-walls will redirect the sea and cause flooding in Faversham and Seasalter. The peaceful Saxon Shore Way footpath will be affected by proposed fencing, security lights and cameras. Not condusive for the well-being and mental health of the many walkers local and visitors who regularly walk this peaceful footpath. The panels are not re-cyclable and within a few years their efficiency will be decreased especially as the salt-spray from the sea will coat the panels. The energy from these panels could be stored and ultimately sold to the highest bidder abroad. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rebecca Baldock
"My own personal views are that the sheer scale of this proposed site is detrimental to the environment. The area is a well known site for wetland birds and other migratory species as well as the flora and fauna that supports this annual migration. The area is a beautiful section of our county and the impact this will have on the local population and the tourist industry will be very negative. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Murr
"1.The whole site is an important one for birds and other wildlife. It is visited and loved by birdwatchers and naturalists. This would be ruined by the proposed development. 2.I frequently walk through the area using public footpaths, where the have not been destroyed by the landowner. It is possible to walk there from my home in half an hour and it is a haven of peace and quiet. 3.As a walker and a sailor I know that the height and size of the development will completely completely spoil the ambience. 4. The development will mean 1,000 acres lost to agriculture when with Brexit it will be necessary for the UK to produce more foodstuffs. 5. The battery will be receiving electricity from the National Grid. This is what is helping to make the scheme economically viable. This scheme is being falsely presented as green."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tracey Neale
"Having been a visitor to Graveney Marshes since I was a small child, over fifty years, I have grown with this special area. There are many reasons not to go ahead with this solar ‘farm’. Nature, which is sadly being lost at a speed unprecedented and open spaces being gobbled up by building, particularly in the South East. Of course the loss of habitat. Wildlife being abundant in this area. Perhaps loss of food production. We as humans are literally killing the planet BUT there are other things we could and should address, rather than covering the land with plastic panels, which will industrialise an area of stunning wilderness. I would share my thoughts on this but I’ll go over my 500 words. Finally though... Please do not do this.....this project is literally heartbreaking "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Bainbridge
"The proposed coverage covers far too much land and is too high. The solar farm would be better placed on town house roofs or existing brown field industrial land. We need value truly open and wild spaces. The building work will be unreasonably disruptive to very small communities. The land is valuable for a wide variety of animals and plants. It will look terrible. We should focus more on energy conservation and not more production. The impact on wildlife is unknown. I would be interested to know all the other alternative sites that were considered. It is not a farm, farmland and wild spaces are being turned into industrial land. It is not a very creative project, the central design feature appears to be BIG. This ugly industrial landscape will replace a beautiful landscape and be visible from very large distances - for example Sheppey, Whitstable, Longreach. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Beccy Smart
"I wholly object to the destruction of the natural environment that this solar farm will do. It is an ill thought through idea which will benefit only the company and be horribly destructive to everyone else, including wildlife. This, at a time when we know we’re heading to climate catastrophe. It cannot be allowed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Heselden
"The development threatens wildlife as it amounts to a significant loss of habitat for all the creatures currently living or visiting the area. Lying as it does in the Swale Special Protection Area, the impact on overwintering birds are likely to be severe. Visually, what at present offers people who live nearby or visit the area a wonderful, bleak vista, will be turned into an industrial landscape, as has already happened in too many places across the county. From an amenity point of view, the landscape will be destroyed with an effect way beyond the actual boundaries of the site. What is at present a delightful, wild experience, especially to those using the Saxon Shore Way Long-Distance footpath, or those coming to view the wildlife in the area, will become nothing more than a trip round yet another factory estate. As an active ‘ordinary’ member of the Ramblers Association, the RSPB and the Wildlife Trust I can feel nothing but sorrow that this proposal has been allowed to get this far. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Edward Davis
"My main concerns about this project is the sheer scale of the site and the height of the solar panels. The land is at risk of flooding and I would worry about the risk to the wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Edward Thomas
"1. The excessive sacrifice of green and open land to energy production without adequate consideration of alternatives with lower impact on nearby human communities and wildlife habitats and populations. Whilst supportive of low carbon, renewable energy production I consider that the first and best option should be to use the built environment for the location of solar electricity energy generating facilities, for example on rooftops of both commercial and residential property, and over car parks or on Brownfield land. 2. The size and location of the proposed site for this facility. It is clear from the site plan that the project site covers an area of land larger than the village of Graveney and the town of Faversham combined. The size of the proposed facility and its close proximity to towns and villages are unprecedented in the UK. The facility will, if constructed, therefore dwarf the communities which border it, and the risk of the potential negative effects on those communities is enlarged as is the extent to which they will be felt by the people who live nearby. The scale of the project will also risk greater magnification of potential negative effects in respect of wildlife populations. 3. The visual impact and the deterioration of the character of the landscape upon which the solar park would be built, and the landscape which surrounds the site. I do not agree with the hypotheses in the PEIR and NTS in relation to the perceived limits to and mitigation of, potential effects on the landscape and the visual effect of the facility. I consider the probable effect on the landscape character and visual amenity of the site and its surroundings for some distance to be severely negative and we do not agree that the landscaping mitigation which has been described would materially minimise the negative effect. Given the low level of the land within the site plan and the proposed height of the solar panels (up to 4m high), screening with vegetation and positioning of the panels (East – West orientation) will make little or no difference when travelling through it or around it. It is my view that this facility would fundamentally and detrimentally change the appearance of this locality from the moment its construction begins until it is fully decommissioned (approximately 25 years). 4. Flood risk. The site is in a flood zone. The project proposal, in seeking to address potential concerns about possible flooding dangers, appears to us to rely almost wholly on the existence of the pre-existing coastal sea defences. This does not take sufficient account of the need to ensure that coastal / flood defences are adequate to specifically protect a solar photovoltaic electricity generating and storage facility, not the arable land and freshwater grazing marsh which is being protected by those defences currently. Additional reliance is placed on proposed design measures for example raising the height of the solar arrays, however we remain of the view that whilst for example raising the height of the solar arrays may protect them to some degree of flood risk, this does not offer tolerable reassurance in relation to the proposed energy storage facility (and has the obvious negative effect of making them more visible and harder to screen). We would highlight that the PEIR does acknowledge that the facility is potentially at risk of sea flooding. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Faversham Footpaths Group
"Graveney Marshes are a very special area, with a beauty that lies largely in the ability to take in, especially from the elevated coast path (soon to become part of the England Coast Path), huge horizons out to sea and across the flat landscape. As such, it is greatly valued by walkers, who go there primarily to enjoy its distinctive unspoilt character and its important wildlife. The proposed solar farm would have a massively detrimental environmental and visual impact: * its sheer scale and visibility would ruin the fine views from miles around, producing instead an industrial landscape * it would fundamentally change the experience of walking in this area * it would impact negatively on wildlife in the area, including scarce raptors * the flat landscape would make it impossible to have any effective screening * any additional permissive paths would not compensate for the degradation of the landscape and be very unattractive to walk"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Guy Felton
"The proposal virtually wipes out the entire historic marshes and substitutes a vast area of solar panels bigger in size than the neighbouring town of Faversham. Whilst not against, in principle, the proposal in this location, the sheer over reach and scale of this development is highly detrimental to this beautiful environment. Additionally, the panels should be set further away from all footpaths/roads and be encompassed with meaningful and substantive hedgerow planting to reduce the visual impact to the many thousands of people who enjoy the marshes every year."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jo Arkwright
"I wish to object to the proposal to build a solar farm at Cleve Hill. My grounds for objection are as follows: 1. Building the farm will negatively impact wildlife in an SSSI area 2. The view will be ruined for local residents and walkers on the Saxon Shore Way and for everyone living close by 3. The enormous size of the development will impact negatively on the town of Faversham and surrounding villages 4. The area for development is a flood plain and this makes it wholly unsuitable for large concrete structures "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Cynthia Davis
"My main concerns generally about the environment of this valuable area of marshland, for the maintenance of wildlife. There is a worry about the unprecedented scale of the project and the height of the solar panels. There will undoubtedly be a generation of traffic and through the village of Graveney on small country roads. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sir Nick Williams
"I am a local resident who moved to Faversham because of its beautiful environment, with opportunities for walking. This development will blight the landscape for me and thousands of others, with a development on an unprecedented scale, being larger than Faversham itself. It is proposed to site the largest such farm of its kind in an SSSI area, with amazing views and a diverse ecosystem, when there are many other brown field sites that would be more appropriate. The area is also a flood plain and the presence of such large amounts of concrete will significantly threaten the town and local villages. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Lavan
"I wish to register my concerns over the effects of the proposed development on wildlife, and the environment, the character and appearance of this area of land, local residents and businesses and the historic church at Graveney."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Clare Mee
"We walk through this area all the time and enjoy the scenery, however we recognise the need to get our energy from solar to reduce the CO2 released into the environment from other sources. Our planet is currently facing a crisis and this is one small step in the right direction."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Diane Langford
"I wish to register as an interested party as I live in the vicinity of this proposed, massive industrial solar development. My concern is that the project is of no value to the local community. On the contrary, it would harm the environmental, business, tourist and cultural assets of the local and wider community. The interests of the developer are the primary consideration, not unusual in a commercially driven enterprise of this nature, but particularly one-sided in this instance. None of the energy produced will be for local consumption and will not facilitate a reduction the cost of energy for consumers, local or otherwise. I am worried by the misleading narrative being presented by the developer regarding, for example, the site reduction percentage, and that the language and models being used to describe the visual impact are skewed. The risk of fire entailing lithium battery storage is well-known in relation to mobile phones and laptops, but it is also a risk when lithium batteries such as those in the plan are ‘the largest in the world.’ The experimental nature of the project is a huge worry. The battery compound and energy sub-station and massive panels are an unsustainable industrial development. There is no guarantee that should the energy market crash, the developer will not simply up stakes and depart, leaving an industrial wasteland.Who would be responsible in this eventuality is far from clear. Our part of East Kent is being subjected to severe cuts to local hospitals and healthcare provision, therefore, any development that obstructs local roads adds to the length of journeys to the only A&E and acute stroke facility (in Ashford). This would magnify the risk to patients in need of emergency care. Nothing has been suggested in the plans submitted that would alleviate this risk. It appears ambulance and fire services have been ignored. In Seasalter, where I live, the risk of flooding is a real one. From what I have read of the plan involving the developer being handed control of the sea wall, the company would put its assets before flood alleviation in Faversham and Whitstable. The National Planning Framework, Para. 100 states that development should be directed away from areas at risk of flooding. The site is a high risk being in flood zine 3a. And the project fails the Exemption Test that cites ‘wider sustainability benefits to the community.’ Additionally, the current threat of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit which threatens to turn East Kent into a lorry park, would further impact on transport facilities in the area, raising the risk of hold-ups on the journey to hospitals, schools and other public facilities, as well as workplaces and businesses. It appears that the presentations being made by the developer are not fully transparent or completely honest, and this is my principle objection to the project being allowed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Jackie Davidson
"I am infavour of sokar energy and other alternative energy sources but solar pammels should be on the rooves of houses and other buildings especially ones being built now. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paolo Dardanelli
"I am a member of the Faversham Society, which has formulated a number of serious reservations about this application. I fully concur with these reservations and I urge the Inspectorate to take them with utmost consideration. The Faversham Society should be closely involved in the decision-making process as a key civil society representative. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
A Zeville
"I fully agree with the Faversham Society"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charles P Laurie
"I am concerned that if constructed the development will adversely impact the wildlife of the North Kent coast. While I understand the benefits of renuable energy and support the provision of of additional renewable infrastructure this must be balanced against a most importan habitat and ecosystem on the North Kent Coast that should only be sacraficed if there are no practical alternatives available to site such infrastructure. This is planely not the case with this application. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Newman
"I am very concerned about the proposed development. My concerns include the proposed scale of the site its aesthetic impact, flood risk, governance of the site of special scientific interest, the height of the solar panels and the impact on archaeology, wildlife, footpaths, soil erosion, landscape, amenity and economic value, as well as noise, and traffic which would arise during construction. There are alternative brownfield sites available, and distributed generation is both possible and more desirable. The proposed site forms part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area. It is also directly adjacent to the Swale Ramsar site which has an important assemblage of bird and plant species. The site will also affect the Swale Special Protection Area and the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area and on the opposite side of Faversham Creek, the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust."
Parish Councils
Oare Parish Council
"Oare is a neighbouring parish and the parish council wishes to raise concerns regarding this planning application on the following grounds: Size The sheer scale of the project is a major concern, especially as there is currently no other solar park of this size that can give an idea of what to expect. Visual impact The site in question is currently open marshland; a natural habitat for many bird species and other wildlife. It also contains a number of public footpaths and is popular with walkers. The impact of installing solar panels in this location would be massive, and it would significantly change the visual amenity for those living in and visiting the area. Orientation of panels Other solar parks use south facing panels; the use and effects of which are well documented. Panels with an east/west orientation are an unknown quantity and using them to this extent with no previous examples to rely on is a big risk. Long term effect on the land The long term effect of the project on the land and biodiversity is unknown, particularly because of the issue over orientation described above. Oare Parish Council welcomes the use of renewable energy in the correct locations and circumstances but for the above reasons, is unable to support the current application in its current form."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rodney Smith
"I would object in the strongest possible terms to this project going ahead. Turning this open landscape agricultural area on the edge of the Swale Estuary into an intensive industrial site is not acceptable. Allowing this proposal would set a precedent, putting other similar sites across the UK at risk of similar destructive developments. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jennifer Cutts
"I wish to object to the application for the following reasons: CONSULTATION – The materials provided have been misleading and have failed to provide a clear picture of the development. The consultation materials delivered to homes did not provide any visual of the actual design of the development and only one feedback form per household. CHSP have promoted it as a ‘fluffy’ solar farm when in fact it is an industrial development. Many of the e files provided by CHSP on their website are so large that they do not open and those that do are difficult to read. The town of Whitstable was outside the core consultation process despite there now being some concern of the impact of transfer of flood defence management. During the first consultation almost every question put to CHSP was responded with “don’t know” except the assertion that this was nothing more than a commercial money making exercise to which they replied with a very positive “Yes”. These marshes represent an outdoor amenity to many local communities and as such they need full information to enable informed feedback. BATTERY INSTALLATION – Throughout the consultation process it has not been possible to gain definitive information from CHSP being referred to as a plan, a proposal and an option. This item alone demands additional consideration. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES – It is in the wrong place. The North Kent Marshes are recognised by DEFRA for their environmental sensitivity. Habitat disturbance and destruction is the cause of many extinctions and species becoming at risk. Tidal marshes are also recognised as one of the single most important sequestrations of carbon – their degradation results in the release of the carbon stored in the soils thus impacting on global warming. The very fact that this development requires the solar panels to be raised to some 4 mtrs and then surrounding by an earth bund makes clear that this is not the best place for this proposal. In May 2017 CHSP met with yourselves and from the notes of that meeting they stated the visual impact would be minimal. This is clearly not the case the impact is unprecedented and unacceptable. FLOOD DEFENCES – The marshes act as a defence for communities between Faversham and Whitstable. There is a clear conflict of interest if CHSP are to take over the management from the EA. HEALTH AND SAFETY – The access route via Head Hill Road is part of the cycling network. It is also used by walkers accessing footpaths. The volume of HGV movements during construction is of great concern. RENEWABLE ENERGY? - With an electricity import facility how can CHSP guarantee renewable energy? Again this is a commercial enterprise where they will buy cheap and sell high, thus controlling prices. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Karen McCallister
"I am the joint owner of Beach Hut [Redacted] Graveney Beach. To access our beach hut we have a Right of Way over the track / land from Faversham Road which involves access through 4 gates to which we have keys. This is our only means of accessing our beach hut so would like reassurance that this Right of Way will not be affected in any way please?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Keith McCallister
"I am the joint owner of Beach Hut [Redacted] Graveney Beach. To access our beach hut we have a Right of Way over the track / land from Faversham Road which involves access through 4 gates to which we have keys. This is our only means of accessing our beach hut so would like reassurance that this Right of Way will not be affected in any way please? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Shiel Campbell
"I wish to add my agreement to the clear and cogent arguments of the Faversham Society and add further that I am concerned that this massive site will become brownfield land once the lease expires in (30? years) and as such we have almost no planning powers to prevent it being put forward for residential development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graham Cutts
"Cleve Hill Solar Park I wish to oppose the above development proposal for the following reasons: Environmental – This development should not be putting a unique landscape at risk. The visual impact is unacceptable. To have to engineer the construction in such a way as to require the height of the solar panels to be raised to 4mtrs, surrounded by an earth bund can only emphasise that the site chosen is not the right place. The promotion by the developers is that this project is a ‘green sustainable source of energy’. However the mere construction puts into question this thesis. I question where the materials are being sourced for the earth bund, the volume of these materials and what further damage is being done to the environment in a different location to enable this engineering to proceed. This development is taking up land previously in agricultural use and at a time when the farming community through the Agricultural Bill is being asked to increase productivity. The land is used for arable and livestock farming in addition to its unique wild habitation. Battery Storage – During consultation this remained something of an ‘unknown quantity’ as the developers failed to provide detailed information on size, location etc. Now that it is included in their application the local communities have not had an opportunity to consult in an informed manner as the information was not available to them. In particular I have concerns with regard to lithium ion pollution which has been recognised as toxic to plant life. In addition I see that this facility will also be surrounded by a 5mtr earth bund, so again the same questions as above re choosing the correct site and damaging the environment. CCTV – I understand that the security to the site will be provided through security cameras. I consider this to be an infringement of my civil rights. I should be able to walk the footpaths and Saxon Shore Way without being filmed in the process. Traffic Access – The route through Graveney via Head Hill Road is a ‘B’ road, barely wide enough in places for two cars to pass. The application shows that traffic will be routed through this access route from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m and with the volume of HGV movements envisaged this would effectively make the road impassable for other road users. As a keen cyclist this is of particular concern to me and my fellow cycling club members. It raises real concerns for the safety and well being of cyclists and pedestrians. Flood Defences – I am very unhappy with the proposed the transfer of liability from the Environment Agency to CHSP. This should not happen under any circumstances. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sonia Jackson
"I am objecting to the industrialisation of Graveney Marshes as proposed by Cleve Hill Solar Park. I intend to submit objections related to destruction of invaluable wildlife habitat, the scale and density of the solar park and the violation of a treasured, beautiful coastal amenity. I will also submit that the proposed park is a misplaced use of solar energy which should be developed within more appropriate environmental contexts."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alexandrina O’Leary
"I am against the proposed development of Cleve Solar Park. I believe that the scale of the development is far too large and will be highly detrimental to not only the beauty of the marshes but also to the local wildlife and tourism. The area attracts many walkers and those exploring further afield from Whitstable and Faversham but this will be greatly affected by this huge ‘mega’ development. I do support in principal, green renewable sources of energy but this development will ruin the landscape, turning the area into an industrial location thus despoiling the natural environment. I have grave concerns that acres and acres of solar panels will significantly destroy wildlife resources for birds such as barn owls. I have seen many in Graveney since moving to Faversham a few years ago and I fear that small rodents plus insect numbers will be vastly depleted as a food source this forcing the barn owls out. I am a local resident and like many, regularly enjoy walking in the area, so I am extremely concerned about the impact this will have on the Faversham area. Also, businesses like ‘The Sportsman’ and other local public houses will suffer loss of passing trade if this development goes ahead. I am therefore very much against the proposed solar park- solar panels should be on roofs not on our rare and precious marshland. We need to protect this area for future generations to enjoy. I feel this development is placing profit before protection of our country’s assets and so my representation is thoroughly against Cleve Solar Park. I do hope the government will consider this proposal far too large in scale and the long lasting negative impact it will have on the entire area of the marshes, the rural village of Graveney, Faversham and Whitstable. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Bowles
"Visual intrusion. Scale of application. Negative impacts on Saxon Shore Way, SSSI, and native wildlife and flora.""
Members of the Public/Businesses
Canterbury Labour Party
"The site forms part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area. It is also directly adjacent to the Swale Ramsar site which is designated because of an important assemblage of bird species together with plant species, the Swale Special Protection Area and the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area. On the opposite side of Faversham Creek is the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust. Natural England has confirmed that they consider the land to be functionally linked land to the Ramsar site and SSSI and that birds that contribute to the Swale Assemblage use the land in winter, in particular, Brent geese, lapwing and golden plover. As a breeding site, the land is functionally linked to the Ramsar site for marsh harriers. The letter from Natural England also advises the developer’s wildlife consultant to address the needs of bats, water voles and reptiles as protected species. They comment that the addition of wildflowers in any new grazing land might assist with conditions for pollinating insects. The bat surveys carried out between June, and September 2015 demonstrate that the site functions as a foraging and commuting habitat for bats. Nine species are present including soprano pipistrelles, common pipistrelles, noctules and Daubenton’s bats. Bat activity extends over the whole site, and they use the open areas as well as just along the drainage ditches. It is likely that the disturbance during construction would deter bats, and the time taken for any new vegetation to establish may make the area unsuitable as a foraging habitat for several years after installation. This is because the new vegetation is likely to take up to three years to establish. Although the site is largely used for arable at present, 172 species of invertebrate were found in the surveys carried out in July 2015. Of these, over 30 species were either locally significant or of national significance including species of beetle, bugs, flies, bees and planthoppers. One variety of fly is nationally rare, and eleven insects are nationally scarce. The clearing of parts of the site to install the spine road and install the panels is likely to have a detrimental impact on the insect population which in turn feeds birds and bats. Re-establishment of vegetation on the site will take several years, so that cover and food plants for insects will be absent. The site is best known for birds, and it is mainly in this context that it should be considered in connection with the wildlife designations of the Swale mudflats and beaches and the land along the seawall. Wintering bird surveys were taken in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2017/18. The two earlier surveys show that up to 3400 Brent geese can be found on the farmland together with up to 600 oystercatchers, 300 golden plovers, 240 Avocets, 300 wigeons, 1000 Dunlin and 300 redshanks. Figures from 2017/18 confirm that many birds use the arable and grazing marshland on the site including 1800 Brent geese, 115 Shelduck, 690 wigeon, 160 teal, 22 little egret, 1190 Oystercatcher, 194 Avocet, 1770 golden plover, 150 grey plover, 1000 Lapwing, 1660 knot, 23 Ruff, 3000 Dunlin, 380 black-tailed godwit, 150 bar-tailed godwit, 160 Curlew and 370 Redshank. These represent, for most species, at least nationally important numbers. The land is also used in winter by short-eared owls and peregrine falcons in winter. The birds use many parts of the site, not only the western end. A map shows that there are breeding birds all over the site, not only in the ditches and along the existing tracks. These include skylarks, dunnocks and yellow wagtails together with reed buntings. There are also nesting sites throughout the area for oystercatcher and lapwings. Most of these are ground-nesting birds and rely on insects to feed their young. They need cover and lack of disturbance that exists across the site because of its use as farmland with limited access. As a feeding and roosting area, Brent geese use most of the land, shelduck use land at the west end, little egrets are widespread in their use of the land, mallards use the south parts of the land, and golden plovers and lapwing use the whole site. Many species also use the land area at night including lapwing, golden plover, snipe, short- eared owls, shelduck and mallard. Maps also show that raptors feed and hunt over the whole site. They show the flight paths of the birds which include short-eared owls, peregrine falcons, hobbies and marsh harriers. These birds mostly fly at less than 10 metres above the ground while hunting and thus are likely to find most of the site impossible to use either because of disturbance during construction or when the panels are in place. All of the species that nest or feed on the whole site, roost on it, rest on it or hunt over it would be affected by the panels which will cover much of the area. It is considered that for this reason, the development would be harmful to the Ramsar site, the SSSI and to the other wildlife designations by taking away a large area of functionally linked land"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jackie Bush
"I holiday in Seasalter nearly every year and look forward to walking to Faversham and seeing lovely open Kent countryside. I feel it’s a shame this is going to be ruined by this ugly solar park. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marie King
"The proposed solar park is in the wrong place - on valued landscape designated land which is bordered on 3 sides by an Site of Special Scientific Interest, Ramsar site, and Special Protected Area. The development will destroy an area which is used by locals and visitors from the UK and abroad, to walk and enjoy the scenery and wildlife. This will impact both on the wellbeing of these visitors and will also reduce the amount of tourists attracted to Faversham, Seasalter and Whitstable and surrounding areas who will no longer visit. Additionally, the volume of traffic that will need to travel through the village during construction - which has no footpath for a large part and is a country lane which is barely wide enough for 2 cars - will be unbearable. I live on Seasalter Road and will be directly impacted by the increased noise, traffic and pollution this will create. I request that this application is declined."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sylvia May
"While I am in favour of alternative energy I have serious concerns about the proposed development of the Cleve Hill Solar Park for the following reasons: The size of the proposed development - I understand that the affected area would be the size of the town of Faversham itself. Such a development would cause great disruption to the town, and in particular those residents living in the immediate area will be directly and adversely affected. The adverse impact on wildlife The aesthetic impact on what is a very attractive area of natural beauty, and which is also a site of special scientific interest Other factors to consider are the great height of the proposed solar panels (I understand that each one would be the height of a double decker bus), the archeology of the area, and the maintenance of existing public footpaths, including the one which crosses Nagden Marsh. Noise pollution and volume of traffic must also be considered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Thomas King
"It's a valuable place to go walking and get immersed in the quietness and tranquillity of the rambling countryside. To put a solar farm and battery storage into this sort of area is morally wrong. Solar power is necessary for the future energy consumption of this country but brownfield or industrial sites should be used, not valuable and productive farmland. The proposed transit route for construction vehicles is totally inappropriate and has a high possibility of traffic accidents because of the nature of the small country lane. This will pass directly by my house and will directly impact me, both for noise, pollution and delays."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Belinda Neal
"I am concerned that this development will destroy a beautiful area of the Kent coastline which should be preserved for future generations. We have no right to destroy this landscape for our grandchildren. Anyone who has ever visited this coastal area will be opposed to the location proposed. The solar farm will destroy several important wildlife habitats and restrict the quiet enjoyment of this peaceful area. We should be preserving Kent - it’s the garden of England after all. Please don’t approve this development. There is more to life than money. The cost benefit of preserving our beautiful coastline in terms of health benefit and reduced cost to the NHS must be factored in. The spectre of this development has been looming over us for too long - please listen to local opinion and find another solution. This area is too important to distroy. There must be less beautiful area upon which to site this development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Eileen Bill
"My representation will address the environmental impact on the landscape, the wildlife and natural beauty of Graveney Marshes. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
J E Poole
"I would like to OBJECT to this application. I believe that the project is too large and the HUGE amount of CONCRETE used will affect the ability of marshes to absorb water which helps to protect the town from flooding. (It will also affect the wildlife, be a blot on the landscape....) If this development does go ahead then the developer needs to set aside a large fund of money to compensate residents if flooding occurs in the town. They should also WAIT to commence the build until the electricity storage facility is fully achievable (there is currently no known technology that can do this). If the storage isn't possible the build should not start. These people are shysters: unproven technology and putting peoples' homes and businesses at risk, damaging a fragile environment. The build shouldn't go ahead but if it does then protection measures should be put in place. Thank you"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Collinson
"I am opposing the total destruction of a unique habitat that supports its inhabitants from below the ground upwards. If lost this can never be reinstated. I am concerned also for the impact on a small farming community and of course the level of heavy goods that will be required to thunder through these tiny country lanes to install something so ridiculous. On a wider level I feel the area is invaluable to so many people for their mental and physical wellbeing when visiting such a beautiful place. Thousands more houses are being built on the doorstep (without solar panels) yet a beautiful open space is also being taken when it will be needed even more as the population increases. As the panels will have to be manufactured abroad and shipped here and then, eventually, dismantled and disposed off (not recycled) when no longer of use, I do also question the green credentials. The picture that has been painted in the literature of the visual impact is so far removed from the reality, it seems as though the intention is to mislead us. The batteries have not been emphasised enough when they will have such an additional destructive effect. I thought the world was waking up to the fact that we have to live alongside all other creatures and all of nature for the planet to be sustainable. There has to be a balance between green power (which no one argues is needed) and the destruction of something so beautiful and essential to site a power station. Until some unenlightened people start looking after the planet, from the microscopic upwards, because all are needed, and lose the idea that money is all that matters, there is little hope for any future for anything. In summary, this is not the place for this for so many reasons."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marian Nyman
"The proposed development is too large and damaging to natural life in and around the site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Matthew Crick
"I am concerned about the negative impact the development will have on the established habitats and the flora and fauna they support."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Sonia Fox
"My first reason for opposing this development is that it will mean the loss of habitat for all the wildlife, in particularly birds. This area is a haven for many species and needs protection in times when many of those species are under threat. With the area across the Swale, on Sheppey, it is one of the most important areas in the country for bird migration. It has been falsely suggested that the birds will just move elsewhere. My second reason for opposition is the ruination of a beautiful landscape. This is a wonderful place for people to walk. I love my walks along the coast, the beauty, peace and wonderful space. It is an area used by many walkers and bird watchers. Why ruin such a huge area of beauty when more judicial sites can be found. The use of the roofs of houses should be a priority, especially new builds. Why is it not compulsory that solar panels should be part of all new housing? The sheer scale of this development is terrible, it is larger than the area of Faversham. An industrial blot on our beautiful landscape is the stuff of bad dreams. It is suggested that in order to protect the solar panel site, new flood protection walls will have to be built. This will mean that the natural flooding of this land will have to go elsewhere and could affect the water levels in Faversham creek causing problems in urban areas. Finally, the massive disruption for those people living in the vicinity will mean many will want to leave. Also the fact that solar panels need to be replaced every 10 years will mean that disruption for local communities will be ongoing.Hi "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nathaniel Richards
"I unequivocally support this project, we must realise the importance of projects like this to saving the planet from climate change and annihilation, no damage would be done to fauna and no damage to humans as falsely claimed by a complainant. We signed up to the Paris Accords and by preventing projects like this we will not only be doing this a disservice but also future generations as we destroy our planet. This will provide unlimited zero emission energy and create jobs"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicola Leggatt
"I firmly support the principle of developing sustainable energy sources, but other principles are also important. The issue is a conflict of principles. The Cleve Hill Solar Park depends on upholding the first-mentioned principle at the expense of all others. As it is currently planned it is, therefore, unacceptable. Factors supporting the other vital principles are: * Size and scale - the planned development is out of proportion with the existing landscape which is currently rural and beautiful. Industrialising such a large area will change its nature irrevocably, both in terms of the land covered and the size and height of individual panels. * Wildlife - this is an area rich in wildlife and the threat to the environment is too great a risk. * Undeveloped land - this is a green-field site which, once built on, can never return to its current state. The life of the proposed development is relatively short. The cost in terms of loss of undeveloped land is too great when there are brown-field sites which could be used instead. * Flooding - the large size of the panels is due, apparently, to the need to raise them above possible floods. The risk of flooding here, especially given the changes to the responsibility for flood defences, makes this an unsuitable site. * Public amenity - this area is valued for its beauty and tranquility and is important to the well-being of the many people who use it for health and leisure purposes. No amount of effort to maintain footpaths, as proposed, can compensate for the loss of this lovely coastal landscape. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roger Trice
"Objections to the scale of the project and the need to reduce the height of the solar panels. Also to increase the distance between the Swale and the boundary of the Solar Park from the 60 m which is planned, to a distance of at least 150 m, which will provide an adequate area for the roosting of the wading birds in this fragile, protected habitat."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sheila Hague
"I wish to refer to this proposed unsightly enormous Solar Park being placed onto beautiful open Marsh/Farmland between Seasalter and Faversham and wish to register my strong objection to it. This is a beautiful tract of land which has for decades been a haven for rare and migrating birds and small animals. As David Attenburough is always reminding us, we are slowly causing some species to become extinct. Surely this could be doing just that!! Why not, if this is the only way to increase electricity and magnetism which is very necessary, surely an area can be found where wildlife and beautiful views can be avoided!! This area is a great attraction to visitors and locals for walking, exercising their dogs and watching beautiful sunsets. Why ruin all that. I beg you to reconsider this proposal which is very unpopular with everyone affected by it. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sue Doyle
"The land is vital for wildlife and for enjoyment by the community The size of the project is still far too large and out of proportion to its environment As a long time resident in this area I beg you to see the long-term harm it would cause. It is about greed, not people and environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alexander John Clifford
"This project is way too big, way too ugly and turns a bleakly beautiful landscape into an semi-industrial wasteland. Inevitably when solar or other energy generation becomes more efficient in a few years time, this technology will become irrelevant and then the site will become wasteland. Then as a brownfield site it will likely be overdeveloped into a dull and mediocre housing estate without the infrastructure to function as a community or town. It will likely become grim urban sprawl where at present there's a few happy sheep next to a nice pub under the pylons. This project could work on a smaller scale. But taking such an enormous huge chunk of land destroys the character and niceness of the landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Osborne
"I have known this site for some 83 years and although I am not against solar farms I do object to the Proposal at Cleve Farm Faversham Kent for the following reasons:- 1) The site is almost in the centre of the longest length of mostly undeveloped coastline in Kent identified after a survey by Kent County Council undertaken in accordance with Ministry of Housing and Local Government circular 56/63. 2) The survey was part of the National Trust "operation Neptune" and the policy of special protection of this area has been incorporated in Kent County Councils Development Plans ever since and approved by successive Secretaries of State. 3) The solar farm would be a monstrous industrial intrusion on this unspoiled coastline. 4) The proposal is too large and will completely overwhelm this area of very special character and unique atmosphere and totally destroy the pleasure of walking around the seawall and across the marsh 5)The solar panels will be viable as am an enormous alien object in this very attractive open landscape on the banks of the Swale particularly when viewed from the high ground on the Isle of Harty. 6)The site includes the South Swale Nature Reserve and the development will disturb the use of the area by wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Caron Joned
"Concern about environmental damage Concern about amenity impact - for example on walkers. Concern about scale of the development"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Nee
"The solar farm is too big. Important and rare wildlife habitats will be destroyed. An area of wild beauty will be destroyed. The disruption to local residents will be extreme. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Malachi Doyle
"Environmental impact No employment benefits Has all siting possibilities been thoroughly explored e.g. off-shore Democratic procedures used elsewhere in past two years involve referendum - discussion is not thee same as having a a vote East Kent is a deprived area - the proposal will affect attractiveness of the area hence negative effect on tourism "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Byron Cobb
"I disagree with this application due to the unprecedentedly large solar power station, and the profound negative impact on the people that live in Faversham and the surrounding villages. Specifically, I disagree with the scale, height, untested battery technology & battery decommissioning, impact on footpaths."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Richards
"This development is on a massive scale and will destroy a large section of mixed use farmland and habitat for wildlife. It will be too tall and visible for miles around. This is a threat to tourism on which a large part of the local economy depends. Why not put solar panels on the thousands of new houses also going up in the same area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Wootton
"I object to the proposed development on the following grounds: The scale proposed is far too big for the area and relies on untested and unbuilt battery technology. The height and density of the solar panels is excessive. The area is a flood risk area. Wildlife will be unduly affected. Local roads are unsuited for the volumes of traffic required for the installation of the power station."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Andre Robert Farrar
"I wish to object to this application on the grounds of scale and impact on the wildlife and natural resources of the area and the opportunity cost of losing the area’s capacity to supply vital areas for managed realignment around the Thames estuary. In particular, I am concerned that insufficient attention has been paid to the impact on bird populations functionally linked to the adjacent The Swale Special Protection Area such as dark-bellied Brent goose."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Katy Cobb
"I disagree with this application due to the unprecedentedly large solar power station, and the profound negative impact on the people that live in Faversham and the surrounding villages. Specifically, I disagree with the scale, height, untested battery technology & battery decommissioning, impact on footpaths."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Phil Wyard
"I am opposed to the proposed solar park at Cleve Hill. As a resident of the town of Faversham it will have many disturbing effects on the quality of life for humans and wildlife. Firstly it will be a massive eyesore for all people who come within view of it, where there was once a beautiful area of green marshes. Secondly, it will generate noise and light pollution. Thirdly it will mean the bird species that nest there at the moment will lose their habitat and not come to Cleve Hill. The surrounding areas of Faversham that used to be a beautiful feature of the Kent countryside are getting taken over by new housing developments already. Surely these should be built with solar panels instead of having this huge solar park. As a small market town Faversham is famous for its proximity to hopfields and marshes, with excellent walking and bird watching opportunities, so the solar park will detract from its economic success as a tourist area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kate Charlwood
"I believe the area should be retained for nesting birds, and for people to walk around and enjoy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Wendy Pryke on behalf of Lucy Pryke
"Whilst I am all in favour of solar panels this proposed site is totally wrong in so many aspects. It is too large, in the wrong place and the height and size of the solar panels. This area is a site of natural beauty edged by the Thames Estuary it is a sanctuary for wild life and has many protected species. People come from all over the country to walk along the Saxon Shore Way for the peace and tranquility and for bird watching. It is also using up nearly 1,000 acres of valuable arable land - when we are told we have to produce more food - this has been farmed for year and year without fail. The size of the solar panels are so large in length and height nothing will grow underneath the panels so this valuable land will, by the end of the solar panel's life span, be turned into a desert. The use of vast amounts of lithium battery storage also is a worrying factor. The next largest solar 'park'! is 150 acres so this is over 5 times larger than anything else in this country. All other sites are tucked away or on edges of motor way, this is just taking up a vast landscape. The South East is being swallowed up by house building as it is and now valuable space where people can escape the pressures of the pace of life and the loss of habitat to so many endangered species is beyond comprehension. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Keith Pryke
"I strongly object to this proposal for the following reasons: 1) The location is existing good fertile farmland 2) The area is adjacent to SSSI sites and is popular for walking and wildlife, when/if this gets approval it will dramatically change a large part of the Kent coastline 3) The scale and scope of the project is far to large and will blight a huge area 4) The developers have led a misleading and deceitful public consultation process 5) The time frame for building (and planning) is unacceptable trapping local residents for years to come, especially those who had previous plans which they are now no longer able to pursue. 6) Noise from building is a large concern to local residents, especially those immediately affected like my mother who lives at [Redacted]. 7) Traffic through Graveney during building will cause chaos as the roads are not suitable for the number of HGV vehicles needed 8) The managing of the sea defences by the developers goes against the Environments agencies longer term plans which would be much better for local people and wildlife alike. I will happily provide further more detailed information on all of these points at a later date. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nathan Carr
"I disagree with large scale of the development. If a solar farm is to be made, it should much smaller, and in the parcels of land in close proximity to the substation and the wayleave of the pylons."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Simon Maclachlan
"I am a resident of Faversham and wish to be represented as I believe this application should be refused 1 Harm to birds and compensatory works insufficient 2 the area represents a green lung for this town and is well used for recreation walking swimming fishing 3 the design is experimental and very intrusive height and expanse is huge 4 serious attempts should be made to prove no other suitable site between Faversham and London . 5 the capacity of transfer station was to enable it to serve offshore wind farm why can thi snot be extended ? Simon maclachlan [Redacted]"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Allan Kenneth Lound
" I believe most strongly that the application for development consent by Cleve Hill Solar Park on Graveney Marshes should be refused. The installation of a 1000 acre industrial scale power-station would violate this beautiful unique area beyond recovery effecting numerous feather and fur species, an abundance of flora and fauna as well as concerned humans. This dubious bid to promote green energy on such an unprecedented scale will rob so many of so much. The price tag of this development is not only the loss of Graveney Marshes but also be seriously detrimental to Graveney as a small rural village. Brownfield sites should be considered as a preferred alternative rather than destroying an area of natural beauty "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Greg Lound
"I believe most strongly that the application for development consent by Cleve Hill Solar Park on Graveney Marshes should be refused. The installation of a 1000 acre industrial scale power-station would violate this beautiful unique area beyond recovery. We are guardians not only of this land but of all who choose to make it their home. This includes numerous feather and fur species, an abundance of flora and fauna as well as concerned humans. This dubious bid to promote green energy on such an unprecedented scale will rob so many of so much. The price tag of this development is not only the loss of Graveney Marshes but also be seriously detrimental to Graveney as a small rural village and cause significant property devaluation and damage."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley Lound
"I believe most strongly that the application for development consent by Cleve Hill Solar Park on Graveney Marshes should be refused. The installation of a 1000 acre industrial scale power-station would violate this beautiful unique area beyond recovery. We are guardians not only of this land but of all who choose to make it their home. This includes numerous feather and fur species, an abundance of flora and fauna as well as concerned humans. This dubious bid to promote green energy on such an unprecedented scale will rob so many of so much. The price tag of this development is not only the loss of Graveney Marshes but also be seriously detrimental to Graveney as a small rural village and cause significant property devaluation and damage."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Annabel Tullberg
"My argument is very simple:this is an area of immense beauty and natural significance and building this industrial solar unit [it is neither a park or a farm]will be the most monumental blot on the landscape. Others will give the many reasons to preserve the wildlife, mine is an aesthetic viewpoint. I have lived and grown up in this area for 51 years and once that expanse of marshland is covered it will NEVER be the same again. The London Array power station was the first step to ruining the area and this is step two-what next? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Natasha Ehmann
"Hello Whilst I am all for renewable solar energy, I am concerned about the scale and impact of this location for building one. As a resident with a view of this area it will be quite imposing and as a walker, this view and Saxon shore path are one of the most beautiful and wildlife diverse places in the country which I feel would be blighted by 3.9meter high pannels and security fences. I am also concerned about the impact of loss of potential wetlands and their protective nature towards Faversham. I am also concerned about the impact on birdlife in the SSSI and what impact building on this area would have. If there are less impactful sites nearby I feel these should be better considered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Polly Radcliffe
"While I support the use of renewable energy, I am very concerned about the effect of a solar power plant of this size on the landscape and on wildlife habitats of the Graveney marshes. The proposed site is 'functionally linked' to designated wildlife habitats for overwintering birds, dark-bellied Brent geese and sky-larks. Since there has never been a solar power farm of this size, we cannot know its impact on wildlife. The Graveney marshes and surrounding country side are well used and loved by bird watchers, cyclists and walkers. The solar panels and the planned battery will devastate the landscape. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Raymond Solly
"I am fully appreciative and support renewable energy of the type proposed, but express serious concerns at the size of the proposal My main reasons express an equally serious concern for this environment. The proposed area is home to rare breeds of marsh dwelling bird-life (bittern, wheatear, water pipit etc), along with endangered insects (tiger moths), and shrubs. Each of these requires and relies on human duties of protection (for no-one else will). This is also an area of extreme peacefulness whose tranquility would be lost to the environment by essential construction work and on-going post-constructional operating noises. This area has been vitally important personally since walking there regularly for the past fifty-four years. It has proved valuable for solace at times of distress and helpful in planning books and other academic work. I would request the Minister considers reducing the size of this proposal considerably by allowing solar panels to be constructed that allows an essentially clear margin area of around half-a-mile. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ross Buggins
"As a resident of Graveney I have major concerns regarding the access through the village during construction. There is the now booming pub, and busy school which both are on the main road through, as well as houses all along the proposed route - all which would be impacted."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alison Keeler
"I do support Solar power as an alternative to fossil fuels , but Cleve Hill is the wrong place for these panels ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bruno Erasin
"Dear Madam or Sir, I would like to register as an interested party in relation to proposed development at Cleve Hill Solar Park, ref EN010085. It has been brought to my attention and also based on my personal visual inspection of the proposed development area that the Agricultural Land Classification assessment required for planning application may have not been followed stringently as detailed in the MAFF document relevant for ALC's. It is my intention to peer review the existing ALC report prepared by the developer and submitted for planning application, and in the case the report does not meet MAFF guidelines will either highlight these in a personal report or undertake additional investigation in line with MAFF guidelines and submit an alternative ALC report prepared in accordance with MAFF guidelines. It is my strongest provisional opinion that the agricultural land proposed for the new Cleve Hill Solar Park development does not comply with ALC assessment criteria in accordance with MAFF guidelines and thus the development should not be progressed, until these criteria are met or overruled by other parties. I am currently awaiting receipt of a copy of the original ALC report prepared by the developer, but as outlined above, until further review and further personal ALC investigation I object with the proposed Clive Hill Solar Park development. Yours sincerely, Bruno Erasin, BSc, PhD "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kathryn Broadbent
"I believe most strongly that the application for development consent by Cleve Hill Solar Park on Graveney Marshes should be refused. The installation of a 1000 acre industrial scale power-station would violate this beautiful unique area beyond recovery. We are guardians not only of this land but of all who choose to make it their home. This includes numerous feather and fur species, an abundance of flora and fauna as well as concerned humans. This dubious bid to promote green energy on such an unprecedented scale will rob so many of so much. The price tag of this development is not only the loss of Graveney Marshes but also be seriously detrimental to Graveney as a small rural village and cause significant property devaluation and damage."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alison Dilnutt
"As a resident of Whitstable and as a person who has grown up in Faversham, I am completely opposed to the solar farm in Graveney. Here are my reasons: 1. The power the huge farm - the size of Faversham itself - will produce is not worth the damage it will cause to our countryside, our wildlife, our heritage, the environment, the living and working conditions of the families in Graveney or the infrastructure of the rural locale. 2. The power that can be stored from the farm may well be sold abroad, internationally, with no benefit whatsoever for the local people who have been forced to live in a city of mirrors. 3. The Nagden and creek area is of sensitive archeological importance with published evidence of pre-Roman and Roman settlements in the area the farm is planned to be built. 4. The impact on tourism and local economy. The route is an important and much loved part of the Saxon walkway which is a huge driver for inward investment for both Faversham and Whitstable. The Sportsman is a Michelin Starred restaurant along the route and will suffer significantly with this development. 5. The area is a marsh and a natural area that can be flooded if sea levels rise or the Thames Barrier is closed and causes a sea surge. The arrangements for this company to 'manage' the sea defences are hugely irresponsible for the communities living right along the Thames estuary up into Essex, around Sheppey and along the East Kent Coast. I have a personal love of this area and my first novel, Hollowshore is based here, but my core reason for objecting is that it just isn't worth it. I am completely committed to green energy, but not at the expense of our beautiful natural and vulnerable spaces, of the livelihoods and quality of life of whole communities and especially not just to line the pockets of a greedy land owner and in international company which will have no lasting economic legacy for our local people. Alison Dilnutt "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Ford
"The extraordinary size of this operation frightens me. To have a solar ‘park’ the same size as the beautiful medieval town which would be its neighbour is completely out of proportion. Despite assurances to the contrary much of the abundant wild life and bird life would be lost, and this would be a tragedy. Many experts in these fields have already spoken to condemn the project. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marion Macalpine
"As a frequent visitor to this area, I am very concerned about the potential impact of the proposal on the local community, on wildlife and on the coastal ecosystem of this site which is one of the most important wetland areas of Europe. I understand the panels will be dense, east-west, industrial, mega-panels. I am also aware that the only beneficiaries of the proposall will be corporate speculators. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Brander
"The project is too big for the local area and will cause untold damage to the environment. There is already solar panels on farmland in Faversham and it is a blight on the landscape and an eyesore. The local roads are already congested and we do not need more traffic on the roads. The whole idea of solar farms is very shortsighted in 5 - 10 years these developments will be outdated and obsolete. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vanessa Abrahamson
"To comment on the application in relation to: - environmental issues - wildlife issues - heritage/historical importance to Faversham"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bethea Jenner
"My objection is not based on climate denial - I fully understand why alternative forms of energy are necessary. However the damage to precious natural sites seems to be a high price to pay when there are other less sensitive areas to place the solar park. I don't understand why this has been chosen - we are facing the same issue here in Hastings. I can only conclude that it is more expensive to site this park in a brownfield site somewhere else in Kent. Surely Graveney Marshes are important wildlife habitats specifically for migrating birds. Please don't ruin yet another piece of our shrinking natural land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Burbridge
"Concur with the concerns raised by CPRE, Kent Wildlife, RSPB and Great Graveney. In addition; If it were to go ahead, I'd hope it gets moved back much further from the Swale, both for nature and landscape - 60 meters is no distance. Operation of the farm, no operational info. Would it be good for any wildlife? There is a danger this sets a precedent for hundreds of other similar sized / located solar farms. A disaster for Kent."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Burton
"Unprecedented Scale – What is being proposed on the outskirts of our town is an extremely large industrial development, as big if not now bigger, than Faversham itself. A development of this scale cannot fail to have a profound negative effect on the environment and reduce the economic and amenity value to those both living in and using the area. Flood Risk –These marshes are a protective floodplain for Faversham. The seawall is currently the responsibility of the Environment Agency and therefore under democratic control. If the Agency were to delegate responsibility to the operators of the site for the flood defences, they would be able to raise the height of the wall at will in order to protect their assets. The Height of the Solar Panels The proposed site was originally tidal saltings and is a Category 3a Rising sea levels and more violent weather events both threaten the site. As a consequence, if construction were to go ahead, the developer has said the panels need to be ‘around’ 4 metres high, just short of the height of a double-decker bus.* This would be a severe detriment to the amenity value of the marshes to all those local people and visitors who use them. The industrial landscape created by the panels will also be completely visible from viewpoints such as Graveney Hill and Graveney Church, from Oare village, from the Isle of Sheppey and from all vantage points around Estuary View just to the south of Whitstable. Wildlife Although the noise and disturbance is a cause of anxiety for residents and the loss of amenity value distressing for those all who currently use the marshes, there is a much more serious and detrimental impact on wildlife. Construction of roads and excavation of ditches, the creation of culverts, clearing of the ground by removing plants and topsoil and installation of equipment would result in the whole site being unavailable as nesting habitat for ground-nesting birds nor as a feeding /foraging habitat for birds, bats and other animals and insects over a long period. The site forms part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area. It is also directly adjacent to the Swale Ramsar site which is designated because it has an important assemblage of bird and plant species. The site will also affect the Swale Special Protection Area and the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area and on the opposite side of Faversham Creek, the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Faversham and Swale East Branch Labour Party
"Chapter 6.1.9 Ornithology - Breeding marsh harriers on site and on nearby sites such as Ham Marshes - Marsh harriers feeding over whole site including arable areas, functionally linked to SPA/Ramsar site - Raptors including marsh harriers, peregrine falcons, short eared owls hunting low over site, flying below 10m - Brent geese feeding on arable land because of suitable arable crops, not just sitting on land such as proposed new grazing area - Brent geese roosting on site or using it between tides, accessed over sea wall from Oare Creek mouth nowhere near proposed new grazing area - Use of arable land by lapwing to feed and roost (major declining species) - Use of arable land by golden plover to feed and roost Chapter 6.1.14 Transport - Increase in HGVs through narrow parts of Seasalter Road with no pavements, up to 80 per day generally, more at peak periods - Graveney school playground on road side of buildings, fumes and noise as well as number of vehicles - Graveney school playing field on opposite side of Seasalter Road with no pedestrian crossing - Impact on 660 service bus causing delays to bus service - Intimidation of pedestrians and cyclists by increased numbers of vehicles particularly HGVs - Functional severance of village as church and village hall are across road from most houses Chapter 6.1.13 Socio-economic effects and tourism - Tourism impacts in Developer submission is at Kent, or at best whole of Swale District and whole of Canterbury District level - Impact should be assessed at Faversham area or Whitstable area level - People visit Faversham and Whitstable as nice towns with historic buildings and good countryside, unusual shops and restaurants, solar farm harms image as big industrial appearance - People visit Seasalter/Faversham to walk on sea wall and footpaths across marshes to see birds, other wildlife and views over the land as well as from sea wall - Part of long distance footpath, England Coast Path but this does not mean people are just using it to pass through - National Cycle Route is part of tourism offer of area as well as sustainable form of transport Chapter 6.1.7 Landscape and Visual Impact - Graveney Marshes is part of Kent level Area of High Landscape Value and this has recently been endorsed as AHLV for new Local Plan in approved report Swale Local Landscape Designations Nov 2018 - Graveney arable lands moderate condition/moderate sensitivity and Graveney grazing lands good condition/high sensitivity in Swale Landscape Character and Biodiversity Appraisal 2011 - Views from England Coast Path/Saxon Shore Way across site with high panels and fences and large bund enclosing battery area causing major impact - Views from footpath ZR478 through the site largely contained by panels and fences major impact - Viewpoints in photomontages at years 1, 5 and 10. Many impacts assessed to be significant and major impact - Although solar installation is only small part of distant views, still harmful including from Wraik Hill Chapter 6.1.11 Cultural Heritage and Archaeology - Impact on village of Graveney because solar farm starts to be seen from and close to Graveney Church (Grade I listed) and other listed buildings including Sparrow Hall, Graveney Court on Seasalter Road - All buried remains which are evidence of historic land use including sheep folds and duck decoys entirely lost as part of construction - Similarly, all WWII remains including site of Battle of Graveney plane remains and WWII decoy site completely lost in construction as area has to be pile-driven over Chapter 6.1.18 Interactive and Cumulative effects - Properties close to perimeter of site including Nagden, Cleve Hill cottages and Warmhouse cumulative effects including traffic getting to them, views, footpaths and noise - Properties in Graveney with lorry traffic, impact on the school, severance and in some cases views, harm to local footpaths "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graham Setterfield
"This development is industrial in scale, is disproportionate to the area in which it is proposed. It is a speculative financial venture, not environmentally beneficial as the promotional material claims. It is in a site of particular interest, a RAMSAR site, and SSSI, which give it international status and importance. Alternative sites with connections to the National Grid exist in the county on brown field sites. The scale of the individual panels is such as to cause a blight on the area, popular for walks and cycling. The scale of the lithium battery complexes is industrial and the batteries are almost untested. Lithium and water are wholly incompatible yet this is in a flood plain. Increasing the height of the flood walls will theoretically increase the flood risk across the Faversham and Whitstable area and no flood wall is ever definitively preventative, which is why the phrase "flood protection" is used, not "flood prevention". Had this not been a "solar" power station, it would not have been countenanced. Road access is poor, there is increased risk to the local population especially pedestrian children and cyclists who use the Graveney Road regularly. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hattie Edmonds
"While I fully support solar power as an energy source, to build such a 1000 acre solar park on one of the most important wetland areas in Europe, seems inadvisable, at best. It would cause devastation to the local community, the myriad wildlife species and the coastal ecosystem of the North Kent Marshes. If it must go ahead, surely a down-scaling of its size might be both responsible and advisable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hugh Lound
"I believe that the application for development consent for the Solar Park on Graveney Marshes should be refused and rejected. I'm all for Green Energy but not at an unreasonable cost and detriment to the surrounding areas, it violates the concept of 'Green' energy. The convoluted facts and evidence that have been provided throughout this process has cast doubt on the effectiveness of this proposal. The price tag of this development is not only the loss of Graveney Marshes but would also be seriously detrimental to Graveney as a small rural village and cause significant property devaluation and damage. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Wassmer-Kasparian
"Although I am a supporter of renewable energy, in general, I strongly oppose this development due the location and size. I believe that such a vast development will cause damage and have a detrimental effect on the local community, the myriad wildlife species and the coastal ecosystem of the North Kent Marshes, which is one of the most important wetland areas of Europe."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kerry Collins
"I live in the area and the Saxon Shore is where I run, picnic, bird watch and walk my dogs. I am all for solar energy but this is definately not the place. It will spoil area and the bird life. This is a special place for us and we want to keep it that way. Solar panels should be added to all new build buildings instead of spoiling an area used by so many people. I have a beautiful video I took this weekend of the Starling murmuration, I can share the video with shows the beauty of this area and why we love it so much. Thanks Kerry"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Alan Edwards
"Having lived in East Kent for all but 15 of my 81 years , I have a good knowledge of the Graveney Marshes, the site of the Cleve Hill Solar Park proposed development. Green energy may well have an important environmental role but the UK also needs areas, such as Graveney Marshes, to provided not only agricultural land ( home grown food removes needs to import food by pollution creating transport from overseas), but also health giving open space for folk living in rapidly growing urban areas such as Medway Canterbury. To develop the largest UK Solar Park in the restricted area between Faversham and Seasalter , habitat of such bird life, cannot be justified by claiming its proximity to the lunar array. It cannot compensate for a further destruction of open spaces in an increasingly urbanised area of Kent. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Margaret Edwards
"I support the views expressed by the Graveney Marshes Organisation (otherwise known as the GREAT- Graveney Rural Environmental Action Team. I feel that they have expressed them in a way that I cannot better. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sheila Maister
"I live in Faversham and I object to the proposal for the following reasons: Environmental damage This development will damage the surrounding wildlife habitats of birds and other animals. It will prevent the land being used for agriculture in the future. The developers want to build a sea wall to protect the site from flooding. This is contrary to current DoE practice and guidelines for flood defences. Impact on leisure pursuits I walk and cycle along the land under consideration. If a solar farm of the size proposed was built, it would reduce access to the area and would discourage people from using the land for leisure purposes. The English Coastal Path is due to go through this area; the proposed development might compromise any decision on the route by Natural England, who report to tbe DoE. Aesthetic considerations The size of the proposed development would mean that it could be seen from a very long distance, as far away as the Isle of Sheppey. It would certainly be detrimental to the views of the surrounding countryside which Faversham residents currently enjoy. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vanessa Campion
"I object to the proposed solar farm as it stands. The idea of the solar farm is to protect the environment but the scale of this proposal does not enable any protection of this valuable piece of land for the environment and ecology. I agree with providing sustainable power but not when it then destroys another valuable resource."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Adrienne Ayres
"1.Community Interest 2.Environmental Interest 3.Inappropriate Land Use"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Cait Cochrane
"I am totally against supporting the approval of this massive project, not because I am against sustainable energy but the location is absolutely destructive to the local village of Graveney and the real fact that these location is an area that supports a huge number of birds and other wildlife. Just because there is a substation there is no excuse to erect the largest solar panels and cause the land to prevent Marsh Harriers, Barn Owls, Short Eared Owls, Brent Geese, Swans, migrating birds to rest is unacceptable. The building of the London Array caused enormous damage, the Marsh Harriers breeding has been interrupted. This is an area of Special Scientific Interest building these panels is incompatible with the unique nature. I have walked and bird/nature watched there for years and love it. Why do we need a plant of such a size, this is not the USA. 40% of land is farmed which means that wildlife is suffering. We need to protect wild life and governments need to insist that all new builds have their own solar panels which will mean we don't need grossly ugly, massive solar systems like this which are only about making money rather than having any real consideration for the environment and sustainability. There is no consideration for the local people whose families have lived and farmed there for years."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Coral Cullen
"Please please don't let this go a head we need wild life more then ever now. Don't let faversham become a place under glass its so beautiful. Please let it stay like that, why can't they put glass on roofs . The wild life we have here is disappearing so fast don't let this happened. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Edmund Lamb
"Graveney marshes is an area of outstanding beauty and desolation of a kind that is increasingly vanishing from our countryside. It is a haven for wildlife including several nationally important species. It is totally the wrong place for an industrial development of this scale."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Fiona Gallen
"Graveney Marshes is one of North East Kent's last wildernesses. It is full of wildlife, birds ,insects and wildflowers. It provides a place of peace and tranquility not only for wildlife but for humans. Whilst renewable energy is very important, covering this vast area with metal panels which will have a limited lifespan seems ill advised. There are so many disused industrial sites around the country that would be far better suited. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frances Hilary Sills
"Solar power is a useful way to harness electricity but the Solar Park proposed in this location is unsuitable. The character of its open space is essential to the health of the salt marshes and to house a massive bird population, some of which are the skylark and breeding Red Shank. The site proposed would cover part of the Ancient Saxon Shore Way and would be next to an ANOB, a site of Specific Scientific Interest and would cover good agricultural land presently used for crops. There are 3 marshes: Nagden, Cleve and Graveney which would suffer damage. There would be a high risk of flooding there; building bunds will not stop the tides of Nature. One million solar panels built on 1,000 acres would be visible from miles around by people walking on The Saxon Shore Way; travelling from Whitstable; and indiginous locals. The idea that growing grass underneath them could provide grazing for sheep seems misplaced; our lawn does not grow underneath our courgette leaf spread in the summer. Storing excess electricity would produce noise pollution - up to 100 dBA - city traffic/football games. Replacement of these panels after 20/25 years of life would be necessary, which would employ workers having to gain access to the site. The panels are not bio-degradable, silicon tetrachloride being a hazardous by-product. Manufacture and disposal causes toxic pollution in China. Lung damage is common. Will those in the Swale Area be the recipients of this electricity? Solar power would be fairer and environmentally friendly if produced on/in idividual homes. It's not necessary to disturb an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gary Keep
"My concerns of the affect it with have on wildlife habitat and fauna"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Giles Klech
"This proposal is contrary to common sense and ethics in general. These sort of projects should be distributed and on a far smaller scale. This monstrosity is larger than the nearest major town (Faversham), will impinge massively on the outskirts of the town and is guaranteed to have a negative impact on the local environment which, prior to this dire proposal, was protected! The solar panels are immense, and their scale was deceptively presented in the initial diagrams that were presented to Faversham residents. This suggests a lack of integrity on the part of the developer. These panels wiill be a hideous blight on the local area and will cover an area greater than that of the town itself! The site forms part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area, and is directly adjacent to the Swale Ramsar site - this contains an important assemblage of bird and plant species. This montrous blight will in addition affect the Swale Special Protection Area and the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area and on the opposite side of Faversham Creek, the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust. The use of power (batteries) is as yet not clear stated and there is a good chance that this could have an impact upon the health of local residents, along with potential concerns over safety. In addition, Faversham is already subject to regular flooding and affecting these marshes could significantly increase the llikelihood of further flooding since the marshes are a protective floodplain. This horror would essentially obliterate the beauty of the Saxon Shore way, used by thousands every year to traverse from Faversham to Seasalter and onwards to Whitstable. I myself use this regular when walking and it's a wonderful experience with beautiful views of the beaches and wildlife. To wrap up, in my opinion, there is NOTHING POSITIVE WHATSOEVER for the people in the local area in permitting this to go ahead. It is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard of in my lifetime. Shame on whomever dreamt this up. Giles Klech"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Southon
"I feel that the size of the proposed site is unacceptable. It will turn an area of beauty into an industrial site. The disruption to the local area will be massive, there are already too many lorries on these narrow roads and for all the disruption there will be no benefit from this site to the local community. In fact it will have a detrimental impact as I am sure tourists who come to the area either to walk the coastal path or who come to birdwatch will stay away and this may well affect the local economy negatively. Please reconsider this application it is just too large and on the wrong site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Juliet Cowgill
"I strongly object to this development on environmental grounds."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kalyan Bryant
"I am opposed to the current plan for a solar park as it poses a risk and danger to the ecology , habitats of the flora and fauna of the marshes that are a unique heritage if this area and much prized . And in the current climate if environmental destruction globally more should be done to protect our natural environment and protected and endangered zones from further encroachments."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Oliver Tann
"I am strongly against the current proposal due to the inevitable destruction of precious marshland, and would urge alternative brownfield sites to be used instead. I fully support the views of the Faversham Society."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rebecca Lees
"The Solar Power Station is bigger than Faversham. The panels will be 3.9m/12.5 feet high: the height of a double-decker bus. Just the electrical compound – the electrical substation and the batteries behind the bund will extend over 10ha – 20% bigger than the Faversham Recreation Ground which is a mere 8.1ha. The batteries are unspecified this is an emerging and largely untested technology, The Cleve Hill Solar power station will be built over land that has been part of the Faversham floodplain for hundreds of years If built, we would have a huge industrial site on Faversham’s doorstep, changing the character of our historic town and reducing the amount of wildlife-rich amenity land available to us – just as the town grows rapidly."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roger Sills
"* Loss of agricultural land - contrary to popular "myth" this land has agricultural value * Damage to landscape - this proposal will create a "blot on the landscape" and will be seen while traversing the Saxon Shore Way via Nagden and Cleve Marshes * Panels will generate an unacceptable level of noise, up to 100dBA, which is equivalent to city traffic/chain saw/lawn mower * Loss of biodiversity and habitat, including that of endangered species, such as Marsh Harrier plus major threat to animal walfare * There has been an inadequate assessment of the flood risk, creating a potential conflict with the Environment Agency's "managed retreat" strategy * damage caused during build and beyond this period by construction traffic "
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Gordon Sencicle on behalf of The Open Spaces Society
"I am representing the Open Spaces Society as an objector to the Cleve Hill Solar Park ref EN0 10085 I am objecting to the Solar Park as it will have an enormous visual impact on the Saxon Shore Way, and also the Coastal Path, which is currently about to open here 2019. It will affect the bird population, an important site for migration and breeding. Affect local residents views of the countryside, and walkers using the footpaths for enjoyment. Solar Arrays should go onto warehouses, sports centres, supermarkets, village halls, doctor's surgery's, where these are built onto green field sites, which reduces the ability to grow food .I see no evidence of any such sites with any solar panels on the roofs, many of which are flat roofed. In the 1980's we produced 90% of our own food which is now down to 60%, and with the growing world population will make things more serious in the future.It is often said that sheep will graze between these panels but on travelling around where these arrays are visible, I seldom see sheep and if they are, very few in numbers. John Gordon Sencicle, 8th January 2019"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Wendy Mayfield
"The scale and nature of this proposal is inappropriate for an area of prime agriculture and wildlife habitat. There are plenty of alternative brownfield sites available across many parts of the country that could be used for solar energy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Adam Sharpe
"I support the plans, subject to the inclusion of adequate environmental remediation measures."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Barbara Golding
"I am against the construction of a solar farm on the unspoiled graveney marshes. They act as a haven for flaura and fauna all year round. Year long wildlife and migratory birds make this windswept and beautiful coastline a privilege to live near and with the massive threat to our wildlife this area must be preserved. Why can the local council not insist when planning is granted for housing developments of any size that all roofs must have effective solar panels? The cost could be passed on to potential buyers who would reap the rewards of cheaper electricity. If the feed in tarrif were increased micro generation would start to grow again . Why just take a sledgehammer to solve a problem when easy alternatives are available?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Sandall
"I am concerned that the scale of the development will adversely affect an area of relatively unspoiled marshland which is valuable for resident and migrating wildlife. Once lost this resource will never be replaced. I also have concerns about the visual impact of the development on walkers along the sea wall which is part of the Saxon Shore Way, a national resource. I am in favour of the development of renewable energy but it is the scale of this project which concerns me. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher N Cook
"This site is far too big for any single use. it is located alongside much environmentally sensitive areas including nesting areas for birds on the national Red List and plants on the Kent Rare plants register. Solar panels are excellent on buildings (why haven't all government buildings got them??) or brown field sites without destroying prime agricultural land. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dorothea Doyle
"I strongly object to the plans, as I believe it creates a massive flood risk. Scale of solar park is also far to big which will impact all wild live negative . "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Viviene Moore
" To put it succinctly I object to this planning proposal because it is too big for the proposed area. The proposed design and height of panels will be intrusive to local inhabitants, walkers and tourists. The proposed design and height will permanently damage the substructure of land and water retention. The proposed design and height will be deleterious to the very precious bird-life that already use it. The promises of the company to create wildlife habitats is not sufficient, because the nature of migrating birds are increase annually with climate change. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vivienne Duvall on behalf of Kevin Duvall
"Despite recognising the desirability and importance of renewable energy sources, we believe that the scale of this proposal not acceptable for the following reasons. 1. The size of the project in an already overcrowded and developed county. 2. Impact on the road surfaces, and local residents through pollution, noise and disturbance caused by multiple daily vehicle movement though Graveney village and other surrounding communities. 3. A devastating impact on the North Kent landscape along the Saxon Shore Way. 4. The lack of detailed data on the effects of this type of disturbance to schedule 1 breeding birds such as marsh harriers and bearded reedlings, and how they will react to the visual effects of c800 acres of glass panels. 5. The loss of breeding habitat for farmland birds such as skylarks, yellow wagtails and lapwings, and overwintering species e.g. golden plover, curlew, lapwing and brent goose. 6.The unknown level of disturbance to the adjacent SSSI, Ramsar, SPA and LNR sites."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Hird
"I am objecting to the size and impact on the area of this planned Solar Park."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Matthew Hatchwell
"I object to the siting of the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park on the marshes north of Faversham because of the risk of negative environmental impacts to the neighbouring Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA), and Ramsar site (a wetland of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention). My detailed comments below will focus on UK government obligations under the Ramsar Convention, but similar commitments and obligations exist in relation to the SSSI and SPA listings and must also be taken into consideration in relation to approval of this application. The proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park (CHSP) site is immediately adjacent to the Swale Ramsar site, which was designated in 1985 in recognition of the high species diversity of plants and invertebrates of its saltmarshes and mudflats, including several nationally rare species. The area is of national importance for breeding, migrating and wintering ducks and waders, and regularly supports internationally important numbers of numerous species of wintering waterbirds. See [redacted]for a detailed description of the importance of the Swale as a Ramsar site according to the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). As mentioned below, the Thames Estuary as a whole also provides important freshwater habitat in the life cycle of the Critically Endangered European eel. As a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention since 1976, under Article 3 of this legally-binding international treaty the government of the United Kingdom commits to "promote the conservation of the wetlands included within the [Ramsar] List" and "the wise use of wetlands within their territory." Any proposed development that might affect the Swale Ramsar site must therefore be carefully reviewed to ensure that it does not lead, even unintentionally, to negative environmental impacts affecting in particular the characteristics that contributed to the listing of the site in 1985. Such impacts include, but may not be limited to: - Noise and dust emanating from the CHSP site during the construction phase of the project, disturbing local human residents, wildlife and the Saxon Shore Way that borders the site. An enforceable decibel limit should be included in any construction permit for the CHSP site, along with enforceable limits on emissions of airborne particulates. - Hydrological impacts of the CHSP project both during the construction phase and once the park is operational, potentially effecting water flow and quality both within the site and outflow (through sluices, etc.) into the Swale Ramsar/SSSI/SPA site. Any changes to the hydrology of the site are likely to have consequences for local wildlife, over and above the inevitable loss of nesting habitat for birds that will ensue from construction of the solar park. Studies should be conducted in particular on populations of the European eel at the Cleve Hill site. The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a critically endangered species on the IUCN Red List (see [redacted] for details). Freshwater courses along the Thames Estuary, including drainage canals in coastal marshes, provide vital habitat for elvers to grow to adulthood. - Light pollution from infrastructure associated with the solar park (in particular the electrical substation) could have negative impacts for local residents and recreational users of the nearby creek and Ramsar site, as well as for wildlife. It is well-documented in scientific literature that birds and other animals may experience increased orientation or disorientation as a result of artificial light and can be attracted to or repulsed by glare, with consequences for foraging, reproductive, communication and other critical behaviours. Artificial light can also disrupt interspecific interactions that have evolved in natural patterns of light and dark, with serious implications for community ecology. A site-specific environmental impact assessment should be conducted of the CHSP site to evaluate the potential impact of light pollution on wildlife associated with the nearby Ramsar site. If permission is granted for construction to go ahead, mitigation measures may need to be taken as a result, e.g. in the design and power of artificial lighting. Regular wildlife monitoring should be required under any circumstances in order to detect any negative impacts that would contravene the British government's legal commitments as a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Miss Donna-Lee Norton
"I express concern for whether authentic consideration has been given to the impact on wildlife, particularly the marshland ecosystem. And object to this project based it in being a capitalist profit making plan of action that will benefit corporations invested in particular rather than of any general benefit to the public, the environment at large or the the conservation of local wildlife and areas of beauty"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Miss Katherine Killick
"The application to Build Cleve Hill power solar station will decimate the coastal land involved. This area has long been a breeding ground for much wildlife and bird life. It is my understanding that the panels will be erected in such a way / direction that it will obstruct plant growth, wildlife and create effectively a desert... I fully support alternative power however I believe that this is an area that is too large , cited incorrectly and aligned in such a way that no consideration has been made to the environmental impacts that will be caused. If the local microclimate is detrimentally affected we have no idea what the impact will be in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 years. We have a responsibility to create as little an impact as is humanly possible on flora, fauna and the environment as a whole. I do not believe Cleve Hill solar power station will do this. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ros Coward
"My representation will focus on the following: The fact that the area for proposed development is a functionally linked area used by protected birds from the surrounding protected areas and that these areas include an SPA - the highest nature protection designation. The fact that this is a valued landscape which forms a beautiful and important section of the Saxon shore way. The fact that the development is controversial in design and has unproven consequences for the immediate environment. The fact that this area had been agreed IN CONSULTATION with the Environment agency as an area for managed retreat to protect Faversham and Whitstable for flooding and that the developers are in no way placed to take over managing sea defences. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sian Lewis
"As a frequent walker along the Saxon Shore Way on the top of the seawall that looks inwards on to this enormous proposed Solar Power Station site I emphatically object to its creation. I do not want my view of this beautiful and wild flood plain (some of it a Site of Special Scientific Interest) to be completely obliterated by enormous panels, 3.9 metres high - the height of a double-decker bus and covering an area larger than Faversham itself, 436 acres. I understand just the electrical substation and the batteries behind the bund will extend over 10 hectares. If built, Faversham would have a huge industrial site on its doorstep, changing the character of the historic town and reducing the amount of wildlife-rich amenity land available. In addition to the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the site will also detrimentally affect the Swale Special Protection Area, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area and on the opposite side of Faversham Creek, the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust. It is a very large site that would not only be covered with new solar installations but would also require substantial works to provide the roads, new ditches and the electrical plant, including a substantial compound for battery storage. I have no objections to the creation of renewable energy, in fact fully support wind turbines out at sea, but the enormous destruction of our landscape heritage at Cleve Hill is not the way. How could we face future generations and defend this terrible large scale destruction that cannot ever be reversed back to the beauty it is today?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Clark
"These marshes are a unique habitat, reflected in the fact that the Kent Wildlife Trust have managed the adjacent area for some time. It provides food and shelter foe many species and organisms that work with symbiosis. Covering the marsh with elevated solar panels will affect all flaura and fauna. Given projected sea level rises as climate change progresses there is a big question over how long the solar panels would be of value long term to our planets problems. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gemma Raines
"I have genuine concerns over local wildlife. I Faversham a mile or so down the road, has lost five fields and possibly more to housing, our wild barn owls are losing their hunting grounds, as are other birds of prey. Barn owls have a home range and having witnessed Owls on the Graveney Marshes, these home ranges are created by Barn Owls to hunt effectively, building this solar farm with not only interfere with the hunting of these animals but once built it will be impossible for the owls to get through the panels to hunt their food. Barn owls do NOT find other land, they will just simply starve and die. Tawny Owls, also on the Marshes have a two mile hunting ground, which a family of Tawnies will defend aggressively, you take away this land for them also, Tawny Owls will move to other areas, BUT they will kill each other to defend or claim their hunting land, this will encourage their deaths also. Not to mention, the Marsh Harriers, Hen Harriers, Kestrels, Hobby and much much more, they will NOT be able to hunt through a Solar Park, this will kill them all. Wipe nature away from this area, when already struggling thanks to the ridiculous number of houses being built in Faversham too. Barn Owls are on the decline, their numbers are reducing massively. Put Solar panels on top of car park spaces, we have plenty of Tesco's, Morrisons, Aldi's etc. give every parking space in Kent a solar panel roof and not only provide shade for the car but also achieve their desire for more power. Please leave the marshes alone, we need to let nature be, give it the long grass and hunting grounds, otherwise our children will never know what a Barn owl is. Very, very worrying."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geoff Newsome
"I have grave doubts about the longevity of this project. I would wish to be clear that the Environment Agency were clear on their own view of the project, with a back cloth of rising sea levels and deteriorating sea defences. I hold the view that purely in Land Use terms, the project should be denied, that Nature takes its course in terms of sea levels, and that the whole area should be re-defined as a site for a bold "managed sea defence realignment" programme. In other words, let the land /sea go back to where they were before The Romans originally "inned" The North Kent Marshes. In time, the land would grace Kent and indeed the whole UK with a rich and valuable saltmarsh re creation scheme. The wildlife benefit would be ENORMOUS. And that would be PROGRESS. Thankyou Geoff Newsome "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Henry Fentiman
"While it is necessary to increasingly work towards renewable energy, solar panels are appropriate to roofing, brownfield sites or at least on a much smaller scale than the one proposed at Cleve Hill. This would be the largest site in the UK, obliterating arable land and an area of outstanding natural beauty enjoyed both by tourists and locals alike. The site also has comaratively rare flora and fauna and is close to Eyre Coote bird sanctuary. The proposal to set up an area to which rare birds woul migrate from their current locations is unconvincing, because the work in installing the solar park could well cause them to leave the area altogether. Another concern is the flood defences; in the case of flooding, the developers could well take action to protect the solar park to the detriment of the remaining marshland etc. Finally, the technology for storing such vast amounts of energy is relatively untested. In a nutshell, I strongly object to this proposed blight on a particularly special area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jan Williams
"I am 100 per cent against this scheme which will destroy a vast swathe of countryside around Faversham, already subject to massive housing development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kate Forwood
"I live within a few miles of this proposed site and spend time walking the glorious marshes of Graveney. Here I can find the space to think and to observe the richness of the natural world that can be found here. It is beyond comprehension that the selection of this site for such a flawed solar farm scheme could have been conceived. The environmental impact is immeasurable with the destruction forever of centuries-old special habitats for important (and rare) migrating birds alongside the abundant local wildlife. This area is so special to local people for their recreation as it provides the green space that contributes to a sense of well-being and good mental health. There is a lengthy list as to the reasons why this should never, ever have been put forward ranging from increased traffic and poor access during construction, to noise, flood risk, & permanent destruction of environmental heritage. Graveney Marshes will be destined to an indelible fate not worthy of a landscape that once benefited so many but potentially could now benefit very few. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Merrilyn Thomas
"I object to this development for the following reasons: 1 The harm it will do to an important site of special scientific interest internationally valued for its birdlife. Wildlife cannot be compartmentalised, in the manner envisaged by planners. The loss of habitat on the Graveney Marshes will directly affect the thousands of birds flying in to nest and feed on the Kent Wildlife Trust Oare Marshes only a few hundred feet across the creek from the solar power station. 2 The increased risk of flooding it will bring to land around the Swale and both Faversham and Oare Creeks. The marshland in this area forms a vital flood plain. 3 The detrimental visual impact it will have on residents, walkers, sailors and others in the area, on land and sea. It will be a scar on the landscape for many miles around visible from many different view points, including my home village of Oare. 4 It will adversely impinge on the Saxon Shore Way, an important long-distance footpath which Natural England is planning to incorporate into the England Coast Path due to be completed in 2020. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Valerie Sturgeon
"It is so sad to see such a beautiful open space ,that everyone can enjoy ,being fenced & turned over to an industrial eyesore. I take my grandchild along this scenic route looking at birds & other wildlife whilst noting the wild flowers and magnificent views towards Graveney ,Faversham & beyond . It is so peaceful & there will be disruption ,noise and pollution from heavy machinery for years whilst this abomination is being constructed & the results a CATASTROPHE to be left for generations to come ....... "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Naomi Blunt
"I am for solar and green energy but on the right site. I am completely against the Cleve Hill Solar park for the following reasons: It is a Green field site we need to start protecting our green spaces. Its is next to SSSI therefore risk to wild life. We were told when the wind turbines were set up that no other areas were going to be affected. The Government need to make an inventory of all the available brown field sites (and roofs) in the Uk and then ask companies to apply to use these for such energy sites rather than what is happening at present. Government need to make much more use of off shore and on shore wind AND to ensure every new build is carbon neutral. It seems that all the 5 or more housing estates being built around Faversham are completely the opposite therefore a missed opportunity. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Petra Bones
"That the Cleve Hill Solar Park will be detrimental to the local environment and wildlife, and destroy an area of outstanding natural beauty. As a local resident, the impact of the site cannot be underestimated, both from a visual point of view and the impact on the space users (e.g. a huge section of the Saxon Shore way will be destroyed)"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Jenkins
"I am concerned about the loss of valuable wildlife habitat and the potential change of character of this beautiful area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sara Thorling
"The proposed solar farm will destroy an area of countryside and waterway that has a unique beauty. It will destroy the habitat of many migratory birds as well as resident species of birds and wild animals all of which breed on the land proposed for the solar farm. It is much frequented by birdwatchers, professional and otherwise. The proposed developers of the solar farm ignore the history of the area, that of the Saxon Shore Way which continues to be a very popular walk for country lovers, locals and is still even a place for passing pilgrims. The beauty of the Graveney Marshes is much enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. This part of Kent already has more than its fair share of solar farms. This one, which is the largest ever, will have panels standing to the height of double decker buses. I object to the attitude adopted by the proposed developers that this solar development is a foregone conclusion. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tracey Inge
"I am a concerned Graveney resident. The site selected is totally unsuitable. Its an area if nature with many species of birds not seen widely elsewhere. There are flooding risks - its marshland. Our village does not have the roads and infrastructure for a building project this size. The village suffered enough when the power station was built for the wind farm several years ago. Roads were damaged. Hedgerows were damaged and village life was badly disripted. This proposed project will be so much worse."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Trish Flynn
"As a local resident who uses and values the countryside between Whitstable and Faversham I wish to oppose the granting of a Development Consent Order for the installation of the huge solar photovoltaic array, battery storage and related infrastructure as proposed by Cleve Hill Solar Park. Such an industrial development is completely inappropriate for this site and would have negative implications for our whole area. The devastation which would be caused to the lives of local residents, businesses, tourism and leisure amenities is absolutely unacceptable, as would be the environmental damage. Globally, we have lost 35% of wetlands since 1970; their loss impacts directly on carbon-related climate change. The landscape of the North Kent Marshes is one of the most important wetland sites in Europe. Comprising Oare Marshes, Graveney, Nagden and Cleve Marshes, Faversham Flats and part of the Isle of Sheppey and linked to adjoining coastline, it is an integrated coastal ecosystem of international importance for multiple species including local and international bird populations. The area proposed for this array is entirely the wrong place: bordered by a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and Ramsar site. Much of it is within the Natural England-designated Greater Thames Estuary Natural Area and Character Area, and is noted as an Area of Greatest Habitat Opportunity and a Biodiversity Opportunity Area. It adjoins the Kent Wildlife Trust reserves. The land which which would be covered by this development is functionally linked to protected areas and its removal from the ecosystem would be a devastating loss of contiguous habitat, with direct impact also on habitats within the actual development site. Five times bigger than anything else built or planned in the UK this project is very differently structured from other solar developments, with panels facing east to west and installed closer together. This design is likely to increase impacts on, and significantly reduce the opportunities for, wildlife. I support the development of solar and other cleaner forms of energy but not on the vast and destructive scale of this sort of commercial enterprise in such unsuitable locations, and therefore request that permission be refused. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Victoria Hallson
"I wanted to contact you to say how opposed I am to this solar park being built. I live in faversham and Graveney marshes are a wonderful part of our community. To imagine such a vast area of the marshes being lost is unthinkable. I don't not understand how it has got this far without being refused? The loss of wildlife alone should have stopped the planning of such a massive solar panel site. We are very lucky to have our marshes, we love the space, the abundant and widely varied wildlife there. This area is part of our town, our community. It is a beautiful and very much appreciated area, and to lose this would be a tragedy for everyone in the local area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brendan Ryan
"The scale of this development will have an appalling visual and environmental impact of an type of environment and habitat that is increasingly under pressure in the greater Thames estuary and south east England. The Swale estuary is one of the last truly wild areas left in southern England and should be protected from this kind of development. There is a huge untapped resource for the siting of solar capacity destroying so much sensitive esturine grazing marsh, i.e. on roofing of industrial and housing units. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Bowman
"1. The plans constitute a gross overdevelopment of a site which - while currently classed as farmland - is essentially a marsh & which at present provides habitat for a wonderful range of wildlife which the project would inevitably destroy. 2. The site is very close to wetland areas with RAMSAR, SSI & SPA designations. This close proximity renders the plans inappropriate for this location as they would have a harmful impact on wildfowl which pass through, access and otherwise also make use of the site. Wildfowl do not distinguish between protected and non-protected land! 3. The site abuts the Saxon Shore Way; the application is totally unsympathetic & inappropriate given its proximity next to a much visited national public footpath. 4. The proposal to “better manage the wetlands” seems disingenuous at best, utterly bogus at worst. 5. Wetlands are recognised as worthy of protection the world over, this site should in fact have a protected designation not be destroyed by development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catriona Darke
"Effect on ecology and wildlife Birds – both local and over-wintering Hydrology, hydrogeology, flood risk Soil and ground conditions Cultural heritage and archaeology Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery Socio-economics, effects on tourism Recreation and land-use Access and traffic, especially during the build Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding the right place? Air quality, both during the build and the operation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher Wright
"I wish to object on the grounds largely of scale, which makes uneconomical use of land and in the process destroys a valuable landscape. 1. The site forms part of a Kent Area of High Landscape Value and a Swale Area of High Landscape Value. The panels are obtrusive and will be visible from many miles away. 2. The panels would occupy a very large area but supply only a relatively small number of homes, whose power demands could better be accommodated with a number of smaller sites more discreetly absorbed into the local environment. 3. The marshes provide a unique rural setting for the Town including an SSSI; together with the sea wall they constitute an important flood defence for Faversham and should not be turned over to a private developer whose interests may conflict with those of local residents and farmers. 4. Substantial works will be needed over a period of two years or more, generating traffic that will compromise the quality of life for local people and for users of the Sustrans National Cycle Route 1. 5. The panels will damage the quality of the environment for walkers along a significant stretch of the Saxon Shore Way. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Hatton
"This is a crazy development on an exceptionally important area for wildlife, particularly birdlife. Obviously some solar panels in some areas are a good thing, but the scale of this development, and the positioning of it, needs a total re-think. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Thesiger
"The are that will be affected by the proposal is about the same size as the town of Faversham. When completed, it will have the appearance of an industrial site on what is an important area for both migrating and resident bird life and other wild life as well. It is an area valued by nature lovers both for bird watching and for being able to enjoy a beautiful coastal countryside. Solar panels should be put on rooftops and brown field sites, not on a site such as the proposed one."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elisabeth Curry
"I object to the proposed project. It would be a massive industrial development which should be sited on a brownfield site, not next to - and dwarfing - the historic town of Faversham. It would adversely affect an internationally important wildlife area and would have a negative effect on Faversham town and surrounding villages without bringing any benefit to the people living here."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ethna Cooke
"I am a Kent resident and member of the RSPB and Kent Wildlife Trust. I do voluntary work on conservation projects to promote nature and biodiversity which helps to improve quality of life for everyone. I think I am fairly well-informed in these areas. Notwithstanding the importance of increasing renewable energy sources, there are always balances to be struck and I will be opposing this particular proposal on two fronts. Firstly, because of its unprecedented scale, it is going to be seriously damaging to habitats for migratory birds, in an area (north Kent) which is of international importance in this respect. Secondly, it is damaging to the quality of life of people living and working in and around the area to have fields and marshes turned into an industrial zone the size of a small town. There is a lot of evidence that open spaces and nature are positive benefits to well-being, which may be diminished by what is frankly a very alien-looking set of structures with strange and constant noises. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gavin McGregor
"I will be objecting to the proposals on the grounds of environmental and biodiversity impact, and landscape and visual impact."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Kilian
"I am opposed to this for this for the following reasons: the site is far too large, the solar panels are too high and will spoil a particularly beautiful area. In addition, the roads that lead to the site (e.g. Seasalter RD) are not suitable for the weight and size of the traffic that will be generated while the work is being carried out. Who will pay for repairing the roads? Ultimately, the local tax payers."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Ellis
"1. This is a development in the wrong place. The proposed development would be in a functionally linked area used by protected birds from the surrounding protected areas and that these areas include an SPA - the highest nature protection designation. 2. This is a valued landscape which forms a beautiful and important leisure amenity as a section of the Saxon Shore way. 3. The development is controversial in design and has unproven consequences for the immediate environment. 4. This area had been agreed in consultation with the Environment Agency as an area for managed retreat to protect Faversham and Whitstable for flooding. The developers are in no way placed to take over managing sea defences. 5. As a minimum requirement, the devolpers must be require to set up and endow a trust fund to ensure that the sea defences are maintained for the life expectancy of the project "
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Gallen
"Climate change is killing our planet, and solar power is an important part of developing renewable, clean energy and reducing fossil fuel use. But solar panels need to be in appropriate locations: small to medium community-based installations, rooftops and brownfield sites - it would be absurd to destroy parts of the planet in the name of saving it! This vast development is a commercial profit-making enterprise of benefit only to corporate speculators. It will cause devastation to the local community, myriad wildlife species and the coastal ecosystem of the North Kent Marshes, one of the most important wetland areas of Europe. Yet again, it's all about corporate profit not the health and wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kevin Curry
"I object to the proposal. The development should be on a brownfield site. It is far too big and would negatively affect the historic town of Faversham. It would create an industrial type site on what is an internationally important area, forming part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area. It is also directly adjacent to the Swale Ramsar wetlands, with designations of SSS1 and SPA. The area is a valuable amenity for the large numbers of people who are attracted by the history, marine life and birds. Others enjoy it for the health-giving benefits of walking in the countryside. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley MacDonald
"I strongly object to this proposal for a solar farm. The land has several designations awarded to protect it from development such as “area of special scientific interest”. It is important for migrating birds, it is an area extensively used for walking. The electricity generated is not needed for local consumption so the energy generated would be distributed further afield, or stored in the massive batteries they propose to install. As I understand it this battery storage is new technology, and the environmental effects of the batteries is not well understood. Overall I do not believe there is any merit in approving this application, it is the wrong proposal in completely the wrong place. It does not enjoy the support of local MP’s, the RSPB etc and should be refused. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Holmes
"The proposed development is fundamentally flawed as it is the wrong technology for the proposed site. A solar array of this type is not suited to the climate and weather of the UK. Whereas other renewable energy sources - specifically wind generated and tidal generated power are inherently more suited to this part of north west Europe. The proposed development is reliant on a scale and arrangement of panels that seek to mitigate the absence of unbroken sunshine throughout the year. It is necessarily vast as a means of countering the fundamentally unsuitable climate and weather conditions prevalent in the location. In so doing, the proposed development will cause extension environmental damage. This is a technology suited to southern Europe- where it is sunny. The UK, it's coastal fringes, and the Thames estuary, are suited to windfarms (on shore and offshore), and to developments that harness the power power of the tides (absent in the Mediterranean). I am seeking a full rejection of this proposal, with a recommendation for an alternative development proposal for the site that explores its suitability for wind turbines, similar to those on the Romney Marsh. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Burke
"I feel this is a disgrace to upset the an area of outstanding habitat for wildlife. Many species only come here to breed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Margot Buchanan
"The main points I intend to make in my representation will be under the following headings: 1. Size of development site 2. Site of proposed development is a SSSI 3. Site of proposed development is a crucial site for many species of migrating birds 4. Size/height of proposed units 5. Use of a greenfield site when there are alternative brownfield sites available 6. Lack of information about proposed storage units/batteries "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nathan Carr
"I object to the scale and location of this Solar Power farm/park/station."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Allam
"The significance of the North Kent Marshes for Wildlife is underlined by the status of the Swale as a Marine Conservation Area, and Graveney Marshes, where this solar site is proposed, is a significant part of this area of marshes with particular importance for birds.It is an area that I and more local friends visit often. The sheer size of this proposed scheme with its miniscule provision for wild life is a major disruption to the environmental value of this area for wildlife and human recreation. I am a keen supporter of green energy, I have solar panels on my own roof, and support the offshore wind farms which dominate this area off Sheppey to Margate, but the proposed scheme here would be a huge disruption to the remaining countryside and seaside in an increasingly built up part of the county."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Chambers
"My first concern is for the wildlife in and around the proposed site. There are a great number of birds and other animals that rely on the marshes for food and breeding. My other concerned is about access to the proposed site. The only access to the site is via narrow lanes and through Graveney village. There is a real danger of a fatal accident as well as damage to the roads and property."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Dean
"I believe that a site used by birds, particularly overwintering birds in the area is not suitable and an industrial site elsewhere is more appropriate. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Russell Hird
"This development is too large for the existing infrastructure of Faversham and surrounds. The destruction of fragile already declining wildlife will be catastrophic. The Carbon expended in delivering, installing and ongoing maintenance of this energy factory will wipe out any carbon reduction claimed by the developers. The huge number of batteries used containing Cobalt (a blood metal) has the potential to cause a major health disaster if they catch fire and pour out toxic gas to the surrounding towns. How can we be certain that the developers will clean up any pollution caused to the area should this site flood and who will remove this monstrosity once it has come to end of its life? We should be looking to utilise solar panel solutions in existing brownfield/industrial sites before we consider placing this 'factory' in a fragile ecosystem. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sharon Chambers
"I don't believe we should destroy the habitat of so much wild life for this sort of venture. There is no suitable access to the proposed site. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephen Wood
"I believe that the proposal will substantially adversely affect the landscape and wildlife of an important area of the North Kent Marshes. In particular, I believe that important populations of both breeding and wintering wildfowl, waders and raptors will be damaged by the proposal, and I do not believe that this will be mitigated by compensatory schemes."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Howard
"This development should not take place on this site. It is a very sensitive and important environment for wildlife. Many migratory birds depend on this site for overwintering. Birds use such areas for feeding and roosting and cannot easily relocate. The habitat is one that has been drastically depleted in previous years and needs to be protected and not commercially developed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tina Hagger
"I am not opposed to solar power use or renewable energy, in fact I am in favour of these, but I am opposed to the selection of a site for these use being determined by finance and profit rather than the appropriate site. I believe that this site and the size of the development is inappropriate for the following reasons: - It is not a small solar farm proposed, it is a huge solar and battery power station in a rural area with rural infrastructure and access. - The 880,000 panels would be as high as a double-decker bus and densely-packed in a factory roof-like design larger than Faversham town itself, including a mega-lithium battery which by itself would be bigger than Faversham Recreation Ground. Communications about the scale and impact of the prposal have not been clear about this. - Environmental Impact on the rural environment - The visual impact on an ancient marshland landscape, including the Saxon Shore Way and the English Coastal Path, therefore there will also be an impact on local wellbeing, recreation, leisure and tourism. - The impact on ecology and wildlife including key species such as wading birds, and rare resident birds such as Marsh Harriers, and rare migratory birds which use this route in their migratory paths i.e. Hen Harriers and Osprey - The flood risk on the site is high and increasing with climate change, which is why the panels have to be sited so high. - Putting money aside, it would seem another site would be more appropriate. A brown field site such as the Kingsnorth Power Station site or a site without a high flood risk. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Victoria Osborne
"I have concerns about several aspects of this application: 1.The scale and scope of the solar power station. The height and dense East-West configuration of the panels will prevent any growth beneath the panels and lead to large areas of erosion from runoff. 2. The location of the proposed site is completely inappropriate. An open agricultural area on the edge of a RAMSAR site; The area is at risk from flooding leading to the need to raise the panels to an unacceptable height; an area designated for future managed retreat for flood management; It contains an SSSI and is bounded by a nature reserve and the site is an internationally important area for several endangered bird species. 3. The proposal of the company, Cleve Hill Solar, to assume responsibility for coastal flood defences is a dangerous one. The private, for profit, company will have no interest in protecting the flood interests or risks of other communities, only in their own infrastructure. This could impact negatively on communities, particularly the town of Faversham, by increasing their flood risk at the expense of saving the solar power station. 4. The industrialisation on a massive scale of this important open area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vincent Beaney
"This plan is totally at odds with the conservation value of the site and will ruin the scenic beauty of the North Kent marshes I strongly object to yet another attempt to destroy the Kent countryside for mere financial gain "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrea Risvold
"I am mostly concerened by the potential environmental impact and impact on human health. The proposal is of an unprecedented size and do effects are unknown and untested. Site selection and lack of consideration of suitable alternatives Inadequate description of the proposed development Legislative and planning policy context Landscape and visual impact assessment Effect on ecology and wildlife Birds – both local and over-wintering Hydrology, hydrogeology, flood risk Soil and ground conditions Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding the right place? Glint and glare, human health, waste "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Power
"I am concerned about the size of this proposed development of the land. Also that this could be detrimental to the wildlife in the surrounding area. I’m concerned about the loss of such a large area which could have a big impact on the biodiversity of the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher Riggs
"I object to the siting of this solar power station at Graveney Marshes because of the environmental impact it will have on the town of Faversham. There are more suitable brown field sites available. I am also concerned about any health and safety risks. All electrical and electronic device create electromagnetic fields or EMF around them when used and also emit electromagnetic radiation or EMR. This includes solar panels and solar inverters. The battery storage system is also is new untested technology and Faversham should not be used as trial testing ground for something on this grand scale."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gary Howard
"I consider the proposed solar farm entirely unsuitable on this beautiful coastal site and would be detrimental to wildlife as well as an eyesore. Put solar panels on buildings not fields !"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gavin Jones
"I would like to strongly oppose this application. Graveney and the surrounding area is a beautiful and unique part of the world. The proposed size of the solar farm, with panels installed with 3 to 4m high to avoid flooding, would decimate the landscape and blight the residents of Graveney. The Marshes are home to wildlife of conservation concern and attract migrating wildfowl, all of which will be negatively impacted by the development. Renewable energy is not green if it is produced at the cost of our nature reserves. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Cutler
"Although I believe that solar power is one of the best ways forward in terms of future energy supply, I am opposed to the proposed siting of panels at Cleve Hill. This area is beautiful, untainted, and is a very important habitat for wild life. We humans have and are continuing to taint and destroy so much of the planet on which we all live - placing panels on the marshes would be the cause of even more damage to our environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Erasin
"The proposed solar park is bordered by areas of international importance for wildlife and I have concerns as to the impact this development may have. As well as being a breeding ground for rare species such as the Little Tern it is used by many species of migrating birds. It is important that any development provides buffer zones around the borders of these habitats as well as providing corridors to allow wildlife to travel from one are to another. At present the proposal for closely positioned East-West facing panels does not appear to take into consideration the needs of wildlife which rely on the exiting open farmland such as skylarks. This land would in effect become a 'dead zone'. I would also want to see evidence of the potential effects from such a massive site on migrating birds, caused by the resulting glare. Have studies been carried out on other sites?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jeanette Goodall
"I would like to register my opposition to this application on the grounds that the area intended for use as a solar park is an area of outstanding natural beauty and provides a perfect habits and environment for many species of flora and fauna that are unique to this area. These will all be wiped out by the proposed development. Rather than building a solar park on it, it should be declared an area of international importance for the preservation of the flora and fauna that inhabit it."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jo Kornstein
"I am passionate that the marshes must be saved!! They provide a habitat for so many creatures, birds and plant specimens. I understand the need to produce cleaner energy but this must not be at the expense of the very lands and habitats that we need to protect! This is pure insanity. Please stop this happening and find a less precious site. Kind regards Jo"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jocelynne Clark
"I do not believe that this installation will be anything but a blot on the landscape. Where will the migrating birds land? Where will the wildlife go? It seems illogical to me to be using up our countryside for energy generation, when there are plenty of houses being built locally which could all have solar energy installed, there are plenty of industrial buildings in Kent which could have solar panels installed on their roofs. We are not thinking creatively about our need for energy, an issue which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. One example is Germany, who use supermarket car parks to install canopies with solar panels on. This generates energy and has the added bonus of keeping cars cooler in warm weather. Why can't we do this? Nobody is against solar energy, its an excellent idea, but using up our precious beautiful landscape is not the right and proper way to go about things."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Wellard
"Concerned about the wildlife, the aesthetic hideousness of it, and the area is already suffering from over-development with housing."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Morgan Salisbury Lound-Jones
"I wish to strongly object to the proposals. I grew up in Graveney and will always consider it to be my home. To allow this Solar Park to be built in this beautiful non-assuming village would be a crime - a crime against this unique rural area, a crime against the wildlife that live there and a crime against the people that call Graveney their home, old and new. Much more will be lost than gained by allowing these proposals to go ahead. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr J T Shiling
"I am objecting to this proposal on the grounds of it being a massive environmental disaster, I and many others have enjoyed the views over this fragile landscapes for many years. It is a wintering habitat for Dark-bellied Brent Geese, hunting grounds for Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl and others. In the Spring Brown Hares are frequently seen and Marsh Harriers can be observed looking for nest sites. Yellow Wagtails, Skylarks, Bearded Fit, Reed and Sedge Warblers and many other species breed here annually. We must NOT lose these precious landscapes, which are fast disappearing especially in North Kent. They must be saved for future generations to enjoy as we have."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Lyn Albrighton
"I am in favour of renewable energy but not at the expense of a unique area of Kent , where so much of the 'hidden' impact may only become apparent after the event if the examiners give their consent. Kent marshes are unique , amazingly beautiful, and give immense pleasure to so many in a multitude of ways. Entirely impossible to measure of course. This is huge unspoilt area which are few and far between especially in the S East. What a ghastly landscape to behold with most of the wild life completely disturbed for years to come. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nigel Clark
"In my opinion the very idea that yet more of this countries natural resources are seen as fair game to speculators. I feel sure that others will comment on the negative impact upon birds and mammals that this proposed development will have and I will be in total agreement with them. That we need other forms of energy to sustain our planet I fully accept, however I do think that alternative sources energy should take priority over our natural environment when there are alternative locations for solar energy generation. There are numerous sites across the country that are or have been developed as distribution / storage centers which have vast roof areas which could be utilised for solar panels. In our local area there are several new housing developments which will be built without any thought to installing solar energy generation. If this government are serious about alternative energy sources it would legislate to ensure that all new builds of any scale must have solar energy generation schemes. The impact of so many 4 m high structures on our landscape will be that the many wonderful vistas will be totally spoilt. This development is clearly planned to take advantage of the excess energy from the Thames Array, understandably, but surely this could be achieved without the vast fields of 4 m high panels. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nigel James Winters
"I require more information regarding the consideration given to the use of brownfield sites as alternatives to the current proposal. The developer needs to demonstrate that proper consideration has been given to this option. Also concerned about giving up control of the seawall and the potential impact of modification to the seawall on flooding in the surrounding areas e.g. Faversham. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nigel Sherratt
"This proposal is far too large and in the wrong place. It threatens wildlife in a unique environment for migrating birds. It also ruins the enjoyment of the area by locals and visitors. The large battery installation is a significant fire hazard. Nigel Sherratt MA, MICE"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peta Boucher
"I cannot condone this size of solar power station in an area of natural richness. I would ask you to reflect on the irreversible damage this project will do to the people living in the local area, reducing the places people can seek open spaces, and the natural wild life that live and visit every year. Currently we are loosing acres of open spaces to housing and road building, these might be necessary, but solar panels can be erected in different ways and places without taking about marsh land. I want to be clear, I am not against alternative ways of making electricity, but destroying this area to do so when there are clearly other alternative places the panels can go, is shocking."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ray Walton
"Concern over wildlife habitat loss ,particularly with regard marsh harriers and other protected species.Concern over the large scale of the scheme,concern over how appropriate the scheme is in the context of the rare marshland habitat ,when other brown field sites such as kings north power statio has just been decommissioned "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ruth Rivers
"Serious concerns regarding the huge scale of the proposed site , re the impact both visually,and the effect on the wildlife. Cant find any independent reports regarding how a solar farm effects birds and insects on the long term Not convinced it will increase bio-diversity judging by impact of other smaller solar farms in area, they seem rather sterile and haven't noticed a significant increase in fauna , insects or birds even after two years Also would like to know who owns the land in the first place , part of the site along the sea wall wasn't registered with Land Registry . "
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Roots Family
"Too large, taking up too much land, wildlife concerns. Also concerned about what's happening to the footpaths along the Saxon Shore Way. The access to the site is also a concern due to quality of the roads."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Trevor Martin
"1 the size and orientation 2 the effect on Wildlife 3 the effect on SSSI and marine protection areas 4 the effect on air quality during the construction phase im AQMA on A2"
Members of the Public/Businesses
William Phillips
"I live in Rainham Kent and cannot be considered as a 'NIMBY'. I visit Faversham regularly with my wife, every other week to enjoy the historic culture and the rural aspect of the area. and consider this a an area of outstanding natural beauty. Main points are. 1: Why is an outstanding area of natural beauty and wildlife even being considered for such a large carbuncle (solar power station) that would ruin the area for residents and visitors alike? Surely the correct placement is on a brown fill site. If this means smaller solar power stations covering a number of sites so be it. For example Kingsnorth and Isle of Grain power stations. These are very large sites which could easily accommodate solar power. 2. Why are the solar panels being imported from China and not being built by UK companies? How 'green' are these panels being shipped from such a long distance away? 3. Disruption to local residents: Is the road infrastructure capable of having so much heavy plant traffic disruption for a long period of time plus service vehicles once power station is in place? Will the price of houses reduce in the area? Will residents be compensated? 4. The proposed site is on a floodplain. What risk is there to flooding to other areas caused by this huge site?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charles Hendry
"I wish to make representation about the size, scope, relevance, need and environmental impact of the proposed development. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frances Beaumont
"1) the need to control Global warming for the good of the planet ( including humans animals and plants) should override the short term local wish for amenity and pleasant views. 'Not in my back yard' or NIBY, in this case, is short-sighted and not considering the good produced for society as a whole. 2) The changes made by the developers to preserve the SSI seem genuine and responsible. A 'watching brief' may be needed to convince the community of their long term care and the effect of the development on local species. 3) The marshes are poor grade farmland, but it is important they are not destroyed like so much land, in the surrounding area is by house building. If and when better forms of Low Carbon electricity generation are developed might returning the land to its present state be considered? 4) The developers might help their case by enabling local people to obtain solar panels very cheaply for their own houses or supply them to all the new houses planned for Faversham with a Feed-in tariff (FIT) that pays the householder 5)I think we should be proud to have this large solar array and gain publicity and kudos for the town because we are responding to the present times and looking forward to a time of increasing temperature and flooding and trying to ameliorate this. In the past, people fought against the railways, which are now totally accepted and which enable Faversham to thrive. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gary Miller
"I support the proposal as we need more large-scale clean, renewable energy sources. The sirens a good choice as it is on poor quality land and will not be visible from local towns and villages. As far as I can tell, the wildlife implications are minimal. They are, in any case over-ridden by the greater need for clean, cheap energy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hilary Morley
"I believe that renewable energy such as solar is urgently required, and that this is poorly understood by many people. Cleve Hill has some infrastructure already there to allow an early start and reduce costs The footprint of a solar farm, in terms of mass of concrete and brick on the ground is far less than any other form of energy. At the end of its planned term it can revert to wildlife, as did the gunpowder industry over the other side of the creek pre-war. I believe we should be working with the developers to develop a solar park as wildlife friendly as possible, as educational as possible within cost constraints, and I do not consider it impossble to build a solar park Faversham can be proud of. I am completing this, mostly because I have yet to find a Faversham organisation that's having any positive approach to the proposals."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mary Jones
"Whilst not opposed to the development of solar parks in principle the location and scale of this one are totally inappropriate. The proposal is based entirely on economic factors which will provide maximum return for investors whilst ignoring the long term effects on the area. I would have welcomed a study of the entire country with the aim of identifying the most appropriate location taking into consideration all social, environmental and economic factors. My opinion is that such large scale developments are unnecessary especially in unspoilt landscapes such as Graveney Marshes. I understand that large car parks with solar panels exist both abroad and in this country. In the south east we have many such car parks such as at Ebbsfleet and Ashford International stations and I am sure there must be alternative brownfield sites. The size cannot fail to have a far reaching effect on the environment, reducing the amenity value for those living in the area, those who currently use the area and even those further afield. I do not think the visualisations from various viewpoints were truly representative of the impact of the panels given their height and the extent of the area covered. Views towards the sea from vantage points on higher ground will be totally dominated by the panels. From a closer perspective anyone using footpaths near or through the area will either be walking near or through rows of high panels instead of the unspoilt, open land. The character of the open landscape will change to that of a vast, unsightly industrialised area. Whilst I understand that plans for improved local amenities including additional permissive pathways and a community orchard have now been included I do not feel these would compensate for the loss of amenity. The effect on wildlife would also be devastating. I understand there is specific concern for Marsh Harriers in the area as well as many other species of birds along with over 30 species of rare invertebrates. While it is proposed that there could be grazing land under the panels it is my opinion that this would not compensate for the habitat that exists at present with its abundance of wildlife. In conclusion I would prefer to see development of solar power on smaller less obtrusive sites to mitigate the effect on natural areas such as Graveney Marshes. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Roberts
"The proposed solar farm at Cleve Hill is monumental in its scale, both in area and the size and height of the panels. To site this close to the town of Faversham, on estuary land that is currently farmland which also is a high value amenity area for walkers, birdwatchers and tourists is inappropriate. Whilst I am in favour of the UK becoming more self-sufficient on green renewable energy, developments of this size would be better sited on unused industrial land such as decommissioned power stations or redundant railway marshalling yards. Certainly not on the marshlands of North East Kent."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Murray Reid
"I wish to object to the proposed solar farm at Cleeve Hill. The size and scale is totally inappropriate for an area that is primarily rural and is mainly at or below sea level. This is a greenfield site and the development would be far better suited to the many brownfield sites available in Kent. The height of the panels will be an eyesore for locals and recreational users of the Saxon Shoreway long distance path. Faversham is a small historic market town and this development which is larger than the town would totally change the character of the area. Local roads to the site are narrow and the transport of materials would cause huge disruption . The site is on the Faversham floodplain which makes it inappropriate. How much concrete and therefore carbon dioxide will be needed to secure the panels."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Oriel Stratford
"I wish to register my objection the the solar power station proposed to be situated at and around Graveney and towards Seasalter. The size of this power station is larger than Faversham itself and will be situated on the beautiful and historic marshlands and have a negative impact on our environment. There are other areas where it could be built which would not ruin our countryside It has a battery which is an unknown technology and could well impact on air quality. The solar panels are so high that they will be seen for many miles. The marshlands are well known for their wildlife/bird life and however much care is taken to not destroy this it will almost certainly have a negative impact. I understand that solar panels are a necessary future however they need to be situated in an area where they are not going to ruin the history of Faversham and its environs I hope that my comments together with many others will be taken into consideration "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patricia Tanton
"Though resident in Norfolk, I regularly visit Whitstable and often walk along the coastal path by the Graveney Marshes enjoying the peace and quiet and the abundance of wildlife. I support all appropriate forms of renewable energy and was therefore disturbed to hear of the proposed application to build a 1000 acre solar farm which will cover these marshes. This is not an appropriate development. These areas are highly vulnerable and valuable wildlife habitats and must be preserved at all costs. May I refer you to Norfolk Wildlife's brilliant efforts to promote the importance of, preserve and extend the marsh/wetland areas in East Anglia with the help of local government agencies. It seems ironic that large corporate business can bandwagon the green agenda and destroy precious habitat in the name of 'renewable energy'. There are other, better ways of promoting the green agenda - use of brownfield sites and incorporating it into statutory building regulations. I urge you please to refuse this application."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pauline Girling
"I am concerned that the development is excessive in size and will inevitably affect the bird life of such a valuable habitat on the marshes of Graveney. The ground nesting birds particularly will lose their habitat. It is one of the few open areas remaining for walkers to appreciate the coastal and countryside vistas in our increasingly congested area and this would certainly be a 'vast black blot on the landscape'. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Dudman
"Whilst a great advocate of renewable energy there are other ways and sites available that would avoid destroying an area of natural beauty Compulsory addition of solar panels on all new build - it wouldn't take long to cover the equivalent of 110,000 homes or warehouses- costs would be minimal to developers Put the solar farm on sites where a previous power station has been decommissioned - the infrastructure would already be there to collect and distribute the energy Could import the energy from France - most of the energy companies are foreign owned impact on our costs would be minimal as the infrastructure is mostly there already There needs to be more joined up thinking between the environment and other Agencies. The politics needs to be removed from the decision making process There is also the flooding issues that may become more of an issue if global warming continues. The solar farm is being built on a natural flood plane - Lets not forget what happened on the Somerset levels a few years ago I have no idea what the cost of this project will be but this money could be spent more effectively with less of an impact on the environment. I just can't believe that the parties involved in this venture can't see that. Remove self interest and do the right thing. Robert Dudman "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sandra Simpson
"I intend my later submissions to relate to the negative impact of the solar power station along with constructive suggestions to minimise the latter. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sylvia Mauger
"My main concern about the development of the Graveney Marshes into the ‘Cleve Park Solar Park’ is the decimation of the wild life that is currently protected. Although I think that solar energy is a great contribution to the reduction of global warming, I cannot agree that a solar park of the size envisaged is reasonable. I am also concerned about the fate of those who currently live on the marshes. Their lives will drastically altered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Ramblers
"While the Ramblers support measures to mitigate climate change, including the use of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, we take the view that PV arrays should be installed as close as possible to the point of use. We are opposed to large scale solar PV arrays ('solar parks') being sited in locations where they would damage valued landscapes. The proposed solar park would, in our view, have a detrimental effect on the landscape of Nagden, Graveney and Cleve Marshes, and on the visual amenity of people wishing to enjoy the Saxon Shore Way stretch of the new England Coast Path, and other footpaths in the area. We do not consider that the introduction of a buffer distance of 63 metres that the applicants are proposing between the solar panels and the Saxon Shore Way would lessen the detrimental effect on landscape and visual amenity. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vanessa Ehmann
"I wish to object to this scheme. The scheme is too large and is out of scale in the proposed environment. In area it is larger than that covered by the nearest town of Faversham. The flat nature of the landscape and the lack of any means of concealment mean that it impacts both visually and economically on a much larger area than the physical ground it occupies. This is an area with high amenity value. There are alternative brownfield sites available for smaller more environmentally acceptable schemes and I strongly believe a distributed generation plan is more desirable and acceptable. I have solar panels on my house and support its development and use. The height of the proposed solar panels is over 4 metres, which is too high and inappropriate in this landscape. At this height, they would change the nature of the underlying ground and surrounding land making it unsuitable for the species of wildlife currently found there, or for grazing, as shade factors would stop suitable plant growth. They would create microclimates, for which no impact study exists. I am not satisfied with any of the impact statements produced to accompany this proposal as they lack detail and depth. Independent in-depth surveys covering the natural and historical landscape and loss of amenity and economic value on the surrounding area including the nearby towns of Faversham and Whitstable are simply lacking. By this, I mean independent, professional impact surveys on the effects of the scheme on historical and archaeological sites, wildlife depletion, soil and coastal erosion, management of the sea walls, and flood management and protection. Similarly, realistic projections about noise and increased traffic pollution during and after construction on local villages and impact studies on the wider infrastructure including roads and footpaths, which will satisfactorily answer the concerns of the local community, visitors and local businesses are equally absent. This location may appear extremely suitable to a generating company wishing to locate where it is most economically viable because of the proximity of the Cleve Hill substation. However, I submit that the proposal is completely out of scale and will have a greater negative impact on this area than the positive benefits of producing a certain amount of green energy. These same benefits could accrue from several smaller sites without the corresponding environmental damage. I further object to some of the questionable tactics used to persuade the public to support this scheme, such as the tone and leading questions in the questionnaire that was initially distributed. Even calling the scheme a “Solar Park” gives a misleading impression of what is really being proposed. The creation of additional footpaths that actually run through 4 m high corridors of solar panels, blocking the views, and the provision of a small community orchard are insulting offers when a pristine, sensitive ecosystem is being permanently destroyed. I would ask you to reject this scheme and further, give guidance in your report on what would be acceptable in future proposals since clearly these are completely unacceptable and are likely to be repeated if not curbed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Higgs
"I am strongly opposed to the planned Cleve Hill Solar Park on both environmental and aesthetic grounds. Graveney Marshes is a rare marsh eco system area and the landscape would be changed from a wild natural site to an industrial site. It can be no coincidence that CPRE, Faversham Society, Swale Green Party, Faversham Liberal Democrats, local MP Helen Whately, leader of Swale Borough Council and KCC cabinet member Andrew Bowles are all opposed to this scheme. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Beryl Chalk
"I have grave concerns about this proposal. That renewable energy is to be supported is not disputed. What is unacceptable however is the proposed siting of this development. This proposal is huge. To put in on the site in question lacks thought, and shows total lack of consideration on many levels. That this site is of special scientific and environmental interest. Marshlands are special for all that has been previously outlined in all that I have read and seen first hand too. There are other brown field sites that would be better suited to such a development so why choose one that is precious for many reasons? We have a wonderful coastline that needs protection so that it can be enjoyed and preserve the natural Flora and Fauna that needs all the help it can get in this day and age. So, please please see sense and don't pass this application for this particular site or one even similar to it."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Palmer
"I am opposed to the scheme because of the environmental damage entailed, especially to the many species of birds and small wild animals that comprise a rich ecosystem. Also the impact on the local community and Faversham more generally should a prime concern of mine. The proposed solar farm would be an eyesore. From communities such as Boughton-under-Blean the view over the Swale would be appreciably spoilt. Finally I feel there should be a comprehensive government plan to encourage household production of solar power rather than the development of enormous and unsightly profit-making schemes by private firms."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Wilcox
"Cleve Hill Solar's plan for Graveney marshes represents a significant loss of vital landscape for wildlife including protected species such as Brent Geese and Marsh Harriers and the site adjoins internationally significant habitats including a RAMSAR and SSSI. Despite the developer's assurance that wildlife can still flourish within their site, it is hard to see how, given the unprecedented scale and approach to this installation, that there can be any such assurances. Unlike previous solar arrays, this site with its east/west installation, will see an almost continuous 'roofscape' across the majority of their site with only minimal gaps. The ground beneath will not receive sunlight and the effects of the structures on the behaviours, feeding, breeding and habitats of the wildlife can only be negative. The proposal to install industrial structures across a greenfield site is appalling. Tons of concrete will be poured onto the marsh to facilitate the installation of the panels, transformers, fencing, security as well as access roads. Is there any sense in trashing the environment at a local, human scale in response to a wider environmental need. There are alternative ways to increase solar production, such as insisting through legislation that developers install solar panels on the roofs of all new housing and industrial schemes. A further concern regarding this proposal is the battery plant whose scale is once again unprecedented in this country. The technology is relatively new and I have concerns about safety the potential environmental damage that a leak from the batteries might cause. I have serious concerns for the community relating to cumulative development within and around Faversham, both underway and planned, for the coming years. At least three major housing developments are underway around the south and east of the town on greenfield sites, with an additional proposal for new garden village. Much of the farmland to the east of Faversham is given over to soft fruit production which brings with high levels of semi-permanent poly tunnels. With a growing population, there is a need to maintain access to countryside and open space as a community amenity and not merely to see this open space as fait game to speculative developers. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael James Gould
"The area is a bird sanctuary next to shallow waters used recreationally and is close to a population centre. There are other more suitable sites. The solar panels would be highly intrusive, and dangerous to animal and bird life."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Wheeler
"I live at Faversham and have done so since 1988. I am very familiar with the area, and value the open marsh lands for walking bird watching and studying plants and wildlife. This part of the north Kent mainland coast line is one of the few area's that still retains its natural beauty and it would be a disaster and huge disappointment if this planning application to convert the are to a solar park were granted. With the amounts of other land currently being changed to housing in the Faversham area, this additional loss to the natural environment cannot be justified. I support the comments made by the Faversham society in their entirety"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Oliver Smith
"I object to the proposed solar power plant for the following reasons. I am concerned about the effect on the ecology and wildlife, including the effect on the large variety of local and migratory birds. I am very concerned about the visual impact this development will cause on the local landscape. I feel the description of this development is inadequate and does not truly represent the full scale of the solar power farm"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ruth Dalzell
"I am usually in favour of modestly sized solar farms but am very concerned about the unprecedented massive scale of this project and the fact that the plans are to site it in an area of natural beauty and scientific interest. The Graveney marshes area of the Swale Estuary is unlike any area I have come across before. It's flat, seemingly bland appearance conceals a rich and varied ecosystem. I, like many many others regularly take a walk along the Saxon Shore Way along the estuary shoreline to enjoy the beauty and peace of nature, the sounds and sight of birds wading and flying overhead and the lapping Estuary waters, not to mention the fabulous skies and views across to Sheppey. There are many important avian residents and visitors to this area, not to mention the other wildlife on the ground and in the ponds and channels such as the Hungarian Marsh frogs. This little corner of Kent is so peaceful and unchanged for many years and contains the beautiful Graveney church and a handful of farms and other residences. The residents whose homes will be blighted by these taller than usual panels will lose value in their homes but more importantly their peaceful way of life as there is bound to be noise pollution from the huge site and the massive storage batteries. . The fabulous views of the Estuary will be blighted by this development including the famous stunning views back down from Oare which take in the edge of the proposed site and will be blighted for ever. This site has not been selected as a result of a careful survey of East Kent to find a suitable site for a massive infrastructure project but solely because the farmer wishes to sell his land and because it's handily close to the London Array. I wouldn't object to a small solar project being located close to the existing power station but this proposal would represent vandalism on the countrside for profit. The way this has been approached means that local residents are on the back foot from the start. The only consultation has been heavily weighted in the developers favour and there should be a full public Inquiry. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sally Jacobs
"I am concerned at the huge size, as big as Faversham, and design of this proposed installation and the location on such a prime site for wildlife, in the heart of other wildlife sites, along with the potential lose of a managed realignment opportunity which currently exists for this site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sally Scott
"I do not agree with the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It plays host to several rare species of birds, as documented by the developers. These birds would be adversely affected as their food source would no longer be visible from the air. The food chain would be negatively impacted by lack of light to vegetation, leading to less food for the next creature in the chain, and less again for the apex predator who will no longer be able to see its prey. With so much housing being developed in the area we cannot afford to lose more wildlife and rural land. Peregrine falcons, red kites, hobbies and merlins are all visitors to the area. Our region is blessed by their presence, it would be shameful to drive them away"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sophie Edmonds
"Why would this solar plant not be built on an existing brownfield site, rather than destroying an area of outstanding beauty? Graveney Marshes provides a haven for walkers, a home for rare birds and wildlife and is part of our countryside. These things will never be re-captured. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephanie Bates
"I am very concerned about this proposal for the following reasons: - the unprecedented scale of the proposed solar and battery power station - the inevitable adverse effect on the rich ecology and wildlife of the area - in particular, the impact on birds that inhabit the marshes and coastal wetlands and visiting birds that over- winter - the noise that will be created by the power station - the impact on air quality, during the construction and when in operation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alex Law
"The size and scale are disproportionate to the adjacent communities that will be impacted by this choice of site. The Government’s own predictions of the effect of climate change and subsequent policies will suggest the 25 year lifespan of the project will not be realistic and potentially make the power network locally unnecessarily prone to flooding related issues. The companies applying have no legal obligation to ensure any third parties that finally acquire the site have to uphold any pledges made during consultation. At a time of heavily laden public health services in the area, the health and well-being benifits attributed to this beautiful corner of Kent cannot and should not be overlooked. Section 106 money comes with no guarantees as to how it could possibly mitigate the emotional impact of loosing such a natural resource that the marsh currently provides. The sound generated will travel over the water to impact neighbouring communities. The decommissioned Richborough power station site would be far more suitable. Costs of offshore solar are reducing year on year. The government risk alienating/disenfranchising an entire community totalling 35,000+ Residents for the benefit of just a handful of individuals and businesses. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ann Howe
"I am against this plan as I believe it will devastate the local environment and have severe negative effect on wildlife. I love to walk along the coastal pathways from my home in Whitstable to Faversham. This will completely transform the beautiful views across the countryside."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Boorman
"I think that the Cleve Hill Solar Park proposal is very detremental to the enviroment. The pro.posed area is an area of natural beauty,it is a safe haven for wild life, for instance the thousands of Brent Geese that overwinter there. The solar panels would be an eyesore and could be seen from miles around. They would be able to be seen from the hills at Selling and those in Whirtstable and Hern Hill. The land is agricultural and should be kept as such for the nation. Grazing below such proposed solar panels would be insufficient to sustain live stock as Sun light would not be able to grow in the shade. A better site where the panels could be sited is where Kings north power station was, this is a brownfield site and not a SSSI area. When ther is a flood , and flooding will occur more frequently in the future because of global warming, the graveney and adbutting marshes will take the flood water would normally surge up Faversham Creek and thus flood Faversham .. I therefore think that this proposed solar park has,nt been thought out for it to even get this far in planning. I object to it being built. Thank you."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Herbert
"Regarding the Cleve Hill Solar application to build a solar power plant on 387.6 hectares of Graveney Marshes. The imposition of a giant whirring battery and a town-sized farm of black panels, the height of double-decker buses, will be irreparably damaging to this significant landscape. Whilst a supporter of all forms of renewable energy, an enormous solar plant in this beautiful, ancient, fragile landscape would be a travesty. I have two main concerns - firstly, the solar farm presents a significant risk to flora and fauna including rare birds such as brent geese. Secondly, this is a historically and cultural significant area, an important landscape for both local people and visitors. Whilst only parts of the marshes are protected, this place has attracted artists, photographers, poets and writers to experience and interpret a truly extraordinary landscape. The solar plant will devastate a culturally significant place. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Francine Raymond
"I am pro-alternative energy, but not on this scale. The application is on too large a scale in an area important to local wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Ransom
"Objecting to the proposal in relation to the following: Its location The environmental impact on the surrounding area in relation to wildlife and birds Flood risk Noise in relation to electrical equipment and battery Traffic access particularly during its building The effects on tourism"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mary Golder-Hayes
"One major advantage of solar power generation is that it is not necessary to occupy a massive site in the way that is essential for conventional power stations. There is no justification for creating such a large solar park and using such a vast expense of land for this project, especially as it is so close to an extremely important wildlife site. It is the great size of the proposed park which is my primary cause for concern. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mary Ransom
"Against the proposal as follows: Environmental Location - more suitable alternatives are available Landscape Effects on Wildlife particularly overwintering birds Flood Risk Noise Access and Traffic"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pierre Jones
"I am very concerned about the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park. I am in favour of renewable energy but I do not agree with the scale of this proposed development - it is too large. I regulalry walk along the sea wall adjacent to the proposed site and regularly see marsh harriers, peregrine falcons, brent geese, kestrel, herons, lapwings amongst many other birds on the propiosed site. The proposed site would destroy this habitat. It is currently a beautiful area in a very crowded county, if the development goes ahead it will become an industrial site. Due to house building countryside in Kent is becoming more and more threatened and this proposed solar site will reduce natural habitat even more. Renewable energy is important but it must be sited and managed correctly, there are currently many brownfield sites where such a solar park could be located. The reason for such a big scale is business profit, it is not taking into consideration the delicate ecological balance of our county. We need to do so and this proposed site will add to rather than improve ecological sustainability. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ramblers
"The new "England Coast Path" will follow the line of the "Saxon Shore Way" along the northern and western perimeter of the site. By 2020 the Coast Path is scheduled to be open and will be the longest and most prestigious and iconic National Trail in England. The solar park, if approved, would create a monotonous, industrial landscape for some 5km along the new Path. It would take an hour to walk from one end to the other. The solar park would be the dominating feature of the landscape and spoil the enjoyment of this section for the many walkers who will undoubtedly use this new Trail."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sean Sayers
"I am very concerned that the proposed development will completely destroy an area of great atmosphere and beauty where I and many others often walk. It is a desolate and unique area, but easily accessible from Faversham, Whitstable and Canterbury - a wonderful area for walking and a valuable local amenity which I often visit."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Alexander Williams FRES
"Concerns include: - that once built on the site could be developed further - environmental problem for birds and insects including beetles - food source would be reduced - bird strikes - traffic concerns"
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Jones
"I consider that the landscape of Faversham Creek and the Swale estuary has a unique natural beauty for East Kent that should be retained and looked after in its present form. The footpaths along the Creek and into the estuary afford wide vistas of country and sea that are evocative of the multilayered history of this part of Kent. For many local people and visitors to Faversham, the area proposed for development is part of their attachment to the locality and plays a significant role in what for them defines Faversham and this part of Kent. The barrier like and reflective nature of the proposed development, a veritable blot on the landscape, will cause irreparable harm to that legacy and has no place in an area enjoyed by many for leisure and relaxation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Thomas
"I object to sites such as these in general and to this one in particular. Obviously the proximity to my home and surroundings has influenced my protest however placing a huge industrial style development in an area of outstanding beauty and importance along with its proximity to Faversham is beyond belief. You may be reducing one form of pollution but are replacing it with visual pollution on a massive scale. This may help to save the planet (?) but do you want to live on one that is polluted by the ever increasing number of solar and wind farms? There are three new housing projects around Faversham, why is it not required that all new builds should have solar rooves? In Malaga in Spain the Ikea car park is covered and the covering is solar paneling - a huge area in what is already an industrial site. Secondly there would be a huge impact on wildlife/birds and the marshes and our enjoyment of them. Thirdly, I believe this is an area that could flood - electricity/batteries and water don't go together. Gatwick airport shut down a few Christmas's ago when flood water entered the basement......where they kept the generators! These are my main objections to this development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Miss J N Harvey
"The proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park which covers Cleve, Nagden and Graveney Marshes is larger than the whole of Faversham. It will be an eyesore, destroy wildlife and will be subject to flooding. Together the Swale, Oare Creek and Faversham Creek have not been dredged for years and already in January 2019 flooding has taken place in Faversham. Why was the Isle of Grain not considered for the Solar Park? The huge site is doubly contaminated from the refinery and power station which previously operated there and there is presently an LNG power station adjacent to the site with access to the national grid. Likewise the Kingsnorth power station site which also now stands empty and contaminated. Surely both sites could be used and are suitable for a Solar Park? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr R A Lupton
"It might be worth the examining committee reading Paul Kingsnorths book ‘Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist’ He makes many points relevant to this proposed development. He is in despair over the practise of basically destroying what’s left of our remaining ‘wilderness’ in order to ‘save the planet’ by providing ‘green energy’. It is a contradiction. So wind farms on mountaintops in Cumbria , and yes solar panels on our diminishing wetlands as here are in his reasoning no goes. I have walked the coastal path from Whitstable to Faversham many times in the 40 years that I have lived here. And I had imagined that I and my grandchildren would be able to continue to do so into the future. I am afraid that it will not be the same if this development goes ahead. I also feel that there was resistance about the landfall of the wind farm being sited at Graveney but the objections were over ruled - with a promise to minimise the impact on the marshes. Well look what is happening now - it feels like it was a plot , a Trojan horse to open up the defences. These marshes are special, and increasingly rare. Why not lose a few cabbage fields in Thanet, no one walks there and no birds, voles, etc live there. There must be better ways to save the planet than by destroying what is special about it. R A Lupton"
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Mrs Elizabeth Gallop
"I am fed up with all the faceless people making these decisions. I've lived here for years and that is such an important area for walking and recreation. It's dreadful to think about what's happening to the wildlife with all the intensive development that is happening all around Faversham. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Patricia Bensted
"I am against the Cleve Hill Solar Park. The countryside where this solar park is proposed is far too large for the area it is in. It is an open marshland which is close to the sea where there are birds and animals whose lives would be impacted greatly by this development . The design of the panels means that sheep or other animals would not be able to graze as was originally thought."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of The Gerber Family
"This is going to take up far too much countryside."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Thomas Martin
"Concerned that this will drive all the birds away. It's the wrong place for this sort of thing."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amy Poole
"I can’t believe that these proposals have come to pass when this represents a crucial piece in a complex of internationally important sites for wildlife, particularly birds. You can not mitigate for the damage it will cause forever to species that are already in decline. I wholeheartedly oppose this scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Bugden
"My concern is that the cultural and ecological value of coastal marshland has not been adequately taken into account by the developers, one could not imagine this development would be proposed if it meant removing ancient woodland or flower rich downland, however marshland, including marshland under agricultural use, when properly managed and not heavily drained, is a very biodiverse environment, supporting many species, both resident and migratory. I am concerned that the environmental impact assessment by the developers, does not not take into account the role of the site as a component within the wider Swale estuary environment, and the impact from increasing fragmentation of natural ecosystems. Another concern is the environmental impact due to the sheer scale of the development. The area is used by overwintering birds, passerines and waders and such a development will impact on patters of overwintering activity and access to food. I am concerned that there has not been adequate consideration of suitable alternative sites where there would be less environmental impact I believe that any decision made for this site will set a national precedent as to future decisions where greenfield land is considered for conversion to industrial use, which is a reversal of the policy stated by all political parties in the last ten years of prioritising use of existing brownfield sites for development. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Annabel
"The submission I intend to make in relation to this application is around the choice of site. There is no blueprint for the siting of a facility of this enormous size anywhere else in Europe let alone this far north. It's proximity to the surrounding rural communities & to the National Nature Reserve at Oare make it manifestly unsuitable. It will have a profoundly negative impact on local ecology & wildlife (especially birds) as well as the lives of the people who live, work & holiday along that popular part of the coast. I question the transformation of this piece of rural countryside into a huge, desolate brown field site the same size as the nearest town; what other sites for this facility were even considered ? I question as well the level of consideration given to ongoing negative effects of this facility on local communities - noise, traffic, glare, air quality, ground conditions."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ben MacPhee
"I intend to write a submission in support of this NSIP as a key part of the transformation of the UK's energy generation mix and commitment to national and international climate change agreements. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Cath Dearth
"Destruction of wildlife and home to migration sites. Other options not fully explored. Ruination of a rare rural site. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dawn Emery
"This development, is to big, in the wrong place, takes no account of the wildlife or the flood plain risk."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elaine Ganderton
"I am concerned at the size of the planned Cleve Hill Solar Park. Currently I believe the largest Solar Park in the UK is 200 acres and this will be 1000 acres. We need land for farming and food and this plan is very likely to set a precedent over future developments"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elaine Ireland
"I am greatly concerned by the size, location and nature of the proposed development. I am equally concerned by the potential loss of public amenity and health and well-being benefits provided by the existing environment and the impact on flora and fauna and organisms of every kind presently found above the surface, upon the surface, beneath the surface of this beautiful marshland habitat and surrounding area. Guaranteed benefits to wildlife of any form, or to citizens of the locality, the county, the region or the United Kingdom are not evidenced. The sole unequivocal beneficiaries are those making the application and those who will potentially be (howsoever) remunerated directly or indirectly through commercial operation of the projects (Cleve Hill Solar Park and Battery storage installation). There does not appear to have been a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of running high voltage cables underground between installations -either for public health and safety or in relation to impacts on: soil strata;substrata;water courses;organisms living within these. A long term environmental perspective has not, but needs to be provided for public consideration. Plans should have been communicated to show how potential damage or destruction will be eliminated or managed and resolved. My further concerns involve the road infrastructure and transport links for local residents: the lane along which heavy traffic will approach the site is of light construction and therefore not fit for purpose; the surface is patched and uneven; there are cambers on both sides along much of its length; in some places there are blind bends and shrubbery at the road edge; it is barely wide enough for two cars in places let alone extra-wide trucks; cyclists use the road for leisure and commuting and would be placed in greater danger; the road is unlit; pedestrians have to walk in the road; alternative routes would involve the A299 Thanet Way (if either or both the A299 or Graveney Road were closed or subject to roadworks, this would potentially significantly and adversely impact local commuter traffic and possibly cut-off some residents in the locality. Finally I have concerns that the weight and bulk of the infrastructure (photovoltaics and frames plus the enormous batteries in containers or buildings may contribute to a flooding hazard endangering life of all kinds and property on all or any surrounding low- lying land. To conclude there are potentially huge costs ahead should the project be approved which should be borne wholly by the Applicant who potentially will be chief beneficiary of all/any benefits and financial rewards produced. They must not be allowed to fall upon local authorities and/or local taxpayers."
Parish Councils
Faversham Town Council
"Faversham Town Council supports the principle of green energy for the good of the planet. But not at the expense of the one thing it is meant to saving – The Environment. 1. Scale. The site of this power station is larger than the nearest town. The North Kent Coast is a unique part of our countryside and hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. The site will include an SSSI and the Seawall. The Solar panels will vary in height maximum 3.9m and will extend over 436 acres the equivalent of 218 football pitches. 2. Construction. There will need to be breaks from the construction for nesting birds in the Summer and also in Winter for migratory birds. This means that for the local residents’ noise and pollution from the construction will be for a far greater period of time. 3. Access. Access will be along narrow country lanes These roads are not suitable for the type of lorries or the amount of lorry movements expected. Junction 7 of the M2 is already running at and over full capacity and is becoming an accident hotspot. As is Junction 6. 4. Risk of Flooding to Faversham. The marshes are a protective floodplain for Faversham. The seawall is the responsibility of the Environment Agency. If in the future this responsibility became under the control of the Cleve Hill operators’ they would be able to raise the height of it in order to protect their assets. We are concerned what impact this would have on our town. 5. Batteries. We are concerned about the battery technology that will be used. This is an emerging technology that is still being tested and developed. We have concerns regarding the health & safety aspect of this technology and feel that it is not clearly specified in the application. 6. Wildlife / SSSI / Agriculture. The area of the site forms part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Areas. We are very concerned, with the inclusion of the SSSI in this application. It appears this has been done to assist the developer with their application in achieving the biodiversity of the site. It is very worrying that an SSSI will be in the hands of a private power company. The long, term protection of the SSSI is paramount. The Developers propose to create ‘grazing land’ under the panels for Sheep. Some of the land in the application has crops grown on it for at least the past 40 years although it is not grade 1 agriculture land. Economic Value. There are hundreds if not thousands of visitors that love to walk this part of the Kent Coast. People who visit this area often stay in the local hotels and guest houses. Helping to keep the local economy buoyant. Conclusion. There are alternative brownfield sites available across the UK, as Kingsnorth, Isle of Grain or Dungeness Power Station all of which are which are attached to the National Grid. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frances Wilson
"I am wholly opposed to thia application. I am a supporter of green energy in all it's forms (I have solar panels, an air source heat pump and a fully insulated house). However I believe that farmland should NEVER be used for solar panels for the following reasons: *It reduces the amoiunt of land available for crop prodction *It is extremely unsightly *It has a negative traffis impact *It is detrimental to wildlife *Solar panels can very easily be sited on existing buildings *Electrcity production is best suited to small scale, local installations due to the excessive amount of wastage that occurs during lond distance transmission Furthermore, notwithstanding the above objections, the proposed development is far too large. To buikd something the size of the neighbouring market town of Faversham is positively ridiculous."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Genevieve Ellis
"-Cleve Hill solar farm is a misnomer; it will be a power station. - Disproportionate size for the area - The batteries technology is untested -It will destroy natural habitats and wildlife - It will be a blot on the landscape and have a negative impact on the environment -We often enjoy walking to Whitstable along the Saxon shoreway in the summer months, but if the power station is erected, we'll go by car instead. - I am in favour of solar power but in the right place. In the future, all modern houses should be built with their own solar panel on the roof and if all the housing developments taking place in Faversham at the moment included solar panels, there would be no need for a solar power station. -It would be an appalling mistake. If I was younger it would make me move elsewhere. -Faversham is a unique town which could be irreparably damaged by bad planning and greed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Grahame Mitchell
"Graveney Marshes are an important wildlife habitat and represent a unique and shrinking wetland environment in Kent. With the rampant development of Kent to house Londoners fleeing the city, space for wildlife is under constant threat. Migratory birds, overwintering species and a massive well of insect life that feeds the rest of the food chain call this place home. The proposition that this site will somehow provide electricity for 91000 homes is false. The electricity it generates will never pay for the energy expended producing and maintaining the materials on site. It is purely a tick in a box for targets on renewable energy and a subsidy generator for the company involved. It has been proven that there are health benefits gained from the enjoyment of wild spaces. All this will be lost and the people who lose this will not gain 1 penny as their electricity will in fact become more expensive. Kent was once the garden of England, it is becoming an overdeveloped extension of greater London led by avaricious developers and chancers who seem to get every single thing they ask for approved. This leaves the citizens of this county wondering if democracry even exists."
Members of the Public/Businesses
J Granville-Smith
"Significant concerns over the following points:- Industrial scale of the development Battery storage facility Environmental impacts Landscape and visual impact Ecology and wildlife - severe detriment Impact on local and overwintering birds Cultural heritage and archaeology of a historic saxon site Noise - battery storage facility Access and traffic impacts particularly during construction Air quality Glint / glare and light pollution on a massive scale"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Dabnor
"I wish to register my objection to the planning application for Cleve Hill solar park. When the plan was first proposed, I was in favour; however, the revised plan has changed my views. My main objection is regarding the size of the park; looking at the map of Faversham and the proposed site, the proposed site is almost the same as the town and would be completely disproportionate. My other concerns have been expressed exactly by the Faversham Society and I endorse the points mentioned in their response."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Bourne
"There are three principle reasons that I object to this. 1. Environmental effect - both for humans and the bird community. The marshes are a truly wonderful resource for peace and tranquility for both parties in an area so close to London. 2. Flooding issues 3. I do not believe that due consideration of alternatives have not fully been explored. While I am in total support of alternative sources of energy the harvesting of such energy must be carefully considered. Please reconsider. Thank you. Yours faithfully Jane Bourne "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jett Aislabie
"CHSP have advertised it as a ‘fluffy’ solar farm when in fact it is an industrial development. The North Kent Marshes are recognised by DEFRA for their environmental sensitivity. Habitat disturbance and destruction is the cause of many extinctions and species becoming at risk. Tidal marshes are also recognised as one of the single most important sequestrations of carbon – their degradation results in the release of the carbon stored in the soils thus impacting on global warming. The marshes act as a defence for communities between Faversham and Whitstable. There is a clear conflict of interest if CHSP are to take over the management from the EA."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Liz Ledger
"This proposal is far too large and will cause enormous damage to the local environment which is currently rich with wildlife. The site borders SSSI land and important feeding sites for migrating birds. This is simply the wrong place for this, a brown field site would be more suitable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Louise Lees
"Our increasing need for energy and the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, necessitates the generation of cleaner, greener power from alternative energy sources such as wind, wave and solar and I am very much in favour of this. However, the scale of the Cleve Hill development is unprecedented and I am very concerned about the impact of the wildlife value of the area and the fact that the future of the SSI will be in the hands of a private power company. I do not understand why Government cannot subsidise smaller community power generation schemes and insist that all new buildings, wherever practical, includes solar panels and should mitigate the need for such vast power generation schemes. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lucy Medhurst
"I am concerned about the enormous scale of the proposed development. I am concerned about the environmental impact on an important wetland habitat and in the context of increased building development in nearby Faversham. I am concerned about the impact on the enjoyment of the landscape by walkers along the Saxon Shore Way. I am keen to understand how the solar park will benefit local people and reduce power costs. I am keen to understand and contribute alternative ideas about how to achieve renewable alternatives within existing building development in the surrounding area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Edward Kearton
"Wish to object to this plan, on such a vital and rare environmental and social resource. It will destroy the area"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Professor Janet Montefiore
" I wish to protest against the plan to build a Solar Park on Graveney Marshes. This is a beauty spot in an otherwise crowded corner of Kent, which is also a unique habitat for wildfowl - which would be ruined, contrary to the prospers' arguments by miles and miles of solar panels. It is also a place of unique beauty and wildness which is a great amenity for local citizens, especially walkers, birdwatchers, dog-walkers. Filling it with solar panels amounts to vandalism. Of course it's necessary to plan for renewable sources of energy, but not by putting solar panels all over Graveney marshes and destroying their beauty forever. As a citizen of Canterbury I wish to lodge the strongest possible objection. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
R. Harrison
"The proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park (if built) will provide enough affordable and clean electricity to power over 91,000 homes. This seems positive in relation to the local community, added to which the project is self funding. In addition it will apparently generate over £1 million pounds for local authorities at a time when central funding to local government has considerably reduced. Although concern does exist with regard to the environment and local habitat, there is an area of 138 acres which is secured for the natural habitat and will continue to be used by bird species who frequent the area. With coal fired power stations having to close by 2025 and over a quarter of the UK’s energy generation needing to be replaced, Cleve Hill Solar Park offer an alternative. Added to which the UK’s climate change policy requires an 80% reduction in CO2 by 2050. How is this to be achieve without a mix, including solar energy? As the UK's electricity price is the 2nd highest in Europe, this country needs to find other ways of generating more affordable, renewable and clean electricity and Cleve Hill Solar Park seems able to offer this. I therefore submit this representation in support of the project. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ralph Todd
"I do support renewable energy, wind and solar farms when located in suitable locations and of sympathetic design/size in keeping with the local environment. This proposal is far too large in an environmentally sensitive area Will have devastating impact on wildlife that uses the marshes for feeding, resting and nesting Visually unattractive and impacting on the wild open spaces of the marshes. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Brown
"I support the solar farm, even as a local resident. I have moved to a green only energy supplier and it would be hypocritical if I then objected to this solar farm. It’s low quality farm land, so why not make it of use to help the planet. I think it’s a great idea. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roger C. Josty
"I oppose the construction and operation of the Cleve Hill Solar Park because - 1 The existing access road is in poor condition and unsuitable to cater for the proposed number and weight of HGVs required to deliver building materials and panels to the site over the extended period of construction. Alternative forms of transport (air or sea) should have been examined and catered for. 2 Major disruption over a proposed period, probably in excess of two years, will seriously affect the physical and mental welfare of the local community, particularly children (two schools on the access road) and the elderly, specifically taking the form of noise, air pollution, structural vibration and the threat of traffic accidents and congestion. It is also true that the livelihood of local businesses such as farming, horticulture, removals, agricultural contractors, equestrian events, shooting etc… will also be threatened. 3 The project will cover a large area of wild marshland threatening its flora and fauna and depriving the local community and visitors of an historic and valuable natural ammenity. 4 There is insufficient, documented research into the short-term and long-term effects that a development of this size will have on soil structure, erosion and flood defences for this area of the North Kent coastline. 5 No information has been given on the level of noise pollution that will be created by the finished development. 6 There is also an easthetic consideration which should be taken seriously in that such a large area of irreplaceable, beautiful, wild countryside will be covered by reflective plastic sheets for the next 25 years and there seems to be no firm plan for recycling or removing this material at the end of the period. One doubts that the land could ever be returned to its original state!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sadie Jones
"I strongly oppose the Cleve Hill Solar Park based on the following reasons; The vast scale and dimensions of the solar panels would forever destroy a healthy ecological environment. Meaning birds, insects and vegetation would cease to exist and have an accumulative impact on the wider world. There has been inadequate exploration into suitable alternatives and solar energy is being exploited as a smoke screen for mass monetary gain. Mental health would be significantly compromised by all when faced with a view of vast, dominating solar panels as oppose to natural, thriving land. Faversham and the surrounding area is being pulverised by many other developments including Cleve Hill Solar Park, all of which will undoubtedly have a negative impact on tourism and socio-economics "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sam Birkin
"Graveney Marshes border a unique and unspoilt stretch of the Thames Estuary which provides a wonderful natural and far-reaching landscape full of wildlife for both local residents and visitors. It is an important place for migratory birds and home to a number of Schedule 1 species under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act including Marsh Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Avocet, Kingfisher and Redwing. Barn Owl, Red Kite and White-tailed Eagles have also been spotted here and it is an important area for other species including great crested newts and water voles. Additionally, it is steeped in history as it played host to the last gun battle of WWII! Graveney Marshes is enclosed on 3 out of 4 sides by a number of designated areas including Ramsar (wetland site), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA). It also a Biodiversity Opportunity Area, a Higher Level Stewardship Target Area, an Environmentally Sensitive Area and a Nature Improvement Area. The marshes are also surrounded by areas of conservation including Swale National Nature Reserve, Elmley National Nature Reserve, Oare Local Nature Reserve, South Swale Local Nature Reserve and Seasalter Levels Local Nature Reserve. Kent is in the 20 most densely populated local authorities in the UK so is unsuitable as a site for the largest solar farm in europe"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Timothy Osborne
"The points I wish to submit are as follows: 1. I am concerned that the development will have significant impact on the wildlife, particularly birdlife on, and nearby, the proposed site. There are many rare breeding and wintering birds which will inevitably be forced out of the site. The proposed mitigation area is hopelessly inadequate. There is a RAMSAR site, an RSPB reserve, a Kent Trust for Wildlife Nature reserve and an SSSI adjacent to the site. All of which will be negatively effected by the development. 2. The area to be developed is a rare example of a peaceful and beautiful landscape in a crowded corner of England. The development will completely destroy this. 3. The scale of the development, together with the type of solar panels proposed, their arrangement and the enormous battery compound are all totally unsuitable for the site. 4. The impact of the proposed development will be devastating for local people both residential and visitors. This will be particularly intrusive for local residents during the construction period due to the volume of site traffic and the inadequate local road system. 5. I am very alarmed regarding the huge scale of the battery storage facility from the point of view continuous background noise and risk of fire, explosion and resulting chemical pollution. 6. I understand that the entire area is part of the ‘Medway Estuary and Swale flood and coastal risk management strategy’ [Redacted]. The entire area the developers have chosen is designated to be returned to ‘inter-tidal’ or salt marsh again. The developers have proposed taking over the sea defences but it is completely inappropriate that the company should take on responsibility for this. This responsibility should remain entirely in the hands of the environment agency who will be able to take a wider overview. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Angela Moyler
"I am totally against the destruction of Graveny Marshes and it’s wildlife. This is purely a money making scheme by the developers for themselves. Also I disagree with detrimental effects on the residents in this area, such as the enormous batteries and panels."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bernard Mothes
"I am writing in support of the application on the grounds that we need to produce as much renewable energy as possible to stave of the effects of climate change. I cannot think of anywhere else locally that would fulfil the conditions necessary for solar energy production. I understand local objections because of the size of the project and its possible impact on local wildlife in particular. However, the project has been adjusted to take into account such objections and, hopefully, can be scaled down where necessary. It seems to me that the worst impact of all on bird life, for instance, would be the effects of climate change. I frequently walk along the northern edge of the site and do not believe that a solar farm on Cleve Hill would have a significant adverse effect on our ability to enjoy the local landscape. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graham Peter
"As a resident of Faversham for over 30 years I am very concerned about the impact of the proposed solar park. I have no objection to smaller installations but this is so large an will have an enormous impact visually for many miles around. The scheme is far too big, bigger than Faversham it 'self. It will damage the landscape and may threaten the flood defenses of the town. There is an inadequate flood risk assessment that does not consider the environment agencies' managed coastal retreat strategy. There appears to be the intention that the operators will take control of the sea wall and therefore will maintain and raise it to defend their assets which would force tidal surges towards Faverham and threaten the town. The site is on a flood plain that protects the town. This needs proper assessment. There will be serious threats to bio diversity despite assurances that wildlife will be protected. It is surrounded by environmentally sensitive areas including SSSI's. There will also be damage to heritage assets and wildlife during construction. Site access will be a serious problem. With all the new development in the area traffic will be in severe danger of disruption by even the smallest incident. The local infrastructure cannot cope! In addition the small lanes immediately near the site are also a potential problem. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helen Renny
"Although I am generally in favour of the installation of PV panels & other renewable energy technology, I feel that this development is too large and is situated in an area which ought to be protected. I live in Abbey Street and regularly walk along the Saxon Shore Way and then across the land where the Cleve Hill PV park will be situated. There are already some large PV arrays installed in close proximity to the proposed site which are less obvious from nearby viewpoints which I find just about acceptable, but I feel that the installation of such a large PV array will ruin a beautiful landscape completely. I am also concerned about it's proximity to RSPB & SSSI areas in the vicinity. We do not know the real affects that such a large array may have on birds flight paths & homing instincts. Surely there are better places to site a PV array than this. For example, old industrial land or all the new house that are being proposed to be build in and around Faversham. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lawrence Osborne
"Having attended several meetings of the “SaveGraveneyMarshes marshes” group and read their website I think the following points succinctly sum up my objection. Environmental Impact Site selection and lack of consideration of suitable alternatives Inadequate description of the proposed development Legislative and planning policy context Landscape and visual impact assessment Effect on ecology and wildlife Birds – both local and over-wintering Hydrology, hydrogeology, flood risk Soil and ground conditions Cultural heritage and archaeology Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery Socio-economics, effects on tourism Recreation and land-use Access and traffic, especially during the build Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding the right place? Air quality, both during the build and the operation Glint and glare, human health, waste products Interaction and accumulation of effects"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Harrison
"Like most people, I support and appreciate the need for renewable energy, but am totally against the idea of a Solar Park in this area for many reasons. These marshes are a very special area and provide a beautiful, tranquil and wild landscape, which is of international importance for a diverse range of migratory, overwintering and wetland birds. The beauty of this area cannot be underestimated. The marshes are home to a huge variety of birds, mammals and other creatures who rely on the area. With so much interest in the natural world and its conservation, this scenic marsh landscape and the wildlife which resides there should be protected at all costs. Solar panels should never placed on precious places like this were they threaten the natural world we are trying to save. A Solar Park of this size would totally overwhelm the landscape. The area in question is completely surrounded by public footpaths. The Saxon Shore Way is a national trail which is much loved and well used by local people and visitors for recreation. Enjoyment of the area would be greatly diminished by the presence of a Solar Farm on this enormous scale, with panels so high and so close together. The small amount of screening included in the plan would make little difference, and in any case, the views across the marshes are what gives so much character to the area. Flood risk is also a major concern, as these marshes provide a protective floodplain for Faversham. I am concerned that responsibility for managing the flood defences may be given to the operators of the Solar Park, and that they would give priority to their site, rather than protecting Faversham. I am also concerned about the huge amount of traffic and disruption affecting local residents, school children and road users of all kinds during the construction of this solar park. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Nott
"The solar power station planned for Graveney Marshes would destroy an area of significant rural importance, from both a fauna and flora aspect. It would destroy an area of densely farmed land,reducing the UK's ability to feed itself. The height of the panels would cause a hugely intrusive blot on a natural landscape. The need to protect the sight from flooding necessitates greater flood prevention. This would push flood water further down Faversham creek, inevitably causing flooding in the town. Access to the area is by narrow roads. Construction would destroy theses roads and cause horrendous traffic problems, adding significantly to pollution in the general area. They're would be a considerable impact on tourism to the area and a limitation to the area for recreational purposes. This is a bad idea in the wrong place. There are no redeeming factors. It is, in effect, industrial vandalism. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michele Couzens-Eason
"I think the site for this enormous project in an unprecedented scale is inappropriate for the proposed 880,000 panels and the solar and battery power station. It will result in a densely packed factory roof like design which will smother the green fields entirely. Consequently, the environmental impact is vast upon the ecology of the area; the many species of wildlife from harvest mice to birds, making it impossible for the marshes to be 'returned to nature'. Not to mention the socio economic issues of tourism as many people regularly walk the saxon shore way both for pleasure and for charity. The sea wall enters the popular seaside community of Seasalter which provides homes and local businesses, including the Sportsman public house and the beach side café and shop. As a result of climate change, the marsh and area for the proposed solar farm is at risk of flooding and coastal erosion which is a further reason for reconsidering an alternative site to be selected, perhaps on farmland away from the coastline and on brownfield sites instead. The marshes are where birds migrate to and overwinter as part of their recognised migration routes for many species of birds and butterflies. The battery is likely to interfere with their route as the reflective surface resembles water from above and is therefore a risk factor."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicola French-Doyle
"I feel that there is better way to harness the earths natural resources ,to take away swathes of the Seasalter and Graveney marches is not one of them , I’m very concerned of the huge impact this massive site will have on wildlife of all aspects,I’m also concerned that this build is for profit, lining ‘fat cat ’pockets ,these organizations are only after one thing and that’s their own ends ,this development should not go ahead !!i am totally agains it "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patricia Burden
"This area is totally wrong for the development. To destroy the natural wildlife and area for this purpose is completely unnecessary. This is a profit above any other consideration situation and should not be allowed to go ahead. Once these sites are developed for any reason they are gone forever and can never be brought back to as they are now. I strongly oppose this planning application. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Brissenden
"-The proposed solar park is in the wrong area, and is far too large. -The area is of importance to many species of birds and us used as a feeding area on migratory paths. -Placing it here will destroy a landscape used and enjoyed by thousands of people every year."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Wilson
"The proposed development will have a devastating effect on one of the most beautiful areas of Kent, much loved by walkers and nature lovers. It will destroy wildlife habitat and cause harm to birds in the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Harvey
"As a local resident I have major concerns about this development. I support the devlopment of Solar energy but not in this location. I am appauled that an area with multiple environmental protections that recognise its beauty and value to wildlife should be threatened. Having looked in detail at the submission I am far from convinced that the proposed approaches to mitigate the potential risks and impact are likely to be effective. The area of seasalter and graveney marshes will be a major blot on the landscape and I beleive will have a detrimental effect on tourism both during the messy period of construction and thereafter. I am concerned about the risks of flooding - both in terms of risks to the batteries and the knock on effects for Faversham. The sole reason for the location appears to be a narrow economic one focussed on ease of connection to the substation. A far better option for the developers would be to resite their enterprise further down the river toward Iwade or better still to reuse the Kingsnorth power station site. I trust that the Secretary of State will take a rounded view of all considerations not simply the country's need for solar energy. I would also urge him to rethink the potential for siting solar panels on the huge number of houses being built in and around Faversham - a benefit for the residents, the grid, far less devastating for the environment and likely to be more cost effective."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sir David Melville
"I am objecting to the proposal on the basis of: 1. The excessive scale of the proposal in this location 2. The potential danger imposed by the use of batteries at a scale hitherto untried and tested with a lack of detail in the proposal on safety measures, lifetime, maintenance and replacement arrangements."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sue Brasier
"I am very concerned at the scale of the solar farm and it’s impact on the local environment. As someone who has walked the Saxon way for many years, I believe that a solar farm of this scale will be detrimental to the wildlife - particularly the birds that use this area for breeding and overwintering. A similar smaller solar farm at Abbey Fields had shown that the birds no longer use the fields and area nearby. The scale of the project is so large that it will totally change the look of the area, and even providing pathways beside the construction willl not lesson the impact on the many hikers, birdwatchers and locals who use the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Suze Gomme
"I oppose the proposed solar farm on the grounds of loss of important marshland and the threat to protected wildlife habitats in the surrounding area. Just because there is spare capacity at the substation does not make this the right location for a vast solar array of novel and untested design. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Valerie McGrath
"The size of the development is unproven in a location such as this an the impacts to the area and nature has not resulted in alternatives / choices for consideration 're size or locale."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ann-Christin Thompson
"Objecting to the vast size of the solar park, area larger than Faversham itself.The park should move further inland and not be so close to the nature reserve and The Swale itself. Why use valuable water front which is limited when it's possible to use other land further inland. Also the hight of the panels should be lowered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anna Latham
"A development this large cannot help but destabilise the local area. It may seem out of the way and not in much use, but this area is as big as Faversham itself, and, as reclaimed land in a littoral, it plays a vital part in soaking up and dispersing rainwater. Removing this ability will threaten both Faversham and Oare Creeks, as well as Faversham itself. It’s been there for years, performing this function, overseen by publically accountable bodies, and this project puts this public protection into the hands of a private company. Wildlife seems to have been pushed onto a little strip. The idea that sheep may graze under this intense, continuous canopy is manifestly ludicrous. This huge, characteristic and historically significant area will be changed unalterably, forever. Faversham itself is subject to a series of developmental projects; it is a small town, full of character and interest, and unlike most other towns in Swale, Thanet and Medway it has managed to resist the depredations of planning in the 60s, 70s and 80s that have led to their quality, viability and individuality being more or less eradicated. This project threatens more than the area of reclaimed land it is proposed to be sited on; like most of the development in North and East Kent, it will be another reason for posterity to regret this generation. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Martin
"I have read the above. And am unhappy about the size of the proposed farm and it’s Environmental impact. There are disused brownfield sites which would be better suited to solar farms. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Summers
"My objection to the above development is that a greenfield site has been selected when other, brownfield sites, could be used. Greenfield sites are being used at an alarming rate with little thought for the future. The area proposed is a natural flood plain and its conversion to industrial use could put parts of Faversham at signicant risk if global warming causes sea levels to rise. With current trends this seems ever mor likely "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Caspar Davies
"This development poses a threat to wildlife including migrating birds in the immediate environment as well ac breaking up the migratory corridor. It also potentially destroys an area of open country beloved by local people for walking, cycling etc, the thames marshes are a unique wild environment being gradually eroded by this and other developments. The local area already contribute dis proportionately to renewables via wind energy, this massive solar plant coming just at the time when solar technology is developing so quickly is misguided as it is likely to be totally outdated in a short prep dow time."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charles Williams
"The area in question is a sensitive site, reflecting characteristic historic land use and providing wildlife habitat. The ecological and structural balance of the area depends on its ability to soak up and store water at a particular rate; while a smaller development might not have such significance, this proposal is for a continuous site that extends to a size analogous to a small town and will therefore change the current conditions considerably. The developer puts a huge area in entirely private and unaccountable hands, and there are so many variables and ambiguities (battery siting, enlargement) that it seems to me an extremely irresponsible proposal, likely to appear to posterity as the result of panic."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Derek Flint
"I object to the Cleve Hill proposed plan for the following reasons: The size of proposed site is far too large as it the height of the panels. It would be detrimental to the wild life eg migrating and resident birds, mammals and flora. After speaking to the company's representatives my concern is their plan to manage the week cover under the panels with weed killer. This will leech into the dykes causing harm to the wild life there and would eventually end up in the sea. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elaine Bayesbaym
"It's not what we were led to believe. Vastly larger in every way. A most wildlife unfriendly deterrent. Birds will not use it as their vision will be obstructed. People will not walk through it for fear of being robbed or worse. An Orwellian landscape not fit for purpose. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elizabeth Day
"* With the current emphasis on wildlife and retaining wild places and open areas for the benifit of an increasing population in the south east, constructing a Power Station on a currently designated wildlife area, I find totally unacceptable. Given that there are alternatives, i.e. The demolished Kingsnorth Station power site. * Other alternatives would in my view be an increase of wind farm energy as is being carried out off the coast at Ramsgate. * There is at the moment controversy surrounding the future use of Manston Airport, which in my view, whether or not it is reinstated as an airport, is an area that could sustain a very large solar energy power station. * I would like to add in general terms I fail to see why as a country we are not making more use of roof space on industrial estates, such as the Eurolink Industrial Estate in Sittinfgbourne is one of the biggest in Kent. And all the new houses being built could ALL have solar power panels on their roof. * From a personal point of view, I have visited the area for over 65 years, and taken my children and grand children to Graveney Marshes, one of the very few wild ares in East Kent. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Eric Golding
"I object to the overly large size of the solar park. I strongly object to the loss of land for growing food. I also strongly object to the 'sidelining' of nature: the small corner left for birds is useless for any wildlife other than carrion-crow and magpie, however habitat managed. The rarer species such as tern will in future be lost to Seasalter."
Parish Councils
Graveney with Goodnestone Parish Council
"1. Environmental Impact Assessment Following established EIA methodologies can lead to an in-built bias against small communities, and areas of remote and isolated countryside such as the Swale Marshes. This is because it attaches considerable weight to “numbers of receptors” in contrast to the very different qualities associated this landscape - with its lonely tidal creeks, mud flats, marshlands and big skies- with relatively few people around. The local community attaches great value to its distinctive local environment and the impact from a large solar power development, of unparalleled size in the UK, will wholly transform the character and appearance of a large area of much-valued local countryside. 2. Site identification There is no clear justification for a solar power generating facility of this huge size (which is far in excess of anything previously seen in the UK), in this location. The choice of this site seems largely driven by the current presence of spare connection capacity to the National Grid provided by the London Array sub-station at Cleve Hill (which has not yet been used for a second phase of offshore wind energy development out in the Thames estuary) and the adjacent 400 kV overhead line from Kemsley to Canterbury. These facilities already detract from the intrinsic character and beauty of the Swale marshes and should not be used as a justification for further intrusive development. 3. Development design The development design is an east-west facing layout, with solar panels at a shallower angle and on smaller “tables”. There is considerable concern locally that the proposed orientation will allow panels to be installed much closer together. Therefore, this new layout is likely to increase the impacts across much of the site and significantly reduce the opportunities for wildlife compared to ‘traditional’ designs. These increased impacts will include the effect on the local landscape, wildlife and flooding/drainage. A particular concern here is the proposed large battery storage compound and related electrical facilities across the development site which materially add to the intrusive nature of the design. We would wish to see the battery storage element of the proposal in particular being carefully assessed by relevant professionals. 4. Legislative and planning context a. National policy The need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities. Cumulative impacts require particular attention, especially the increasing impact of wind turbines and large scale solar farms on landscape and local amenity as the number of turbines and solar arrays in an area increases, or the scale of individual proposals grows considerably bigger (as is the case here). Large scale solar farms should preferably be on previously developed land, on non-agricultural land or on buildings. Heritage assets should be conserved in a manner appropriate to their significance, including the impact of proposals on views important to their setting. As the significance of a heritage asset derives not only from its physical presence, but also from its setting, careful consideration should be given to the impact of large scale solar farms on such assets. Depending on their scale, design and prominence, a large scale solar farm within the setting of a heritage asset may cause substantial harm to the significance of the asset. b. NPS Guidance on national infrastructure projects Regard must be given to any Local Impact Report and to any other matters which relate to and are important to the decision. c. Local planning policies The Swale Local Plan 2017 (Bearing Fruit) was formally adopted in July 2017. It includes planning policies to guide the development of the area up to 2031. There are policies within the plan which we believe are of relevance in this instance. 5. Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment Most of the land of Swale Borough – including the CHSP site – is within the Greater Thames Estuary Natural Area and the CHSP site is identified as an “area of high landscape value”. The CHSP will utterly transform the character and appearance of the landscape of Graveney Marshes. It would obliterate the current open rural area of arable farm land and coastal grazing marsh with long horizons and big skies. The proposals will replace it with densely packed and orderly ranks of metal mounting structures with solar arrays (up to 3.9 metres above ground level), inverters, transformers and an – as yet unclear – large battery storage facility, all surrounded by a high wire fence and security cameras. Parishioners fear that such utilitarian development, on such a large scale, will “industrialise” the countryside. 6. Ecology and Ornithology The parish council raises concerns on several points: • Direct impacts on habitats within the development site • Loss of ‘functionally linked’ habitat • Loss of the opportunity for habitat and landscape enhancement that this site provides Underlying all these concerns are the unprecedented size, and unusual layout and density of the solar panel arrays, which mean that conclusions on wildlife impact drawn from much smaller solar power installations of traditional layout and design elsewhere may not be transferable to the CHSP proposals. 7. Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Flood Risk and Ground Conditions The CHSP site is within Environment Agency’s (EA) Flood Zone 3a and therefore at high flood risk. The flood risks on this site are sea flooding, tidal flooding and surface water flooding. We understand that the EA and CHSP have agreed that CHSP will take on maintenance of the coastal defences for the life of the solar farm. We are concerned as to how this arrangement will be secured and maintain the expected standards of flood protection over the life of the Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy (MEASS) (up to the year 2118). Surface water flooding is also a concern. 8. Cultural Heritage and Archaeology The “setting” of heritage assets is an important planning consideration and that setting also includes intangible matters such as atmosphere and ambience: the latter are very strong features of the coastal marshes over much of the CHSP site. Regard should be given to the Conservation Area Appraisals for Graveney Church, Graveney Bridge and Goodnestone, prepared by Swale BC, which explain the wider landscape setting of these designated areas. CHSP’s preferred route for traffic to access the proposed development site passes through all three of these conservation areas. Buildings which contribute to local heritage are not confined to the statutory listings. The role of these heritage assets to local character should also be given due consideration. While a degree of harm to the setting of All Saints’ Church and Graveney Court (together with the Graveney Church Conservation Area) and Sparrow Court is conceded, none at all is acknowledged with regard to Harty Church. The proposed solar park would cause a significant degree of harm to the settings of the local heritage assets and we would submit that insufficient weight has been attributed to the importance of the assets in Graveney and their historical setting. 9. Noise and vibration The CHSP site is a very quiet rural location with low ambient noise levels. We are concerned about several noise and vibration impacts from the proposed development, in particular: • The effect of wind direction • Noise and vibration from the piling of solar array support frameworks • Noise from transformers and inverters • Uncertainty over the noise and vibration impact of the proposed battery storage facility • Noise and vibration from construction traffic • Acoustic barriers and screening 10. Socio-economics, tourism, recreation and land use The extent of any local economic benefit is unclear as there is no information at this stage on the degree to which local businesses will have supply chain opportunities. There is very little evidence about the impact of large solar power development on tourism, but the absence of evidence on tourist impact does not mean it should be overlooked. 11. Access and traffic We are very concerned that CHSP’s preferred traffic access route to the proposed development site uses narrow rural roads in Head Hill Road and Seasalter Road. This is a particular concern during the construction phase of the development which will last up to two years overall. The preferred route will pass through the centre of the villages of both Graveney and Goodnestone, which include a primary school, church, holiday park, a number of residential properties and access to several public rights of way. A local bus service between Faversham and Whitstable covers the same route. Over much of their length, these routes do not have footways. Currently, they are used by very little HGV traffic. All three of our designated conservation areas are along this route. We question whether this makes a suitable route for heavy lorry traffic, even for a limited construction period and taking into account the proposed traffic mitigation measures, given the residual problems of noise, vibration, severance, delay and intimidation caused by heavy lorries. 12. Climate change Although the UK has international obligations, statutory goals and planning policies to increase the role of renewable energy, this does not mean that all renewable energy projects are acceptable, particularly if they have a significant and harmful impact on their host environment. There is a balance to be struck. The flood risk aspects of the proposals are especially sensitive to climate change and the large expanses of solar arrays could affect soil temperature and moisture, plant processes and so the habitats for a range of plants and animals. 13. Air quality We are concerned with the air quality impact along the access route (where it passes the primary school and residential property) and on site (in terms of ecological impact). We would like this to be monitored and managed during the construction phase of any development, with appropriate interventions if air quality falls below set standards. 14. Miscellaneous issues (a) Hours of working (b) Glint and glare (c) Waste (d) Major accidents and disasters "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Crafter
"How will the battery proposal be properly assessed given there's no track record of this scale of installation in the UK? Which official or professional body will be responsible for examining the battery proposal? The Environment Agency will no longer be responsible for maintaining the sea wall as the developer has said they will assume responsibility. How will you ensure they have sufficient funds inperpetuity to cover any costs of maintenance needed to protect local towns from flooding? Who is going to pay for the repairs required to all infrastructure by this, e.g. roads, pollution, increased hospital visits due to asthma, increased costs of highway maintenance and repair, waste disposal of plastics produced by the development. Who is going to be paying for these ongoing costs, not the tax payers I hope? Who is going to be responsible for health & safety? Who will be monitoring the safety of the battery installation, both at installation and during it's lifetime? Who will be accountable for clearing up any spillage? What happens if the company doesn't make enough profit to continue the batteries and if this is the case who will be ensuring the necessary H&S implications are managed? How will you ensure the company has sufficient funds inperpetuity to cover the costs of maintaining the batteries? When technology moves on and battery technology is replaced, what will happen to the existing site and who will pay for it? If the developers go out of business, who would be responsible for clearing the site or ensuring the area is decommissioned safely? What other alternatives were considered for this development? Why does the developer not have to prove they have looked at alternatives? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
J.V Seeds
"My reasons for being an interested party is that I have used the designated area since childhood for walking and leisure activities. I am not against solar power but have read all the information and believe that this project is not viable because: *it is surrounded by sites of special interest and there will be a loss of functionally linked habitat *there will be significant loss of habitat for those species that rely on open farmland and certain breeds of birds who use it regularly * the size of the solar farm, the height and unusual design of the panels means that there is no precedent elsewhere in the UK for what the true impact may be * the fact that the sea defences will become the responsibility of the solar park and not the Environment Agency meaning that commercial issues will be taken into account in planning these to the possible detriment of local interests * more and more housing is being built locally and green areas need to be conserved for the enjoyment and good health of the local populace"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Moore
"Serious consideration has not been given to the dangers that battery storage presents. The impact on nature and wildlife would be immense and irreparable. Due consideration has not been giving to siting in brownfield or disused sites. I understand the energy may not be supplied to the local area so what benefit will be gained by local residents or the local community. Disruption will be caused by building work, infrastructure will not be able to cope with the influx of heavy traffic and will cause delays, pollution, damage to the environment and will increase highway maintenance costs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jeremy Pickering
"I am very concerned about the colossal scale of this proposal which will have a hugely detrimental effect on both a very unspoiled and unusual environment as well as local wildlife. This is a historic part of Faversham that has remained unspoiled for a very long time. It must also be remembered that there are two other massive proposals that could result in Faversham being changed beyond all recognition. I am sure there are other parts of the country where a scheme like this could be accommodated without being so close to an existing community. Faversham is an old and historic town which is well worth preserving and this should extend to it’s immediate environs. I would respectfully suggest that this application is declined."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Keith R Robinson
"My objections to the application are as follows 1) This is a greenfield site when brownfield sites are available. 2) The site is productive agricultural land which is needed to feed a growing population. 3) Part of the site is a SSSI 4) The whole site is an essential part of migration routes and a breeding area for threatened species of birds. 5) This is an area of great natural beauty and an essential recreational area for Faversham and the south east of Kent. 6) The adjacent seawall is part of the Saxon Shore Walk and the proposed development would deter tourism, an essential element in the future development of Faversham as an attraction. 7) The north Kent marshes are a unique part of Kentish cultural history which would be greatly damaged by this misguided development. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Wharton
"I oppose the application due to it's size, impact on the local environment and wildlife, light pollution and the the destruction of the beautiful natural landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patricia Ross
"The first thing I would like to say is that I think the Government should make it mandatory that all new houses being built should have solar panels. The area planned for the solar park is so important for wild life - I heard about an important species of eel today that will be affected. The proposed solar panels are about the height of double decker buses i understand and will, I feel, ruin the whole area. As the [Redacted] has said: "The batteries are unspecified - this is an emerging and largely untested technology." I think also not everybody's voice is being heard - not everyone affected has a computer and are able to tell you what they think. And finally, I would like to quote Shakespeare (from Macbeth): "What's done cannot be undone." I do hope you will refuse this."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Peaple
"Although I support renewable energy, I object to this proposal on the following grounds: 1 its enormous scale 2 because alternative brownfield sites are available eg the old brickworks at Conyer 3 its impact on the environment both scenically and the threats it poses to wildlife, particularly birdlife 4 the long term viability of a site which is on a flood plain . This is particularly important given threatened sea level rises due to global warming 5 the wresting of control over the Saxon Shore Way and the sea wall to a non public, profit seeking, organisation 5"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Worth
"I wish to oppose the building of the proposed Cleve Hill solar energy park on the following grounds: It will destroy the habitat and breeding area of many protected birds, animals, wildlife and plants. This is an area of stunning beauty that attracts many visitors to the area. It gives locals and visitors alike an opportunity to discover and enjoy local wildlife and encourage others to enjoy a love of the countryside. Any development here will completely change the environment in this area. It is important to preserve this unique part of the north coast of Kent."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Suzi Walker
"I do not want a solar power station this close to where I live & the surrounding area, "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Una McCabe
"The size and height of the proposed development is huge. It's location is arable land when there is ample, appropriate brownfield sites available in Kent and elsewhere. The proposed development is on an importance feeding area for migrating and resident birds. This would be a loss of a popular, unique amenity for the residents of the area. It is not clear what the impact would be on the sea defences for the marsh if it is in the hands of a private company whose sole aim is profit. the lack of information regarding the batteries and the largely untested technology being proposed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vicky Cloherty
"I’m concerned about the impact of the scale of the proposed solar park on the wildlife and natural beauty of the area. The area reserved for wildlife will not be sufficient to lessen impact of the solar panels of the marsh harrier and other birds of prey. This is a unique area of habitat which we cannot afford to change so much of without knowing what the effects will be on the ecosystem. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alison Cooper
" Although I am in favour of renewable energy, I feel the scale of the proposed development at Cleve Hill will turn an area of countryside into a vast industrial area. This can only be at great detriment to the area.The proposed development will be next to an internationally protected wildlife site and I feel the proposed Solar farm will therefore impact on the protected area. The noise and disturbance caused during the building and necessary maintenance of this project could cause untold damage to the local wildlife including local and overwintering birds. The area is also unsuitable for such a large project to be built in as the local roads are narrow and winding and in my view unable to safely accommodate the resultant increase in traffic. I think it would be a travesty if a project promoted on its green credentials would be created by desecrating a very special green landscape. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Day
"Due to the environmental impact tothe area, the non repairable degradation of the marshes, wildlife devastation, the small amount of power produced. I object to this development "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Edward Girling
"My objection to the application is that it will at the very least seriously damage a large area of land that is recognised as being of international importance for resident and migratory wildlife. In particular the nature of the development is completely incompatible with the use of the land as a secure resting and feeding site for very large numbers of migratory geese and wading birds. These birds have used the site for very many years and by their repeated use they have shown that it provides them with a resource that is in very short supply in south east England."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ann Boon
"I object to this project due to its size and location. it will cause significant damage to local wildlife and the local countryside. The Graveney marshes are home to many species of wildlife which should be protected. I believe the project could be located elsewhere, for instance on disused industrial land and that cost and profit are the sole reason for choosing the location of the marshes. Additionally further consideration should be given to the future use of the land, as technology progresses power will be generated by far fewer panels. Once they are at the end of the life of the panels will the precedent be set that the land can now be used for other industrial activities meaning it is lost forever if the project goes ahead. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ann Robinson
"Huge environmental impact - visual - and on wildlife particularly bird life Possible safety risks - large numbers of huge batteries on a site that potentially floods Loss of recreational amenity - agricultural land lost - and further urban sprawl along the Thames estuary Noise, congestion and safety considerations along local lanes during the build"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ann-Maria Montague
"It goes without saying that I have concerns regarding the environmental impact of this vast project. Having lived at our property during the London Array application and subsequent construction of the substation I am also aware first hand what the social impact of this present application will be on the residents of Graveney. My main concern, however, for the purpose of this representation, is the impact on my[REDACTED] boys who are [redacted] at our property and have been for three and a half years. Our home environment is tranquil and has minimum radioactive/magnetic waves (i.e. use of mobiles, internet is restricted) which is essential for our boys who are cruelly affected by such things. Over the last three and a half years our boys progress has been incredible. I fear this project will cause our boys to regress."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Hiscock
"Solar energy use is to be encouraged but not on this scale or in this location. This development will destroy the habitat for species of flora and fauna which needs to be preserved and destroy a unique landscape which is part of the signature of Faversham and an important amenity enjoyed by residents and visitors. The visual impact will be as for a large industrial complex. This may be acceptable on a brownfield site such as a decommissioned power station but is not appropriate here. Further wind power schemes in the estuary would be more appropriate in this environment and should be considered for more renewable energy. By the time this scheme is built the technology will inevitably be out of date and the land blighted for no advantage other than company profit. It will not save the planet. There will be no advantage for the people of Faversham for this scheme to proceed. I, and many of the residents of Faversham, rely on tourism and the landscape for their livelihood and sanity. Please do not allow it to be destroyed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anthea Daniels
"Environmentally: - soil death via change of temperature and moisture - heat island effect - disruption of naturally occurring the flora and fauna of importance in the area - eventual making good of damage Industrially: - this is an enormous industrial proposition - the area is rural and a rare space of coastal land - there are risks of pollution - sound, chemical etc - there are questions of flood control and coastal protection not fully explored"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Coleman
"I am registering to express my dissatisfaction for this enormous development near Faversham! I endorse of course green fuel sources but this is good land that many enjoy and of a scale completely overpowering the town of Faversham and its residents"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Waters
"I am strongly in favour of solar power. But the proposed farm is gigantic, with panels the height of a double-decker bus. As such, it will drastically alter the character of the marshes where I – and many others – walk and impact negatively on wildlife in the area. I think the money would be better spent subsidising the addition of solar panels on all houses in Faversham. I am opposed to the farm on its current scale."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Cedric Harding
"Size and location Traffic on narrow roads whilst being built Loss of wildlife habitat Loss is ameanety to the community "Rooftop" design & height leaving no space between panels"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher Harding
"I strongly object to this development. It is too large, in the wrong location and will damage valuable habitat for wildlife. Unlike previous solar farms in the UK, its design featuring panels up to 4m tall and east west facing will desolate an area of wildlife and beauty on a stretch of the Saxon Shore Way. It will also blight residents of Graveney and material reduce the quality of life for thousands of local people. Finally, while the developers may claim this will be critical in the development of UK solar energy, the pace of change in solar technology, means we are far better served waiting and not destroying valuable farm and wildlife habitat. 1) Impact on wildlife and endangered species The proposed development area is home to a wide number of rare or endangered bird species and forms an important land bank for a number of migratory birds. Many of these birds are on the red or amber conservation concern list. Others are deemed as green but have extremely low numbers in the UK. Birds found on the site include: Red Status: Lapwing, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Merlin, Starling, Fieldfare, Redwing, Yellow Wagtail, Linnet Amber Status: Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Snow Bunting The habitat offered on this site is extremely rare in the UK and birds such as the Marsh Harrier, which number only 400 pairs in the UK breed on the marshes. The solar park will destroy this habitat and in doing so condemning many of these birds to starvation. The key point is here is the uniqueness of the habitat, this is not land that birds can find easily anywhere else. 2) Loss of wilderness If you have ever taken the walk along the Saxon Shore Way from either Faversham or the Sportsman, you will know the special feeling of remoteness of this stretch of land. It is again rare and unique to be able to walk along a creek, estuary and gaze over the calming marsh. The proposed construction area is 890 acres, this is the same size as a whole town. As it is on marsh land and a flood risk, the panels will be 4 meters tall. Not only this, the east west configuration means there will be virtually no space between them. This will be a sea of black, effectively paving over a town sized area of farm land. When we have seen videos or even driven past older solar parks, they are low rise and have large spacing between panels. That is not the case here. We would ask whether it is acceptable to have miles of the Saxon Shore way blighted by such development. Whether building on a flood zone makes sense, particularly when batteries are involved, and whether double decker bus sized panels should be allowed in rural areas at all. 3) Progress in solar technology We understand that the UK has ambitious renewable energies goals and that in general solar energy is viewed as a strictly positive energy source. While, Solar is certainly helping to reduce dependency on carbon-based energy production, it by far from ‘clean’. The elements needed to produce solar panels are highly toxic and recycling older panels has become an issue. Cleaner types of panel, using less harmful materials are under development. As are innovations in solar parks, including sea or lake-based parks that do not destroy valuable farmland. China is increasingly building parks on water given how precious land is. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Claire Cordell
"My objection is to the site and size of this project. It will destroy forever a stunning and timelesss swathe of coastal countryside running alongside the Saxon Shore Way. The Kent County council suggest you ‘enjoy the inspiring landscape and natural beauty of the coastal areas of Kent along this fabulous route.’ They will have to change the description when an industrial size solar plant is built along side it. It is an incredibly important area for migrating birds. This would definitely effect the thousands of birds that overwinter here. What would the impact be? My father witnessed the devastating destruction of 6 swans in Suffolk that had landed on solar panels mistaking them for water. He expected to see it reported on the local news but it never was. Something of this scale with without doubt effect the local bird population. Swans are regularly seen on these fields, along with the incredible flocks of starlings and Brent geese, the birds of prey, skylarks and countless other. It’s an incredible spot to take children from the local schools to show them migration in action. A truly breathtaking and inspiring landscape, an outstanding area of natural beauty that will be lost forever and if this shortsighted plan to cover ever spare piece of land that is conveniently situated near a substation is left unchecked then there will be no environment left to save for future generations to celebrate."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Delores Johncock
"Environmental impact Noise - battery Selection of the site, other unuseable sites would have been better Birds and other wildlife Access and traffic For financial GAIN!! ONLY!!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Diane Griffin
"Far too large for the area and ruining an area of natural beauty"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emily Wraight
"Pollution to school and village from increased traffic etc especially during build Access to the site is only through the village as height restrictions on all other routes Devastation to wildlife and birdlife Will look unsightly and impact on landscape"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Faye Gallen
"This is an unsuitable site for such a development. It will sear the beautiful environment and have an adverse effect on wildlife. This is clearly an area of outstanding beauty enjoyed by so many and inhabited by thousands of wild animals, flora and fauna. I feel this development is all about short term profit as the site is likely to be flooded in the near future. There are hundreds of brown field sites that could be used for this kind of development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Guy Rutter
"I have many objections to the Solar Power Station. In particular: 1. There is the possibility of archaeological remains that could be damaged or covered up. 2. It will be an eyesore in a (currently) beautiful site 3. Wildlife would be irreparably damaged, in particular rare and nesting birds 4. There is potential for the technology to become quickly obsolete and something else would replace it, ie housing, factories etc "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Harriet Simms
"I am a supporter of green energy and in particular solar power. However, I am very concerned indeed about the Cleve Hill development, largely because of the gross scale of the project and also because importing energy from the National Grid into the proposed battery doesn't make sense if trying to achieve low-carbon energy generation. This development will industrialise the landscape and decimate an area of special scientific interest and an important wildlife habitat. It is also likely to have a devastating effect on the local and wider communities with this loss of open natural space and looking further ahead, I'm also concerned about whether any provision been made for when the panels cease to function. What happens in 20 years when they have become redundant? Surely it would be far better to significantly change and reduce the scale of this development and ensure that all new houses in the UK are built with solar capacity."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Indra Morris
"This proposal: - puts at risk iconic landscape on the Kent coast by an overbearing development. The scale of the proposal and height of the panels will be over bearing - It threatens the wildlife and protected areas. I have no confidence in the developer on the SSSI within the site - increases flood risk given the location - is a location not served by roads suitable for large development vehicles"
Members of the Public/Businesses
J R Cousins
"I hope this is not allowed. It is an outrageous, unacceptable blot on the beautiful north Kent marshes. It is detrimental to wild life and nature in the area. I certainly will not vote for any government that allows this to happen."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jennifer Drake
"Size area and height Loss of habitat Traffic Style - industrialisation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Judith Nockolds
"Impact on the landscape and natural habitat has not been satisfactorily addressed. Alternatives have not been fully explored in particular with all the new developments occurring why had there not been inclusion of solar panels in the planning. Faversham and it’s surrounds cannot sustain this level of development which is driven by privatised companies who are not integrated within the community and therefore do no t have community interests at heart. I am absolutely supportive of alternative energy but a solar farm of this scale is not the answer. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Harrison
"I wish to register my objection to the proposed Cleve Hill solar park. This is an area of outstanding beauty, right on the coast. This area is hugely popular with walkers and nature lovers since it is home to many forms of wildlife, including protected species. It would be a tragedy to destroy this beautiful landscape. I support the need for energy to be produced in an environmentally friendly way, but there are other more suitable locations for a project of this scale eg a disused industrial site, that would not result in the needless destruction of this unique area. It is not a vacant piece of land waiting to be developed, it is an area much loved and much used by locals and visitors alike. To create an enormous blot on the landscape- equivalent to the size of the local town of Faversham- cannot be defended when there are known to be other sites available for a solar park. Your sincerely, Julie Harrison"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kate Merrett
"Concerns over ground coverage and plant/trees in area Effects on local and neighbouring birds/nesting sites/feeding areas Access to the site both during build and post build and volume of traffic on small local roads Specific choice of site and area and others considered"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Keith Beney
"Environmental impact Noise - batteries and construction Effect on ecology and wildlife Birds Recreation and land use Access and traffic - especially during build Also, I would argue the case that the scale of the development is not appropriate for the area and has not been approached in a sensitive and considered way"
Members of the Public/Businesses
M Cousins
"The area of the proposed site is huge and unsightly. It will change the beautiful countryside forever. The size I understand is bigger than the town of Faversham. There are alternative sites available that will not have such a devastating impact."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mac Ornsby
"Environment - both wildlife - protected species! and impact on human well being Landscape and Visual impact - eyesore, loss of vital resource for local communities, families, children, future social aspects of nature availability Site selection - poor consideration of where to site the project. In principle in favour of alternative energy forms BUT location in existing site lacks consideration with regards to social impact on surrounding communities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Malcolm Rogers
"Environment - land has always been productive therefore not substandard and should not be destroyed No information, plan or view of battery area, therefore no idea of visual or chemical pollution potential in siting No information, visual or otherwise, of sound pollution of transformers or batteries Selective information on current wildlife and likely disruption This is highly industrial and should be located on a brownfield site"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Maria Newman
"The proposed development is effectively a 2.5-mile factory roof and a vast battery, covering an area of farmland the size of Faversham and, in a location surrounded by areas designating as special wildlife sites (RAMSAR/SSSI etc). Location - alternative brown field sites are available in Kent, the Kingsnorth decommissioned power station is just one example, or the roof tops of the several thousand new houses planned for Faversham (why is this not a requirement of the planning authority?). Due to the flood risk at this particular location, the panels have to be higher and a bund required around the batteries so that the assets are protected from the water. The technology – there are doubts regarding the reliability of the technology as there is no other similar project in Europe on this scale and this far North. The short term life of the project – 25 years (battery life/advances in technology). The housing development proposed in Faversham – yet more displacement of habitat / erosion of people’s leisure space. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
response has attachments
Mark Montague
"Impact upon our [REDACTED]. Both boys are [redacted] in special rooms that offer a safe and tranquil environment. The heavy traffic will disrupt if not make it impossible for us to continue with their essential home education which has been running for more than 3 years. The noise from the construction, particularly the pile driving, the tapping sounds produced will disrupt. Concerns about radiation. Please do not make[REDACTED] victims of this project."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Adderley
"I strongly object to this monstrous proposed solar array. The vast scale of the development would blight the whole area both for wildlife and people such as my wife and I who like to walk in the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Geoffrey Waterman
"Covering of green 'BREATHING SPACE' Covering of OPEN space for wildlife particularly birds and particularly wintering birds Carte Blanche approach to new and potentially harmful massive battery banks with dangerously high currents and emissions?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs A M Moyler
"The impact on the environment will be devastating - the mutilation of wildlife, a disaster. Landscape will vanish and walks will be ruined. Is there any reason why this land should be used as to other areas which would not impact on the environment as the proposed site will? The batteries will be harmful, not only to residents, but the environment. This scheme is purely and simply a money making exercise for the developers. I strongly object to this hairbrain scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs D A Turner
"There was inadequate description of the proposed development from the very beginning. False information was given, i.e. that no one had objected when in fact there was. We were not told of the size and extent of the solar panels until quite recently. These will most certainly effect all wildlife and the landscape that walkers take for their health. This will have a knock-on effect on tourism, recreation and air quality. The roads will be blocked by lorries pumping out CO2. This is already evident in Ospringe and Brenley Corner when queues grow longer especially traffic going to Ashford. The legislation to allow this and the planning has NOT taken into account people's views. We will all suffer if it is allowed to continue."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pamela Glynn
"This is not a small solar farm, it is a solar and battery power station on an unprecedented scale. The 880,000 panels would be as high as a double-decker bus and densely-packed in a factory roof-like design causing the ground beneath to die. It would smother the green fields just outside Faversham and be the same size as Faversham town itself. Europe has no other photovoltaic power stations of this scale, and certainly not this far north. Graveney Marshes were going to be returned to nature (via managed re-alignment) but instead will be destined to become a desolate brownfield site. This will cause destruction of very important wildlife habitats, plus air pollution and traffic congestion during construction. The area is also a flood plain which surely makes it unsuitable for this monstrous project. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Smith
"I am very worried about the size of this development and the resulting impact on the local infrastructure. The marshes are also a very important to much diverse wildlife. Surely the wrong location for what is effectively a power station!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Wardell
"Although I broadly support the use of renewable forms of energy production. This project is far too large for this area and in the wrong place. It will decimate valuable countryside needlessly as other brown field sites are available and mush more suitable, such the site of the former Isle of Grain power station."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Salman Momen
"Dear Sir/Madam, I strongly object to and oppose the planned development of the Cleve Hill Solar Park. I am a frequent, regular, walker, runner and cyclist across the sea marshes in that particular proposed area, by the sea wall running approximately from Oare to Seasalter, as I live very closeby locally in Faversham. It is a regular routine of mine to go there. The size and scale of development would make the area and its beauty - unrecognisable. The solar panels would be a blight on the landscape and change the light and view of the marshes completely and irretrievably. The proposed very large-scale batteries would also obscure the beauty and damage the local appreciate - in short it would "ruin" it and I would no longer wish to visit the area as it would become 'ugly'. I worry about the permanent character and environmental damage to the wonderful sea marshes. The marsh areas there are the "pride" of the North Kent coastline and countryside - its loss would be a terrible destruction of the landscape with this plan. I am very concerned about the impacts on potential flood defenses and the potential of flooding the proposed solar farm itself - and there is no provision for further protecting the wider coastline and related areas such as closer to Oare or closer to Faversham. Therefore, these other areas nearby would be put at greater flood risk as a result. Please don't take away our lovely marshes and ruin them - so many people love it, just as it is. This development is far too big - there are plenty of other locations for it too. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Medhurst
"Flooding of my home and the town and completely destroying this beautiful historic place and surrounding countryside"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susanne Howell
"Environmental impact - detrimental to birds and wildlife Impact on infrastructure while being built Impact on landscape Loss of amenities for local population Lack of information about decommissioning of units"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Veronica Base
"The proposal for clean energy is laudable but not at the expense of the important environment it is suppose to be protecting. The choice of this colossal site will have enormous impact on area involved. It is an important and sensitive area for various wildlife including wintering birds and summer visitors. There are alternative brownfield sites available across the u.k. and even in Kent which are attached to the National Grid. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Allan Begg
"I have serious concerns regarding the proximity of the proposed development to the SSSI and the potential effects it will have on the protected habitat. In addition to concerns as to the impact on this globally important habitat from an ecological standpoint, the marshes and the wildlife they support are major source of tourist income for Faversham as well as being intrinsic to the identity and attractiveness of the town. I am 100% in favour of developing renewable energy and would have no objection to it being closer to my home than the current proposal (on the other side of the A2 for example). My objection is based purely on the development's proximity to such an important ecological area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Birkin
"I totally oppose this application on environmental and loss of public access grounds. The proposed development is immediately adjacent to a SSSI which is a haven for bird life and other wildlife. If this application is allowed to proceed, it must impact on the wildlife. The site is also immediately adjacent to the Saxon Shore Way, a very popular coastal footpath used by thousands of walkers every year and the impact of this proposed industrial eyesore will dramatically reduce the attractiveness of this walk and impact negatively on the local tourist economy. The developers will also take over the management of the sea defences from the Environment Agency allowing them to create more unsuitable structures. Finally this proposal does nothing for the local economy in terms of job creation or reduced energy prices for affected residents. There are numerous brownfield sites adjacent to the National Grid which could be used for solar farms including the Kingsnorth Power Station site, Dungeness and Richborough. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brooke-Taylor Family
"We have serious concerns regarding the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park. Renewable energy is an extremely worthwhile concept in itself but we feel that this proposal is totally out of proportion and have the following specific concerns. 1. Its sheer size is out of proportion to the area, and, combined with the large scale housing plans for this area of north Kent will change the Faversham area from a largely rural neighbourhood to a large scale urban and industrial area. The size of this site alone is larger than the whole of the current Faversham urban area. 2. An industrial installation of this size will be a major visual intrusion covering a wide area which is bounded by the Saxon Shore Way, scenic footpath covering much of the Kent Coast that can be regarded as an extremely valuable public amenity. The height of the solar panels will reach up to almost 4 metres and it is inevitable that what is basically a power station will generate noise and other disturbance (including traffic movements ) brought about the need for constant maintenance. 3. The land is currently a floodplain and a site of archaelogical interest as well as a haven for wildlife. Loss of the whole of this site will materially affect the local environment as well as increasing flooding risk which, due to the combined effect of water and electricity generation could cause local loss of electrical power as well as raising a public safety issue. 4. Access to the site is via relatively narrow and winding roads. Getting all of the the equipment to the site, particularly the solar panels, will cause considerable increases to traffic levels on unsuitable roads over an extended period of time , with considerable road safety implications as well as the inconvenience to local residents from congestion and noisy traffic movements. The only way of avoiding this would be either transportation via sea or rail although this would still require local traffic movement so is probably no better an option than road. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Edminson
"The proposed site is located on the north Kent coast, roughly 1 mile northeast of Faversham, 3 miles west of Whitstable and situated closest to the village of Graveney. The proposed development is surrounded by habitats designated for their wildlife value at a National and International level. ‘The Swale’ has three levels of designation: Site of Special Scientific Interest, a national designation; Special Protection Area, a European designation; and Ramsar (a wetland of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention). The Swale Estuary is also a Marine Conservation Zone (a national designation), though at present it seems unlikely the solar farm will impact on this. I agree with all the representations and objections submitted by the Kent Green Party and the Kent Wildlife Trust. The scale of this development is completely inappropriate and would breach law designed to protect endangered species and habitat. I am in favour of renewable energy and renewable energy at scale. Solar energy is best suited for small scale community level development. This proposal does not meet the government's own criteria and should therefore not be approved. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Colin Relf
"I object to this application on the grounds of: 1. Exportation of the local environment; an area that in today’s ever increasingly over development of space needs to be left for farming, wildlife and the enjoyment of others through it’s natural beauty. 2. Loss of agriculture land. Thou’ reported of poor quality soil I would disagree as most soils would have been washed from up-lands and are therefore of a very good quality. I would like to see an annual commercial report of crops harvested on this land since the early 1900’s. 3. Disruptions to the wildlife that has over wintered on these marshes for generations and would be confused and exhausted with possibly nowhere else to go. Birds in particular being confused and thinking the solar panels are in fact standing water/lakes? 4. Disturbance to the local environment and eco system during construction that would see all types of wildlife leave, die or even killed. 5. The noise and visual pollution during and after installation. The on-going maintenance and commercialisation of an area boarded by an area designated as a SSI site, but not this area? 6. Faversham has four large areas of housing development with more planned. Perhaps the Government should insist all new houses are built will solar panels? To loose this farm and its crop producing ability at Graveney Marshes is un-acceptable. 7. I wonder if airline pilots and others may be distracted from solar glare and atmospherical disturbance? Possibly at night too? 8. How will rainwater be evenly spread into the sub-soil as it is at the moment and thereby soaking down into the aqua flows? Will the disruption to the chalk beds affect the aqua flows? 9. Thou this development is being sold as a GREEN energy product what is the implications to the environment through its construction? What is the plan of how and where the components will be safely decommissioned and recycled when the time comes? 10. No one knows what amount of electricity is required on a daily bases. Generating companies sell their product to the National Grid but it will need to be held in batteries if not sold/required. The site may need to stop producing if there is no demand. A very big financial gamble? 11. As with London Arrays development Graveney will not directly benefit from this enegy, as it will be connected to the Super Grid. This power could then be transmitted to the continent via the Sellindge Converter Sub-station. A rather ironic situation that we should loose this land and the power generated go to France. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dave Warren
"I strongly disagree with this proposal. Though I agree with sustainable power, I feel that this Proposed solar farm is far too big and also in the wrong location. I am concerned primarily that were this solar farm given the go ahead, it would have a devastating impact on the extensive wildlife that is in this area. There is also a great deal of history in this area, and it is a very popular area with walkers. I think that there must be numerous more suitable sites for development in the county, that would be less impacted by such a development. Were the government to get a little more organised, they could insist that all new housing developments must have some sort of renewable power; solar panels on the roof of every new building. It would then be less necessary to have huge solar farms like this one."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Grzywacz
"(1) The planned development is in my opinion inappropriate due to adverse impact on the environment of this area on the amienity and biodiversity of this area of great importance to local flora and fauna (2) the scale of the planned develoment is too great in am area of kent already subject to many new housing developments. (3) The development mars an area of outstanding local open land much enjoyed by walkers and wildlife enthousiasts "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr George B Scott
"I have spent 20 years involved with BP Solar in the development of photovoltaic panels and systems and have had connection with developments across Europe. Lessons learned in Germany and Italy regards the deployment of photovoltaic farms in rural areas - farm lands and national park lands - caused their governments to remove support thereby rendering them financially non-viable. Support continues to exist for deployments in towns, industrial areas and on buildings. This reflects an appreciation of the importance of rural lands as natural areas rather than parking places for panels. Yes, we do need more renewable power generation in the UK but let's place it right by where the power is needed - in towns "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Peter Hughes-England
"The proposed site of the Solar Power Station at Cleve Hill in Faversham will be a blight on the natural landscape at the coast line and will destroy the natural habitats and feeding grounds of many species of animals – especially birds – that enjoy the marshlands. The proposed site is an area of rural beauty and is far too close to nice walks, the coast and wildlife to be acceptable. Personally, I enjoy walking along the coastal route and the marshland, as well as walking my dog there. It is enjoyable seeing the birds especially. If the Solar Power Station is located where proposed, then this beautiful landscape will be lost, notwithstanding the potential problems that losing the marshy floodplains will do to the ecology and the protection of local Faversham-area residents from rising coastal waters. In addition, should the site proceed where proposed, then there will be a heavy burden on the local minor roads with constructions traffic, etc. and, presumably, continued maintenance of the power station will affect the roads too by way of traffic. Surely, other – less wildlife-damaging and “out of view” – sites can be found for the power station?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Eleanor Sheath
"* Environmental Impact - this is an unsustainable, highly industrial solution which would not provide green energy by virtue of the damage it would do to the environment to build it * This is an AONB and there has been a lack of consideration given to suitable alternatives which goes against national planning policy * It is not fitting for the existing Landscape and would have a negative visual impact dwarfing existing settlements * Would destroy delicate ecology and wildlife the value of which which cannot be offset * Negative effect on this important habitat for Birds – both local and over-wintering * Increased flood risk * Cultural heritage and archaeology * Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery * Socio-economics, effects on tourism * Currently the area offers leisure space and benefits wellbeing of local people * Access and traffic, especially during the build * Air quality, both during the build and the operation * Glint and glare, human health, waste products "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Garry John Wise
"This site is huge and believe that existing brownfield sites should be given preference before a development of this scale is given the go ahead. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hazel Jessett
"I wish to register my objection to the proposed solar power station at Cleve Hill for the following reasons: I fully concur with the issues and concerns raised by the Faversham Society and would add the following points; 1. The installation is completely out of proportion with the surrounding area particularly with regards to the negative effect on loss of amenity; economic devaluation and the impact on a SSSI. Solar panels are renowned for being inefficient and I doubt that having such a huge installation will be that productive to compensate for the loss of the above mentioned benefits. 2. The potential flood risk to Faversham will be greatly increased, with the consequent damage and loss to local residents. 3. The development of 'grazing land' will not be possible due to the lack of sunlight and rainfall resulting in a complete loss of any type of habitat and consequently biodiversity and wildlife. 4. Faversham has many new developments putting pressure on local services and amenities - this will just add more to the ongoing problems 5. The solar power station will be a 'blot on the landscape'. No amount of planting or screening will disguise its ugliness. 6. There are other 'brownfield' sites that could and should be looked at as an alternative. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jim Parker
"Having lived in the area for over 50 years the coastal walk along the Swale Estuary has been a regular source of exercise and visual enjoyment, and in particular the famous sunsets. My concerns are for the future of the wildlife, which is presently in decline, and I fear will become virtually non-existent in the area, blighted by the considerable construction work and physical presence of the enormous Solar Park, destroying their nesting grounds. I for one, and I feel sure I speak for many others, would find absolutely no interest in taking that Swale-side walk if the park is in place - the loss of another local amenity! The incessant heavy traffic along Graveney Road during the construction work will be intolerable and a serious safety issue, in particular regarding the local Graveney School, and the increasing number of cyclists who use that road. An alternative access route via Seasalter would create considerable traffic problems, and include a primary school in Joy Lane. Access via Church Lane in Seasalter is out of the question. How will the vegetation below the panels be managed, and how will the panels survive in the event of local flooding - many people around here still recall the devastating floods of 1953, and with the increasingly severe weather conditions and raising of sea levels this could happen again - the sea wall between The Sportsman PH and the concrete sea wall is only an earth bund, and could be a weak point in our sea defences. The concrete sea wall is now over 60 years old, and beginning to show 'signs of wear'! I have photographic evidence of flooding in the area between the seashore and the bund. If a project of this type has to go ahead, can it be scaled down to allow it to blend in more readily with what is a vital nature resource "
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Coish
"I and my extended family spend several months of each year resident in one of the beach chalets adjacent to 'The Sportsman' restaurant/pub. We use the Saxon Way frequently as a walking route to Faversham and for recreational and wildlife watching purposes. One of the main reasons for our frequent visits to this area is the peaceful rural landscape between Faversham and Graveney - the proposed massive solar park will ruin its attractiveness. I am a member of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and take a keen interest in the Kentish coast line and North Kent marshes. This area is only just beginning to recover from the massive disruption to nesting birds, caused in recent years by London Array's development of the Graveney sub-station to service its wind turbine farm off Sheppey. Marsh Harriers, Kestrels and Barn Owls have been particularly affected. In my opinion the proposed development will permanently ruin most of the remaining local habitat for these birds. My family and I (up to about 20 adults and children)have been using our chalet (2 to 4 people at a time overnight, plus day visitors) between March and September since the 1960s - and there are dozens of other chalet users like us - we pay local authority taxes, contribute to the incomes of the local water and power companies and help support the retail businesses in both Faversham and Whitstable. This economic activitiy will all reduce if this project is allowed to proceed - the attractiveness of the area will melt away and a great eyesore will replace us. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Luke Genower
"I live in Whitstable and use the Saxon Shoreway from Seasalter to Gaversham every week, running from one to the other. It is a beautiful haven of unspoilt nature, something very rare to find in the modern world. I was shocked to find out that almost 1,000 acres of historic wild, greenfield marshland was being planned to have a giant solar farm built upon it. I am very pro renewable energy sources, but it’s the sheer relentless scale of this project that is baffling. The site itself would be bigger than the neighboring town of Faversham! The proposed site borders the Kent Wildlife Trust, South Swale Local Nature Reserve with plenty of wildlife. Birds: Reed warblers, bearded tits, marsh harriers, little terns (very rare), grey plovers, dunlins, oystercatchers, knots, bar-tailed godwits, curlew, Brent geese, snow buntings, finches, Golden plovers, short-eared owl, hen-harrier, Merlin. Plants: yellow horned poppies, golden samphire, sea lavender, wild carrots, restharrow. Insects: grasshoppers, red admirals, painted ladies, clouded yellows. Mammals: Harbour seals. How will this site affect the feeding and breeding grounds of these animals? This application cannot be passed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Maggie Cole
"I would like to register my interest in the Cleve Hill Solar Park as a private individual who often likes to walk on Graveney Marshes. The site of the solar park is a valuable nature reserve for all kinds of wildlife and although I support the use of alternative energy this is totally the wrong site for such a huge solar panel park. Not only this as a resident of Whitstable I am particularly worried about the building of this site on a valuable flood plain area which may ultimately have a tidal surge effect not only on Whitstable but other vulnerable sites along the east coast. This development, if it goes ahead, will be a huge blot on the landscape for not only the poor residents of Graveney but all people in this area who value unspoilt landscapes and sets a dangerous precedent - what next, building solar panels on Dartmoor?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Gareth Hughes-England
"I am in favour of renewable energy such as solar power stations to replace fossil fuel usage. However, I believe that there must be more appropriate locations to site the proposed solar power station which has less impact on the environment and the wildlife which currently use the marshlands around the Nagdon, Cleve and Graveney Marshes. Also I believe the location of the solar power station so close to where people (including myself) like to walk and ramble would be an eyesore."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Peter Shaw
"The proposed site is located on the north Kent coast, roughly 1 mile northeast of Faversham, 3 miles west of Whitstable and situated closest to the village of Graveney. The proposed development is surrounded by habitats designated for their wildlife value at a National and International level. ‘The Swale’ has three levels of designation: Site of Special Scientific Interest, a national designation; Special Protection Area, a European designation; and Ramsar (a wetland of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention). The Swale Estuary is also a Marine Conservation Zone (a national designation), though at present it seems unlikely the solar farm will impact on this. I agree with all the representations and objections submitted by the Kent Green Party and the Kent Wildlife Trust. The scale of this development is completely inappropriate and would breach law designed to protect endangered species and habitat. I am in favour of renewable energy and renewable energy at scale. Solar energy is best suited for small scale community level development. This proposal does not meet the government's own criteria and should therefore not be approved."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pamela J Fray
"This should not be allowed to be constructed because: 1.it will ruin the beautiful landscape between Faversham and Graveney 2 It will also ruin the natural habitat for so much wildlife, especially the birds that live and visit in this area 3. It will be an eyesore for walkers and to visitors to the creeks and Faversham which will spoil one of the many attractions of this beautiful and historic market town 4. It is far too large and the panels far too high, impinging on views of the immediate and the surrounding areas 5 It will be intrusive visually and noise-wise for residents of the area So it will be a total disaster for residents, visitors, walkers, nature lovers and, most of all, for nature itself. It should never have been even considered. I've lived and worked in the area since 1975 and love it dearly so it breaks my heart to consider this as even a possibility."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Jessett
" I absolutly wish to register my objection to the proposed solar power station at Cleve Hill for the following reasons: I fully concur with the issues and concerns raised by the Faversham Society and would add the following points; 1. The installation is completely out of proportion with the surrounding area particularly with regards to the negative effect on loss of amenity; economic devaluation and the impact on a SSSI. Solar panels are renowned for being inefficient and I doubt that having such a huge installation will be that productive to compensate for the loss of the above mentioned benefits. 2. The increased flood risk to Faversham will be greatly increased, with the consequent damage and loss to local residents. 3. The development of 'grazing land' will not be possible due to the lack of sunlight and rainfall resulting in a complete loss of any type of habitat and consequently biodiversity and wildlife. 4. Faversham has far to many new developments putting pressure on local services and amenities - this will just add more to the ongoing problems 5. The solar power station will be a 'blot on the landscape'. No amount of planting or screening will disguise its ugliness. 6. There are other 'brownfield' sites that could and should be looked at as an alternative. 7. The battery technology for this scheme has not been fully developed as yet and therefore is a complete unknown 8. Modern Battery technology dictates the batteries will have a relatively short life and will need to be replaced, these contain many things that are harmful to the environment, this is not covered in the plan! "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Lloyd
"We own a chalet on the edge of the proposed Solar Farm. As we use this for peace and relaxation we are concerned about the noise and air pollution the farm could cause. We are also concerned about the flood risk to our property. It is totally immoral to build a Solar Farm of this size to ruin acres of greenfield site containing a bird sanctuary. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rebecca Etheridge
"As a fairly new resident to this special area (4 years) I cannot explain how important it is to me to preserve this area for generations (both human and wildlife to come). This area is mentioned in the doomsday book as being the kitchen of canterbury cathedral. I object to the solar farm as we need to keep our green open spaces, for mental health purposes as well as the health benefits. Ive seen an increase in overseas tourists visiting this area year on year. Our wildlife is at great risk. The brent geese fly over the sea wall and onto the farmland and we will loose these as they rest on the land that will be covered in panels. I see marsh harriers circling and hunting over the fields where the solar panels will be along with other birds of prey. I walk along the footpath which is one of two locations in the uk that a particular species of bee can be found. The wildlife will be hugely impacted by the building work and final result which will cause the eventually destruction of the area they live and breed in and we will loose them. The solar panels are a carbuncle on this beautiful and very important place. Nothing will grow underneath as the light cannot grow so grazing sheep won't have an adequate food source. The is a cycle route and what with cycling becoming such a growing sport, cycling clubs and just people that are out for a scenic bike ride use this road. This route will be dangerous to anyone wanting to ride along it whilst they build the solar station. Solar stations should be built in industrialised areas and not destroy areas of outstanding beauty. The roads are too narrow especially over the railway bridge which is always a hazard when two cars try to cross over the same time and the village can't cope with the volume of vehicles used to build the solar park. The school playground is situated close to the road and railway bridge and the increase in large diesel vehicles will pollute the air they breath and could cause increased health problems such as asthma. The traffic will impact on residents going about their daily routine. The vast size of the solar station is a risk to our flood defence and with sea levels rising....i only have to look at the erosion that i have witnessed in four years of the coastal area behind the sea wall to know that it is only a matter of tome before the flood defense is compromised. Solar should not be used to compromise our green space. We need to protect and keep large vistas because we are loosing the. Solar panels should be installed on all buildings especially new builds and not ruin the countryside. The solar panels are too tall and the images that were supplied by the developer were clearly distorted to make it looked like they blended in with the horizon. images taken on the darkest of days so the panels looked grey when in reality they will shine and reflect and look a blot on the landscape. Its a huge disruptive impact on our daily life and mental well being. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roy Webb
"Cleve Hill Solar Park I have many objections to this ill-conceived development, it’s size and location, it’s unconventional East/West aligned roof design that effectively sterilizes the ground beneath and the fact that it is a stand alone development on a green field site when national policy for solar should be focused on rooftop fixtures and brown field sites. However, my primary objection to Cleve Hill is the increased risk of flooding that this development poses to the town of Faversham. In their recently revised plan Wirsol suggest taking responsibility for maintaining sea defences to reduce the risk of flooding to their site. However, the Environment Agency has accepted managed retreat as the preferred solution to town flooding, as seen on several sites across the Thames Estuary on the Essex coast. The proposed site, North and East of Faversham, would provide such a flood risk buffer zone. By defending this area to protect the solar farm Wirsol increase the risk of tidal and storm surges in Faversham and Oare creeks flooding residential and business premises. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ruth Cronk
"I object to the application at cleve Hill and Nagdon marshes for a solar Park. I am a faversham resident and use the area for walks in the open marshland, which is one of the last areas of unspoilt marshland on the North Kent coast. The faversham area has and is being subjected to the loss of much of the local landscape to housing and this application adds to the loss of the natural environment within the community. There are alternatives for this type of development on brownfield sites, such as the finished landfill site between the paper mill at Kelsey and Milton creek as an example. Additionally many factory units have been built and are under construction where large roof areas could be utilised for this purpose. I support the Faversham Society in their objection"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Young
"I have lived in Faversham for over 40 years, and have many happy memories of time spent at Seasalter with my husband, children, and friends.I am heartbroken at the thought of this solar farm being spread over such beautiful unspoilt countryside. My husband is suffering ill health at the moment, and when I get a chance my greatest pleasure is to take our two dogs and get some exercise and fresh air on the marshes. I find I get very emotional when I contemplate what these plans will look like and the detrimental effect it will have on the wildlife. These proposed plans must be thrown out,this is not the answer to our energy needs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sharon Lloyd
"A lot of people reside in and enjoy this area. If the proposed solar park goes ahead there will be risks to the health of a great many people and the wildlife around it. We own a chalet next to where the solar park is proposed. Four generations of my family have enjoyed the peace and quiet of living on the coast. We are concerned about human health, noise, environmental impact, air quality, waste products. A solar park of this magnitude should be built away from humans and wild life on a brownfield site. If the sea defences are changed to protect the proposed site it could be detrimental to other parts of the coastline, damaging properties, wildlife or even loss of life. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sibyl Darrington
"Graveny Marshes is an area of outstanding natural beauty that has many protected species of wildlife living in it, birds in particular. The solar farm will destroy the delicate eco system that provides a home to many endangered species. The area is well known as a place to visit and appreciated by many people, both locals and visitors. I fully support green energy but to install a solar farm that will destroy protected and endangered species of wildlife is irresponsible. We are losing so many species as it is. I come across many green fields in the area that have been dedicated to solar panels. Whilst it is depressing to witness, when we could have solar panelling in urban areas, I am willing to live with it. Graveny Marshes is different, it is totally unique and should not be destroyed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephen Harris
"this project is too big.everyone supports clean energy but not at the expense of the environment it is said to protect. this is a special place.the sportsman pub welcomes visitors from around the world-every day.the pub is fully booked for months ahead with people from new york,copenhagen,stockholm,belgium etc. etc.. this provides a hint of wilderness for people from the local area and london.they go for a walk, have lunch at the sportsman and feel like they have had a holiday.why destroy such a valuable asset for the community?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephen Tysoe
"I would like to outline my objections to the scheme based on its environmental impact on the wildlife in the area around Graveney.I will also state my objection as to the size of the project and its negative effect on the local community and surrounding countryside."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vanessa Cackett
"I would object to the scale of this development in relation to Faversham and its location in an area that is part of what Visitors and locals feel Faversham is all about. An historic Market Town on an estuary with walking routes along historic paths for recreation observations of wildlife and the Swale. The development cuts the area into pieces obscuring views from all sides. Adding this to the housing developments around the town its historic centre will be overwhelmed by ill thought out and un co ordinated planning decisions robbing it of the attractions and nature that makes it attractive to all the current and in coming residents. As a member of a long standing Faversham family who has returned to the town after a brief time away it is the marshes and atmosphere of the location of the proposed Solar Power Station that would have been top of my reason for loving and returning to this area. The Power Station as it appears in the planning application will be seriously detrimental to the coastal landscape that it will fill."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Victoria Regan
"I am strongly opposed to this solar park being sited at Graveney Marshes. The area is of huge and significant environmental importance and is disproportionate to what an area of this importance could sustain. These big corporate companies should be required to use existing infrastructure to house their products, not take the easy option and use and destroy acres of countryside. How about using roof tops of schools, hospitals, industrial sites etc. These companies have the funds to be more companionate to areas of environmental importance. I understand the need for green energy but not at the detriment of unspoilt marshlands that house a wealth of important and rare wildlife. Being green does not mean producing clean energy and destroying the countryside to do so. We should be able to do both. Make these companies behave better, be more respectful of the environment because at the end of the day isn’t that what green energy is about.? If this project goes ahead you are only supporting a massive company earn more money..... you are not supporting the environment what so ever. Please refuse this application."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Chapman
"I have lived in the Faversham area for most of my life and have frequently enjoyed long walks on these wonderful,unspoiled marshes. The proposals to turn them into an industrial site is therefore heart breaking for me and my family and I wish to record my objections to the plans for the following reasons. 1 disruption to wildlife 2 access roads are already busy and narrow,compounding traffic problems,particularly during construction period. 3 flooding,risks will be increased if the natural flood plain is compromised 4 overall I consider that this proposed development is far too large."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ann
"I am concerned that the environmental impact of this proposed development has not been thoroughly investigated. In particular I think that the developers could raise the height of the sea wall in order to protect their property. This would prevent flooding here but increase the risk of flooding of Faversham itself which is already flood prone. I further understand that the height of the panels will have a detrimental effect on bird life here. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bernard Leahy
"I am very interested in nature and regard the constant building and taking over of our green spaces to be almost criminal and detrimental to our well being. Knowing the Graveney Marsh and certainly some of the surrounding area fairly well I find the planned solar park far from being in the interest of the natural environment and call upon the concerned authorities to think again."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian White
"This project would cover a massive amount of the countryside, which is a beautiful, wild part of the local countryside It can not be listed as a green project when it is decimating a natural green area. Some of the panels would be at least 9ft high, and would be visible for a large are of the countryside. This area is also a flood plain, and therefore it could affect the town of Faversham, which already has a fair bit of flooding. Finally these Solar Farms should be built in Industrial areas or on old power house stations, which have been closed down, such as Medway and Dover area. I do understand that we need this kind of energy, but definitely not on green areas of our countryside. which have been "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Carine Bussels
"Whitstable and Faversham frequently feature in Belgian magazines and newspapers -- it is a beautiful area with outstanding nature and walking opportunities --- these are very special and important to preserve for people in the UK and abroad --- this proposal does not recognise that the development would completely destroy the area and destroy tourism. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher John Cox
"I wish to make representations on the basis of the proposal's effect on the wildlife and scenery of the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Daniel Oeyen
"This proposal is about renewable energy which I support --- BUT NOT in this way. My points are : Why destroy such a large beautiful nature area for green energy --- this does not make sense and should not be allowed as 25 or 40 years later you will not be able to replicate the marshes -- they will be lost for ever and should be preserved for the greater good A lot of visitors come from Belgium and the Netherlands as Whitstable and Faversham are well promoted and regularly feature in national news papers -- if approved this influx will stop and their spending with them as they would not want to come to see this monstrosity --- why do you not consider building it where it does not impact on humans, animals and plants? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Deborah Lawther
"I have lived in Faversham for 33 years. The quality of countryside around the town is most important to me. In my opinion, the Cleve Hill Solar Park presents a grave threat to that quality. Fundamentally, the area in the plan is too big - 218 football pitches! I object to the industrialisation of the marshes, the threat to wildlife (which can't be told about the little area set aside for it). I object to the probable loss of the protection of Faversham against flood that would result from protection of the installation by building higher sea walls. I object to the intrusion of the industrial estate into the views available of the 'high landscape value' area from all surrounding elevations. The solar power plant would negatively impact the economy of Faversham. The solar plant would ruin the character of the Saxon Shore Way. The access to the area is inadequate; construction and running of the site would irreversibly impact the villages near it. The plant would compromise the setting of Faversham generally. It would have only negative value for me and my fellow residents, nor is any benefit to come to us from the Cleve Hill development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Diana Allen
"I am opposing the construction of the Cleve Hill Solar Park for the following reasons - 1. The wildlife living in this area, or using the area for breeding, or stopping off for feeding, will all be affected, and if displaced, may not find suitable alternative areas to live as this type of environment is in short supply. 2. There does not appear to have been any great effort to find other possible sites. 3. Every person living in the area will be affected by noise, pollution from heavy vehicles, and the visual impact, and those who visit the area to walk the Saxon Shore Way will also be affected similarly."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Colin Relf on behalf of Elaine Cooper
"I object to the development of the Cleve Hill/Graveney marshes on the grounds of: Loss of a natural open space, Loss of an area for wide life and birds, Noise and visual pollution during and after construction, THE FACT THAT THIS COMPANY HAS THE ABILITY TO PROFITEER FROM BUYING ANOTHER COMPANIES POWER* FROM THE SUPER GRID, STORING IT AND THEN SELLING IT BACK TO THE GRID. *That may have been made using subsidies from the UK tax payer?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Hannelore Oeyen
"I have visited my family in Kent for the last 30 years and could not imagine that you would destroy the landscape, the heritage, culture, bird, plant and animal life for so-called environmental purposes -- this should not be allowed to happen. Surely you can see how utterly stupid that is. Graveney already has an eyesore of a substation spoiling the landscape and this village has done more than others to support renewable energy -- it should not become a sacrificial lamb!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helen Whately MP
"As the local MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, the proposed solar farm project is within my constituency. I have spent many months talking to the local community about their views on the proposals and have shared these with Cleve Hill Ltd as the project has progressed. I would like to register my interest in this application because I remain extremely concerned about what is being proposed, in particular: • Size and location of the site – Despite paring back the size of the site, the sheer scale of the proposal remains huge. The marshes are a special, tranquil and beautiful landscape that should be protected for future generations to enjoy. I am unclear as to what alternative sites were explored before opting for the Graveney marshes. • Views from the Saxon Shore Way – The panels are expected to reach 4m in some places, and will stretch to right up to the edge of the Saxon Shore Way. This will inevitably impact on the enjoyment of this unique landscape. • Ineffective screening – There are plans to screen the panels with vegetation, but this will take at least ten years to take hold. In this open landscape, the screening may well be incongruent and it’s hard to see that it will be effective in screening the solar panels from the raised stretches of the footpath along the estuary. • Flora and fauna – The marshes are home to a huge variety of birds, mammals and other creatures, who rely on the salt marshes and mudflats environment. The nature of the panels, oriented east-west and densely packed, will let little sunlight to the earth below and I am unclear as to what wildlife this will effectively support. • Flood defences – My understanding is that Cleve Hill are seeking to take control of the flood defences so that they can maintain them to reduce flood risk onto the site. I am concerned that this conflicts with the potential long term use of the site as an area of compensatory habitat for the delivery of the Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy. Whilst I support the development of alternative energy sources, some balance has to be struck between the big picture benefits and the immediate, local impact. I don’t feel a balance is achieved here. The local impact is simply unacceptable. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Coish
"I agree with all the comments raised by the Faversham Society and would like to register my opposition to the planning consent."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jenny Buncombe
"I do not feel that people have been made fully aware of the devastating impact of the proposed solar farm. It would completely swallow up an ancient area of land which is home to many species of wildlife and which features large in the history and literature set in this part of England. It is the size of Faversham in area and the structure would be several feet high, destroying the plant and animal life underneath underneath. There is plenty of land of little interest along the main highways that cross Thanet which could be put to this use."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Griffin
"I completely disagree with the huge scale of the site, particularly when by all accounts Solar energy will be replaced within a few years. To do this on land which has been for so long a great place for wildlife is terrible for Faversham and surrounding areas. A good place to visit completely spoilt."
Members of the Public/Businesses
K Sarah Deeson
"I am in favour of solar power. I believe that the Cleve Hill installation is too large. I would like to know who is backing the project, and would like to be assured that the sea wall will be maintained."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Katie Begg
"I oppose the application for a solar power station to be built at Cleve Hill. This is a beautiful area of valued countryside for walkers and cyclists, both local and tourist, which will be lost forever. I am also highly concerned about the impact on local wildlife. I am significantly concerned about the impact on Faversham of noise, and also that it will deter people from visiting our town. My final concern is traffic impact. Faversham routes are already severely congested and traffic pollution of concern. I support solar power, but believe brownfield sites and other areas less important to wildlife and the local tourist economy should be considered above areas such as the Graveney Marshes. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lavinia Birkin
"I am completely opposed to this proposal. It is adjacent to a SSSI. and would impact on the wildlife particularly the sea birds and raptors. The current proposals to mitigate the impact on wildlife are wholly inadequate and there are no assurances that any such proposals will be monitored and enforced. The North Kent marshes are a unique and endangered habitat already under threat from the Thames Gateway developments and this proposal will further reduce this valuable habitat. The development will also have a massive detrimental visual impact which will ruin the appeal of this stretch of the Saxon Shore Way impacting on visitor numbers and undermining the local tourist economy. Finally the proposal offers no economic benefits to the local economy either in terms of employment opportunities or reduced energy costs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Linda Kuipers
"I have visited the UK on a yearly basis, in particular Kent for the last 40 years---I enjoy the walking opportunities, shopping in Faversham, Whitstable and Canterbury and the nature associated with the Graveney Marshes as well as the beauty of the landscape. I have seen the submission and accepting this would mean the permanent destruction of all of what is beautiful and worth travelling for --- I can't believe that the National Inspectorate would allow this --it should be treasured. Not many countries can offer anything approaching the age, history and beauty of the Saxon Shore Way --- It is as if you --the UK -- do not realise how valuable and unique this is --- I would not want to walk amongst solar panels -- unimaginably horrific. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Louise Allen
"I am opposing the development of Cleve Hill Solar Park for these reasons: 1. This development will have a hugely negative effect on the wildlife that uses the area. Despite the set aside small area, this development will still displace many birds that need this as their stop-over point when continuing their migratory journey and the birds that live here all year round. 2. The roads which big lorries will need to use, will simply not withstand the weight and frequency of the traffic. This will not only affect the villagers of Graveney, but anyone wishing to use the road to get between Faversham and Whitstable and often this road is used when there is heavy traffic on the Thanet Way. 3. Another concern is air quality in the area. With a huge increase in traffic, this is undoubtedly going to affect air quality in the village. This is a rural village which people have chosen to move to for the peace, quiet and countryside. It should NOT be turned into an industrial landscape. 4. Living in Graveney and working in Faversham, the risk of flooding in this area is something to be considered. In our current climate, it is inevitable that we will see changes in sea levels in the near future which makes the site for this huge proposal inappropriate. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Marleen Vrolix
"Graveney, Faversham and Whitstable are fantastic tourist destinations with many attractions including important heritage sites and buildings and fabulous walking opportunities on the Saxon Shore Way --- this solar park would destroy all of these so I am asking that you do not approve this development as the area is too important for tourism from visitors abroad --- and no doubt for people who live here."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Carol Pateicia Harper
"I object to this solar farm because it is far too big, from what I have seen it is proposed to cover an area bigger than Faversham town. The area is full of wildlife at the moment and is used by lots of birds - they will all disappear because there will be nowhere for them to go. I believe a solar farm of this size will completely destroy the Eco system of the area and not just the land it will sit on. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Ria Jannis
"The land identified in the proposal provides valuable leisure opportunities and is unique marshland -- this will be lost forever should any development go ahead. It is inconceivable that the Planning Inspectorate would support the obliteration of a national treasure --- much valued by visitors from abroad. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Terence Osborne
"The scale of the Cleve Hill Solar Park is massive and industrial judged by any other similar developments anywhere in Europe. It will have a highly deleterious impact on the local environment, amenity and economy. Faversham and Whitstable are unique towns that attract visitors from all over the world. Placing a massive industrial site between them will greatly reduce their desirability as important and attractive places to visit. The impacts on local businesses will be huge. Other factors that must be taken into account include the impact on the North Kent coast and the Saxon Shore Way, impact on the coastal flood plain, impact on the ecology of the marshland in a area that is currently defined as a Kent and Swale Area of High Landscape Value. This landscape would be destroyed for generations to come. All this is unnecessary as there are alternative sites and distributed approaches that would be more appropriate. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tim Thompsett
"It seems to be an extraordinarily enormous development. Possibly better spread over several sites rather than totally wiping out a whole area of importance for migratory birds and the resident wildlife. I worry about the effects of the upheaval on our children and all the residents of our town. I am not against this sort of development but am opposed to the astronomical scale of this proposal. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Tom Breemans
"I have visited the area several time in the last few years and my objections are : A solar farm of this magnitude will ruin tourism. The proposed area is low down and when you walk around Kent there will be several places that are higher where you can still see it and it will be an enormous blot on the landscape --- visitors will avoid Kent for their walking holidays and tourism will be badly affected---I will not visit any longer if this goes ahead. The bird life is unique and a fantastic asset for Faversham --- this proposal will ruin this as well --- there is no real space set aside for the birds. There are areas identified on the plans for the birds but they have always been there so why pretend that that they will be better off as this is a complete untruth. Thank you for taking my points into consideration. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Victoria Elizabeth Peaple
"As a resident of Faversham and user of the proposed site, my principle concerns are as follows: - construction of the site will severely impact on the visual beauty of the area and thus will vastly reduce its use as a recreational area. Being one of the closest open spaces to the town for walking, cycling, dog-walking I believe this will be extremely detrimental to the health and well-being of residents and this will in turn reduce its appeal to tourists and visitors. - I am extremely concerned regarding the impact on local wildlife, particularly birdlife, with plans running entirely counter to alternative plans to return the site to nature - While I fully support renewable energies, I believe other alternatives are possible, for instance the installation of solar panels in homes across Faversham which would bring greater benefits without damaging one of Kent's rare sites of natural beauty"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Carlo Eerdekens
"I have visited England several times and so have other members of my family and friends. I always recommend this area of Kent because of the fantastic walking opportunities in Graveney and Whitstable. My objection is that this area will be completely destroyed should this industrial design go ahead --- there will be no landscape left and the beauty of the Saxon Shore Way will be forever gone, as will the birds. Surely there are better places to put a solar park of this size and this should be investigated seriously. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Daniel Reeves
"I'd like to register my opposition to the planned Solar Park as I feel this will have devastating consequences for one of the most beautiful and natural setting on the local environment. This area has many rare birds and animals and would destroy their habitat as well as ruining an area of outstanding natural beauty."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Read
"As someone who works very close to the proposed site for the solar park (at The Sportsman) I have many concerns. I know the area very well and fear the size and scale of the solar park will turn it from (I believe) a naturally beautiful, wild landscape in to an industrial, factory-like space. I am concerned for bird life in the area and for other plants and wildlife, many of which are rare. This is a unique and special place. I am also very concerned about the impact the proposed solar park would have on tourism in the area, especially as I work there. Many people come walking here and visit the pub/restaurant where I work as it's well known for its food. They come from local towns and villages but also from all over the world. I fear the solar park would deter them. I also wonder whether the area is suitable for the solar park, whether other locations would be better. The area is known to flood, is close to a SSSI and steeped in history as archeology has shown. Have other locations been adequately considered? I also have issues with the actual building process. The number of trucks and amount of dust etc would no doubt impact on my working life making the commute to work more difficult for myself and customers and reducing air quality."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graham Warren
"1. Kent, and much of S.E. England is experiencing population growth and increasing demands on land and natural resources. We have, for centuries, relied on imported food supplies, but this is becoming a less secure option and it is imperative that we make best use of the remaining productive farmland 2. The proposed solar panel array will occupy an area of 480 ha, comprising arable (wheat) and grazing components. Britain has become heavily dependent on imports to fill the gap in our own agricultural out-put which continues to decrease with the advance of house building onto productive farmland. Approximately 70% of UK land is used for agriculture but we currently import 60% of all our requirements (including 85% of our fresh fruit and vegetables). 3. Much of this is from countries now experiencing substantial economic growth and an increasing proportion of their exported produce will in due course be diverted to home consumption. Some of these countries are also becoming major importers, competing with Britain for a wide range of high value produce: pushing up prices. The acceleration of global food demand has also resulted in increased use of water for irrigation in tropical regions, resulting in the progressive depletion of river and groundwater resources, with corresponding stress on rural communities; World food production can no longer keep pace with demand and we must expect to see commensurate increases in global prices. The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Post Note N? 589 Nov 2018, dealing with Trends in Agriculture, noted that global agricultural production might have to be doubled within the next 30 years –to meet the increased level of food consumption. 4. The case would therefore seem to be made for increased home production, but our options in this respect will be limited by the encroachment of housing and general development onto farmland and grazing areas. Kent is particularly vulnerable with a current housing development target of approximately 160,000 households scheduled for the next 30 years. This cannot be achieved if we are to act on the recommendation of the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor in 2009 that UK food production should double by 2040. 5. If we plan on the basis of approximately 15 households per hectare, construction of 160,000 units would require 10,700 ha: the greater part of which is currently in use as farmland. Taking the area of the County of Kent (KCC + Medway) at 392,800 ha, of which farmland accounts for 70%, we have an agricultural land resource of approx. 275,000 ha. The planned housing development would therefore come out with a land requirement of 10,700 or approx. 3.9% . . 257,000 And if we add 480 ha for the solar panel array, the out -turn loss of land over the 30-year period would exceed 4% - a significant loss of the County’s natural capital at a time when the demand for produce may well have doubled. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Tarrant
"I object to the devastation of a buewtifull peace of countryside .when there are more sutable placeses to site it , but these places our not so financey so proftable for the company ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Page
"I am a lover of the natural world and keen bird watcher. I regularly walk along the Swale estuary to enjoy the beauty of the landscape and look at the migrating birds which flock to the area at different times of the year. The area for the proposed solar farm is a unique habitat for overwintering birds as well as other local bird populations, and a huge development would disrupt the lives of the wildlife that lives there. The development will not only have a disastrous detrimental impact on wildlife, some of it endangered marsh and hen harriers, for example), but on the lives of local and visiting people who enjoy the natural beauty of the place. The development is too huge and it is in the wrong place."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Owen
"The plan would produce a huge industrial site the size of Faversham in an unspoilt area of natural beauty and would drive a wedge of development between marshland areas The site would be visible from high ground for many miles around and create serious light polution The plan would reduce the varied wildlife using the marshes The area is a flood plain The area is amongst the earliest land identified in 9th century charters and probably rich in archaeological remains, one example of which was the Graveney Boat c950AD The technology of the batteries is untested so creating a risk of low performance"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joy Weller
"The proposed site is located on the north Kent coast, roughly 1 mile northeast of Faversham, 3 miles west of Whitstable and situated closest to the village of Graveney. The proposed development is surrounded by habitats designated for their wildlife value at a National and International level. ‘The Swale’ has three levels of designation: Site of Special Scientific Interest, a national designation; Special Protection Area, a European designation; and Ramsar (a wetland of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention). The Swale Estuary is also a Marine Conservation Zone (a national designation), though at present it seems unlikely the solar farm will impact on this. I agree with all the representations and objections submitted by the Kent Green Party and the Kent Wildlife Trust. The scale of this development is completely inappropriate and would breach law designed to protect endangered species and habitat. I am in favour of renewable energy and renewable energy at scale. Solar energy is best suited for small scale community level development. This proposal does not meet the government's own criteria and should therefore not be approved. Joy Weller (West Sussex) "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Nicol
" I am in favour or renewable energy but not on this vast scale which is unprecedented. This land management and development will lead to wildlife networks being broken up, vital connections that allow wildlife to flourish being removed. Cleve Hill Solar farm will threaten protected wildlife habitats in surrounding marshland. With the proposed solar panels being 12' high and placed in various directions the area will resemble a vast industrial site. The existing road network will cause disruption to traffic flow as the highways are so narrow. It is difficult to prioritise and name the rare and indigenous wildlife that will be affected but Marsh Harriers, Lapwing, Brent Geese, Black-tailed Godwits and snipe plus all the rarer species of birds that pass through on migration will be just some of the endangered species."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lucy Alexandra McKelvie
"I am completely against this development for a number of reasons as follows:- 1. Effect on wildlife in the area. Abundant bird species including migrating species, Rare Newts, Seals in the creek. All will be affected. 2. Enjoyment of the area, the views from our house, walks with the dogs. All these reasons that we moved here will be taken away from us! 3. Effect on the value of our property which is not insignificant. Thank you"
Members of the Public/Businesses
M. Hatton
"Whilst I applaud the merits of green energy and fuel security, i.e. relying less on fuel imports, particularly from what could be described as less than reliable countries, I must object to the proposed Solar Farm at Graveney on the grounds of scale. It is too many eggs in one basket. Over the lifetime of the installation there is no guarantee that the site couldn't be completely flooded - it has happened in the past. Given an unfortunate combination of meteorological and astronomical conditions, coupled with an increase in seawater levels, a breach of the sea wall might occur. The site is basically below the mean high water mark. The environmental arguments against the installation have been made eloquently elsewhere. All I would say is how can roofing over such an attractive part of Kent which is equal in area to a provincial airport, be justified? I understand the cost implications, but small and more - in my opinion - is far better as it gives resilience to any major problems from reliance on one major installation. And I would argue that the money which would be spent on the proposed Graveney Marsh project would go a long way to funding solar panels on all appropriate buildings, particularly new construction. Therefore I object to the application. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mansel John
"As a Whitstable resident I visit this site frequently and am always amazed by the sheer beauty and tranquility of the area. The bird life is superb, especially the huge number of geese in the winter months which constantly move to and fro from the estuary to the fields where the solar farm is proposed. I feel that this solar farm will be far too big for this important site and wish to object to the proposal. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret Perkins
"This proposal is damagingly large and affecting wild life, and is not the right place for such a project. The site is a haven for migrating birds etc and with FaResham being surrounded by new housing there must be space for people and animals. This is NOT the right place"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Marleen Verstraten
"My objection is this : An enormous area of agricultural land, the Graveney Marshes will be made into an industrial zone -- this does not fit with the rest of this area of Kent and will deter visitors from coming there. I understand many houses will be build in the surrounding areas --- where will those residents go for leisure space if you take this land and walking trails away? Please find a more suitable area that does not impact on the leisure opportunities, heritage and flora/fauna of this marshland - you should value it and look after it for everyone to enjoy. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Mevrouw Theunis -Weytens
"I object to this proposal because this area is very important for tourism --- it is well known in Belgium and the Netherlands and destroying it by putting up this enormous industrial solar site will detract from the appeal of this area -- it is an important walking area and no-one wants to walk in an industrial site! "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Nele Driesen
"I object to this proposal because the large size of it means that a valued landscape will be ruined for life --- you will never be able to get this back. There are sites that are far more suitable and do not impact on the enjoyment of the people who live, work, walk and twitch on the Marshes. This is not for the "greater good" -- the proposal is about making money for investors who do not care about renewables --- otherwise they would not put their money into a scheme that completely destroys a beautiful area of nature."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nick Davies
"Whilst I agree with the establishment of solar farms, I think the scale of this proposal is ridiculously large. It is a good location, but several, smaller farms located in similar salt marsh areas in Kent/Essex would be more appropriate, I would also comment that if enacted, even on a smaller scale, overhead lines should be banned until the output is connected to the existing grid network."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Noel Perkins
"This application is for a plan that is too big, and will have far too big an impact on the locality"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Jenkins
"As a local resident and regular visitor to the area concerned, I am aware of the importance of this beautiful landscape and its value to both the local population and to the wildlife of the area. It seems ironic that while the RSPB are working with Canterbury City Council are working to create a nature reserve on one side of the Graveney to Seasalter road this dreadful proposal threatens the environment on the other. I know that there is a place for solar power but it should not be at the expense of such a valuable area of countryside."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert (Robin) John Grimble
"- The Cleve-Hill Solar Park is huge and would change the nature and character of Faversham, a small historic market town, and its environs. - The project area is larger than the the existing town and would substantially reduce the size of the area's flood plain which is important for wildlife and ecological sustainability and is on the edge of a wetland of international importance. Among the losers would be the thousands of migratory birds that pass through the marshes at times during the year (where would they go?) - I applaud the search for sustainable power generation opportunities but these should be small-scale, attractive, quiet and not industrial in nature. As it happens I have put solar panels on the roof of my own house in Faversham but this is small in scale and in the opinion of observers has added to not detracted from the appearance of the bungalow and its neighbourhood. - my favoured walks and excursions in the town's neighbouhood would be harmed if not ruined by this development and equally so for the many visitors who come to the area to see (and hear) the variety of birds and enjoy the peace, tranquiity, and beauty of the marshes and coastal landscape. - to put my comments another way, the trade-offs from this development are huge and both economic and ecological in character; to me it seems likely that the project, especially if substantially reduced in size, would be better suited to other areas such as a less ecologically-critical brownfield site. As an environmental economist I suspect that an analysis of the full costs and benefits of the scheme (including it's wider environmental impact) would show a hugely negative cost/benefit ratio."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Scarlett McKelvie
"I am completely against this development for a number of reasons as follows:- 1. Effect on wildlife in the area. Abundant bird species including migrating species, Rare Newts, Seals in the creek. All will be affected. 2. Enjoyment of the area, the views from our house, walks with the dogs. All these reasons that we moved here will be taken away from us! 3. Effect on the value of our property which is not insignificant. Thank you"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Simon James Oliver
"I am completely against this development for a number of reasons as follows:- 1. Effect on wildlife in the area. Abundant bird species including migrating species, Rare Newts, Seals in the creek. All will be affected. 2. Enjoyment of the area, the views from our house, walks with the dogs. All these reasons that we moved here will be taken away from us! 3. Effect on the value of our property which is not insignificant. Thank you"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Suzanne Philipps
"I agree with all the representations and objections submitted by the Kent Green Party and the Kent Wildlife Trust. The scale of this development is completely inappropriate and would breach law designed to protect endangered species and habitat. I am in favour of renewable energy and renewable energy at scale. Solar energy is best suited for small scale community level development. This proposal does not meet the government's own criteria and should therefore not be approved."
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Mills Family
"As a family resident in Faversham, we object to this application. We enjoy walking across the marshes and love to spot the diverse birds that flock to the area over the course of a year. The proposed site is surrounded by habitats designated for their wildlife value at a national and international level (it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest; a Special Protection Area, a European designation; and Ramsar (a wetland of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention)). Indeed, Hive Energy (one of the developers) states on its own website: 'In order to proceed with a site we would usually ask that the land is not in or next to a designated protected area such as [...] a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI).' Natural England has published an 'Evidence review of the impact of solar farms on birds, bats and general ecology 2016 (NEER012)' which states: 'When considering site selection for utility scale solar developments it is generally agreed that protected areas should be avoided. This is reflected in the scientific literature where modelling approaches include many factors such as economic considerations and visual impact but also often avoid protected areas such as Special Protection Areas.' In addition, Natural England’s technical note TIN101 states, 'The location of solar parks should avoid sites of high wildlife value, in particular, designated sites such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) [...]. Any development proposed on land within or adjacent to designated sites is likely to have an adverse effect on the environmental features for which they were designated, in particular during the construction phase.' There is an astonishing policy vacuum in the area of solar utility planning (the National Policy Statement for Renewable Energy Infrastructure (EN-3)(2015) does not mention solar at all). We contend that government's exclusion of solar from clean power auctions has driven this enormous project in a bid to get the economics to work: the unparalleled scale of Cleve Hill must be attributable to the need to repay investors in the project. Commercial viability has trumped environmental considerations here. In conclusion, we submit that this beautiful and diverse site, which renewable energy such as solar sets out to protect, would be irrevocably damaged if this application goes ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Annabel Richards
"The area is too large and will impact on the area and economy. There will be dramatic changes to the wildlife in an area of outstanding beauty. There are alternatives brownfield sites. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carol Baker
"As a resident of Pean Hill I am a frequent user of the Graveney Marsh area. It is one of the few unspoilt marsh lands available for walking and cycling. The natural nature of the marshes and winding rivers gives an important and beautiful and natural environment for bird animals and people! The garden of England is rapidly disappearing under housing and plastic farming. It is crucial that preserve some of our beautiful outdoor spaces for the futur of this area. The option must be to cover all current and new building roofs before we turn to the open land!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carol Donaldson
"I wish to protest against the creation of a solar park of this scale on Graveney Marshes as this will seriously damage the amenity value of this landscape to local people and will fragment bird populations in a protected landscape. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carole Mandeville
"Please think again about this development. Unless you lived here you wouldn’t appreciate the significance of this landscape to local people. It is part of the meaning and wonder of being able to live in such close proximity to a wild and beautiful area. It has a far greater significance than just being grassland and fields. It is a home to birds and plants, animals and wildlife. The solar farm plans feel like a despoilation of all of this. And its not as if its effect is confined to the area itself - this is an area that can be seen from many places near and far and it is vast. Perhaps you haven’t realised how much this land is loved, that it is an ancient landscape. Please leave it for us who live here. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Holt
"Walk along this coastline, see it’s natural, unique beauty, and you will realise immediately that these plans are preposterous. This view, this land, has remained almost untouched through many centuries. If we won’t preserve this, what will we preserve? Much of what gives it, and indeed the surrounding villages, its beauty is the ethereal space that it creates between them. It’s a difficult notion in regards to planning terms, but it is a notion worth upholding at all costs. And when the proposal is this vast it affects the lives of whole communities because it fills in the necessary space between them. Take away the wilderness and you take away what makes this part of the world beautiful. And when you visit the site, stand on the sea wall and turn around. From there, you will sea a wind farm which already creates renewable energy. We have already made our contribution to the cause. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Nigel Medhurst
"Graveney Marshes are unique. Easily accessible from the local nearby towns of Faversham and Whitstable they are an oasis for nature lovers, walkers and anyone looking to take time out and reflect. The use of solar energy is key to a sustainable future, and an individual would have to be very selfish indeed to object to plans to not increase its use as an alternative to current fossil fuel or nuclear fuel production on the grounds of “not in my back yard”. The size and scale of the proposed Cleve Hill development is what is causing concern locally, though. As local residents we are told that the plant will not be viable on economic grounds if the site is not of an ‘optimum’ size, and that other avenues and options have been explored. But have they, really ? What about alternative brownfield sites that are not so environmentally sensitive ? The RSPB (of which I’ve been a member for 50 years ) have spent years - with Canterbury City Council input - acquiring the former plotlands that now make up RSPB Seasalter Marshes. These lie adjacent to the land where the proposed solar farm would be built. If Michael Gove, as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is keen to champion his environmental credentials post Brexit this is the time for some joined up thinking between government departments. As someone who has lived in Kent all of his life and seen protection for ‘protected sites’ being ridden roughshod over I would urge Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to reconsider granting a licence for this development: once done this can’t be unagreed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr T. J. Ingram
"My objections hinge on the International environmental and ecological importance of the North Kent Marshes and coastline as summarised in Natural England Reports NEC082 and NEC052, and with reference to [redacted]introduction to 'Saltmarsh': "Current best estimates presented by the government's advisors on the Natural Capital Committee (2015) are that this resource is declining in extent at about 100ha a year, that loss mostly accounted for by the rise in sea level outpacing saltmarsh development. As such, saltmarshes represent one of Britain's rarest and most threatened major habitat types, far scarcer than lowland peatlands, dwarf shrub heaths or sand dunes." [REDACTED] (with reference to the North Kent Marshes and proposals to cover nearly 1000 acres adjacent to and including these with Solar Panels and resulting potential highly damaging ecological disturbance. The EXTENT of suitable habitat is what is required to support endangered and rare species of wildlife and plants, along with appropriate management)."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frederick Robert Gomes
"As a local resident, I am particularly concerned about the amount of heavy goods traffic that will be generated during the construction phase on roads that are very narrow and essentially rural lanes passing through Graveney village. I am also concerned about the schemes impact on wildlife, especially birds such as Brent Geese, Marsh Harrier, Lapwing and Golden Plover that use the site and are functionally linked to the SPA.There are also species such as Yellow Wagtail and Skylark, as well as other species of open habitats,that will be largely excluded if the solar park is constructed. I am also concerned that the proposed mitigation area is not sufficiently large to cater for the conflicting requirements of the different bird species e.g. Brent Geese for winter forage and nesting sites for dry grassland species such as Skylark that require longer swards. Because of the east west design of the panels and the extensive coverage there is uncertainty as to how much wildlife will be able to survive in the adjacent ditches running north to south through the proposed solar park. There will be extensive shading beneath the panels and run off into what are currently biodiverse habitats both within the ditches and along the ditch margins. I also note that the site of the proposed solar park has been identified by the Environment Agency as the principal area in the Swale suitable for managed retreat to create an inter-tidal area for wildlife and saltmarsh creation and to alleviate future flooding risk to the town of Faversham. This use will be precluded by the construction of the solar park and in my opinion managed retreat would be a much better use of the site. In the future such land usage would provide a habitat for wildlife and has the potential for recreational use by the ever increasing population in the Faversham area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gary Brace
"The proposed development at Cleve Hill will have a massive negative impact on the Graveney marshes and surrounding areas. The marsh is home to a variety of rare bird life This type of habitat is in short supply and irreplaceable. The scale of the development is such that the potential impact far outweighs any environmental benefit from renewable energy. It appears this development is far more about maximising profits rather then benefiting the environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Harold Goodwin
"I understand the importance of solar in decarbonising our energy and reducing climate change. But this is dirty solar. Its scale is such that it will industrialise a large area of agricultural land, beneath the continuous roof of panels there will be a desert. The batteries are untested at this scale and they present a severe risk of fire or explosion is they are flooded or bund inundated. The electrical site will be larger than the Faversham recreation ground and the panels as high a double-decker bus. Does the Planning Inspectorate have the necessary technical expertise to determine this application? The developer is making extensive use of the Rochdale envelope and providing no detail at all about the batteries which are to be used. Surely the application is too vague to be considered? It seems to me that this installation is less about the solar than about the potential of the batteries to provide an import-export facility. Is the real function Cleve Hill to import power from the grid when it is cheap and export it back when it is expensive? If this is the case then the panels are largely decorative and unnecessary. There is a deep irony in the fact that as thousands of new homes are built around Faversham with scant attention to sustainability – thermal efficiency, solar, wind or ground sourced heat – we are having an industrial plant on agricultural land placed on the edge of town destroying an important amenity asset. It is also ironic that the success of RSPB and others in fighting off the London Array has left surplus capacity now being exploited for import and export from the grid – much of the power stored in the batteries will be dirty carbon-intensive power. This proposal is on an unprecedented scale, the enlargement of the site to include a SSSI is little more than showmanship – no new SSSI is being created. The species impact will still be largely negative. I expect that once the site is built there will continue to be noise and traffic issues as the batteries will need maintenance and replacement. Cumulatively the negative impacts will far outweigh the marginal contrition to UK power supply – it would make more sense for distributed generation to be built into the new houses being built around Faversham as I write this. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helen Figgis
"I believe that the solar park is too big for the site and will be harmful to the environment. It will also be unsightly in an area which is of outstanding natural beauty."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helen Higgs
"The scheme will have a terrible impact on the unique environment- flora and fauna- local people, and roads. It simply much too large,destructive and invasive. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jan Pritchard
"Although I aree with Solar Power in principle, I wish to object to such a vast project in this particular situation. People walk along the Saxon Shore Way to enjoy the views across countryside and the estuary, and it is an area of rural calm and spiritual refreshment. To cover it ith Industrial panels would totally negate this benefit. It is also an important area for wildlife, particularly birds: golden plovers, Brent geese, curlews and other waders at high tide in winter, and for breeding birds in summer, including many pairs of Skylarks, Yellow Wagtails, Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Reed Buntings, Kingfishers and Marsh Harriers, to name a few."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Anne Turner
"I am a member of the Parochial Church Council of All Saints Church, Graveney, and have already submitted an objection during the consultation process. I believe the following: 1. The term Solar Park is erroneous. What is proposed is in fact a huge Industrial Zone, equal in size to its two neighbouring towns. In appearance it will be that of a factory which, as an adjunct, has 40 hectares of stark batteries. 2. The proposal is of a scale unprecedented in Europe and there cannot possibly be sufficient mitigation of the inevitable damage to wildlife, the ecology and the visual and environmental impact on the landscape. 3. The technology of the batteries is new and, while solar power is deemed green, the contents of solar panels and the batteries contain heavy metals which are damaging to the areas from which they are mined and damaging to the future of the environment in which they are placed. The life-span and reliability of the batteries must be uncertain. 4. The site runs alongside the Coastal Path which attracts walkers and bird watchers, the attraction of the area being the sea to one side and the marshes to the other which are the historic grounds of important, rare species, and offer an open aspect on a walk between two attractive towns. 5. Whitstable, impoverished only a few years ago, is now probably the most economically successful town in the South East, now attracting significant tourism and investment. Its regeneration goes hand in hand with that of Faversham, the more architecturally significant, traditional Market Town, which is beginning to benefit from the Whitstable effect. Town centre economies are fragile and need, in this area, to be bolstered by tourism. Placing a very large industrial zone between these two towns will be deleterious to their economies. 6. During the two and a half years of construction there will be eighty large lorries a day using a narrow rural lane with a bridge on a steep bend. Already significant numbers of agricultural vehicles use the road, which, in addition is a well used National Cycle Route. 7. The dangerous bend at the bridge is close to the village school and children from the school have to cross the road to get to their playing field. 8. The position of the site requires that benefit can only be achieved if the panels are set at a significant height, giving the appearance of an extensive roofed factory. This will blight the coastal path, the overview of the marshes, and the lives of residents for whom there will be no economic benefit or jobs created. Instead they will suffer environmental damage and associated economic loss. 9. Land, once used in this way, becomes industrial land and, with the many other acres of agricultural land which are disappearing in this area, the coastal charm and the Garden of Kent will disappear. 10. I urge the Inspectorate, in spite of the pressure upon it to allow plans deemed of National Importance to go forward, to refuse this application. Solar power, whatever its advances, still represents a low level of generation by comparison with other methods and while it may be less costly in some ways, it is very expensive in terms of land taken out of use."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Jean Marie Sourbron
"My wife and I have spent a lovely holiday in Whitstable and Graveney and enjoyed the gastronomy, beach and walking opportunities. [redacted] Objection: Putting a mega solar farm in this area will spoil nature, its landscape, heritage and the walking opportunities and ruin it for visitors to the area. I have seen the website and agree -- this is the wrong place and it is too big -- it will dominate and destroy the whole area for everyone's enjoyment. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joe Roman
"I object to the development of Cleve Hill Solar Park on the following grounds: - the impact on local wildlife will be catastrophic with habits destroyed - lack of consideration of alternative, more suitable locations, for example, brownfield sites - loss of an area of outstanding natural beauty - socio economic impact from the reduction in tourism due to the loss of the area as an attraction "
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Cocking
"The main points I would wish to make are as follows: 1. The deleterious effects of the development on a unique historical landscape. 2. Conservation strategies for long -term protection of the site's natural environment. 3. The capacity and resource of the companies involved to provide responsible management given the size and scale of the project envisaged. 4. Evidence to support claims of substantial cost benefits to local communities 5. Clarification of the 'end of project'; legal and financial responsibilities for de-commissioning. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Tilbrooko
"Nag den and Cleveland Marshes is a large area within an area of great significance for wildlife, especially for birds. It acts as a zone of connectivity between the surrounding nature reserves.Nature especially birds cannot exist and thrive in isolated pockets of land.This power station will obliterate this important area as well as being a permanent eyesore in a beautiful area "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Clarke-Smith
"Solar Panels on the marshes. l do not understand the logic in all this, covering the marshes with large panels which should be on every house built and every industrial building, leaving the country for a large amount of people who enjoy walking.The beauty of Faversham is to walk along the creek on the marshes all the way to Whitstable with no mans interference in nature.The cattle and sheep who graze on the marshes, the migrating birds, the geese who graze in their hundreds.It is very important to keep large areas wild and free for the sanity of the people,one would not think of the Lake District or the Yorkshire Moors covered with solar panels. Kent has not many wild places as it is mainly agricultural, so it is important to protect it. I am sure encouraging more people to have solar panels on their roofs and making it compulsory for industrial buildings and any new development would be the answer,I think this solar project is just an easy way out for Council Government and the solar people. Linda Clarke- Smith Sent from my iPad"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lorna Kahan
"I am a member of the RSPB and the Kent Wildlife Trust and although I believe renewal energy is important my main concern about the above proposal is the effect this will have on the environment and wildlife and ecology of Graveney Marshes. I understand that this area was going to be returned to nature via managed re-alignment. It is an area very important to local birds and those over wintering such as the Brent goose. Many of their feeding sites have gone so having Graveney marshes as a place where they can stay is good. I am also concerned about the size of the proposed site and how it will as big as town as this will not be a small solar farm. All the views of the local community should be taken into account. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Maarten Bloemen
"My partner and I are regular visitors to London and East Kent. We enjoy shopping and walking. [redacted] objection: The Saxon Shore Way should be preserved in all its glory and not ruined by solar panels that are as large as double deckers -- do not take this away as it is a tourism and leisure opportunity for the greater good. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Oliver Burke
"I wish to oppose the proposed project for the following reasons: 1. The scale of the proposal is in relation to the Faversham and its its surrounding landscape is unacceptably large and entirely unprecedented in this country. The scale is such that the project would be greater in size than Faversham itself. 2. The impact of the proposal on the local environment and amenity would be severely detrimental to the area and would outweigh the anticipated benefits of the scheme. 3. The scheme while purporting to be environmentally friendly incorporates a significant element of energy storage which has the effect of industrialising an area of agricultural and marsh land which is a very special landscape and home to wildlife including threatened species. 4. The visual impact alone would destroy the immediate areas attraction for leisure and walking which is appreciated by many locals and visitors alike. It would be immediately adjacent to the Saxon Shore Way an important national footpath. 5. I believe the proposals have not fully represented the impact on the local environment and the uncertainties arising from the technology proposed to be used and are therefore misleading and unreliable."
Other Statutory Consultees
Public Health England
"Thank you for your consultation regarding the above development. Public Health England (PHE) welcomes the opportunity to comment on your proposals at this stage of the project and can confirm that:- We have chosen to register an interest with the Planning Inspectorate on this occasion. We would like to point out that a question regarding the EMF health impact assessment i.e. characteristics of the proposed cable, that was raised by us at the Section 42 stage has not been addressed by the applicant. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard W Francis
"I have serious concerns over the quality of the Flood Risk Assessment and the Flood Modelling Document which inform Chapter 10 of the PEIR, inter alia the use of the term 'depth' to describe flooding when a professional assessor of flood risk would expect to see the flood modelling described in relation to Ordnance Datum. I also have been unable to establish with any clarity the underlying engineering and meteorological assumptions which have informed the flood risk modelling. I am also concerned about the proposed conflict with the Environment Agency's Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy and the managed retreat proposed for this section of the Graveney Marshes. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Pozzetti
"The detrimental effect of the proposal must be considered: covering an area the size of Faversham with solar panels that are as high as a double decker bus and as densely packed as a roof is unprecedented, especially on such a sensitve site. The impact of the flora and fauna of the area will be devastating. The impact will not be mitigated with the proposal that the panels will be raised off the ground. The marshes have served as a flood plain for Faversham for hundreds of years. Lithium batteries are not environmentally friendly and no one knows what the long term effects of using them in any environment could be LET ALONE one as pristine as Graveny Marshes. The mining of lithium has ruined eco-systems. In addition , the unique atmosphere of the marshes would be ruined forever."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Simon Tyler
"I am concerned about the environmental impact of an industrial project on a an are of natural beauty and importance. I worry about the long term impact which will turn the area into an industrial wasteland I've not seen adequate evidence of alternative site consideration. For example further along the Thanet Way towards Dover, there are significant vacant industrial sites, around Manston. The size and scope of the "panels" and the development are worrying. The negative and lasting effect on ecology and wildlife as not been considered well enough. Birds – both local and over-wintering will be negatively affected. Neither has the impact upon the soil and the potential for changing the flood potential of the land been significantly considered to assuage any concerns. Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery is a huge concern. Access and traffic, especially during the build will create considerable long term economic damage to the community. Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding the right place? Air quality, both during the build and the operation the negative impact of Glint and glare, the impact upon human health. And I'm concerned about the mess, the waste products both during construction and during operation "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stuart Willmot
"I am concerned about the loss of habitat and farmland resulting from the proposal, which in my view outweighs any benefits from power generation capacity which could be better provided by utilising the roof area of large buildings, even if this required reinforcement of the roof structures. I have particular concerns about the proposed battery array, partly due to the environmental cost of battery production compared with the much more efficient and versatile pumped storage power generation on the national grid in north wales and Scotland, but more so with safety considerations. The proposal is to utilise battery technology notorious for fire and explosion hazards, on an unprecedented scale. Catastrophic release of the volatile stored energy would be roughly equivalent to the detonation of 300,000kg of TNT. I am of the opinion that this scheme should be called in by the HSE Hazardous Installations Directorate for full examination of the measures to mitigate risks and submission of a safety case in much the same way as would be required for a nuclear power station. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sue Walton
"I am deeply concerned about the environmental impact that the scale of this proposed plan will have. Graveney Marshes are so important for over wintering birds as well as the species that reside here. We have Marsh Harriers that can be seen daily as well as numerous other birds. This land is abundant with wildlife, mammals, insects, reptiles etc that support a very strong eco system that has developed for many years. I do support the use of solar power but not by the terms proposed for this site. I think that there will be great detriment to the environment and irreparable damage to an area of outstanding natural beauty."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janice Ely on behalf of The Ely Family
"We have serious concerns about this proposal for the following reasons: 1. Unacceptable scale 2.Unsuitable location - it is important to preserve a much loved local landscape. 3.Visual impact from Saxon Shore Way 4. Visual impact on wider landscape. 5. Long term impact on Faversham's economy. 6. Impact on wildlife 7.Flooding issues - marshes are protective floodplain for Faversham. 8. Battery technology 9.Alternative locations - all new houses should have solar panels; brownfield sites already attached to National Grid at decommissioned power stations of Kingsnorth or Isle of Grain could be used for solar power. We wish to make it clear that we support renewable energy but the renewable energy benefits of the proposed scheme don't outweigh the damage that it will cause to the North Kent Marshes and the local communities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Faversham Society
"Our strong objection to this application is based on these areas of serious concern: Batteries • The safety of batteries has not been adequately addressed. • This is one of the largest Li-Ion battery installations in the world, with no track record of this scale of installation in the UK. • This remains an emerging technology. It is well-established that such batteries can catch fire or explode, especially when exposed to water. • This raises crucial questions: 1. Which body will be responsible for assessing the battery proposal? 2. Will Kent Fire and Rescue have access to the site and battery units; and do they have the appropriate expertise? 3. Is there secondary flood protection, and how is this compatible with emergency access? 4. Given batteries are the shortest-life components with individual variability, what are the replacement arrangements for these units, including traffic management and hazardous waste removal? Access and Traffic • Construction plant, equipment and materials will be delivered to the site via three access routes. All are routed via junction 7 on the M2, which is already overloaded and has a poor accident record. Any blockage or closure will result in lorries using unsuitable rural roads. • Despite the application’s claims of negligible risk, heavy vehicles engaged on construction projects have a poor safety record particularly as regards collisions with cyclists. The freight access route coincides with the Sustrans National Route 1, frequently used by cyclists. No risk mitigation measures have been proposed. • Graveney Primary School is on the access route for site traffic. Children must cross that road to access the playing field. Increased industrial traffic will pose an increased safety risk to these children. Also, increased industrial traffic may disrupt access to the school for staff and parents. • The raised levels of goods traffic will erode the quality of the environment and the quality of life for local people. The associated loss of amenity is unacceptable, whether or not there is residual damage. • We have serious concerns about noise, vibration and air quality. Landscape and Visual Impact • The proposal would have a destructive impact on this landscape. • Graveney Marshes is part of Kent level Area of High Landscape Value and this has recently been endorsed as such for the new Local Plan. • Graveney arable lands have been designated moderate condition/sensitivity and Graveney grazing lands as good condition/high sensitivity. • Views from England Coast Path/Saxon Shore Way will suffer major impact – as will views from footpath ZR478. It is also harmful to distant views, including Wraik Hill. Socio-economic effects and tourism • It is insufficient to limit the tourism impact assessment to Kent or district level. It must be assessed at Faversham area or Whitstable area level. • People visit Faversham and Whitstable as historic towns with unusual shops and restaurants, and for their proximity to outstanding countryside and wildlife. The power station would destroy this appeal due to its industrial appearance and scale, and immediate impact on wildlife. • The power station would impact part of a long-distance footpath and a national cycle route. This will deter people from using these for tourism and for amenity. The latter is significant as the population of Faversham is set to increase significantly with proposed housing developments. There will be more need than ever for open space and places to walk and cycle. Swale Local Landscape Designations 2018 Swale Landscape Character and Biodiversity appraisal 2011 "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tim Hodge
"Although I now live in Norfolk I lived in east Kent for over 30 years until 2013. I spent many days over those 30 years wandering around the marshes between Seasalter and Faversham, a fantastic area, with a wealth of wildlife and the opportunity to get way from the stresses of a busy life. I won't go into the numerous reasons why this proposal appalls me. To build an installation of this size on an area of such natural importance seems like criminal folly. No doubt the firms with unlimited budgets will explain why they consider it a great idea, although the main one is to enrich their shareholders. To help deal with climate change is essential, but there are other ways which would be less damaging to the rural environment. You just can't deal with one environmental issue by vandalising other parts of the environment. Tim Hodge "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Tinny Verbeek
"Objection: I am a keen cyclist and the long construction of this development would impact on the safety of cyclists because of the narrow roads in the village of Graveney and the amount of heavy traffic. This area of Kent has some great cycling and I would not want to go there again if this proposal was to be agreed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Wendy Montague
"Although I am supportive of renewable energy this proposal is totally unacceptable as it is huge and will industrialise an area renowned for wildlife,history,agriculture etc.It will have a devastating effect on this area of marshland used by wildlife, winter feeding for birds and rare species ie Natterjack toads.This area is popular for tourists to walk the saxon way, enjoy the skyscapes and peace of the flatlands.It also borders the Swale Special Protect area.With the planned building program ahead Faversha/Seasalter/Graveney need to retain their unique characters.I therefore strongly oppose this plan. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Abigail Gawith
"There are a lot of reasons to object to this proposal, but my own primary concerns, stemming from my personal experience of the area, relate to the impact on wildlife and the loss of public amenity. The proposed scheme is inappropriate in both scale and type for the area in question, changing an open rural landscape into an industrial one. At present, the area as a whole is a tranquil and scenic place, rich with wildlife and frequented by walkers and birdwatchers. The proposal will cover the fields with tall east-west-oriented panels, forming lengthy rooflike structures; there will additionally be security fences preventing public access to the panels. This will present an unattractive view for walkers on the adjacent Saxon Shore Way long-distance footpath (and those walking on the nearby Ham and Oare Marshes, from which it will be visible), substantially reduce walkers' enjoyment of the footpaths that cross the site, and render the land inhospitable to the wildlife currently using it for sustenance or nesting. Such wildlife includes red-listed birds (e.g. skylarks and yellow wagtails) and schedule 1 birds (e.g. marsh harriers and peregrine falcons). The wider area is a particularly important and sensitive one for birds - the north Kent marshes are an internationally important site for migrating waders, ducks and geese - and the target location is within the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area, and next to the Swale Ramsar site; this makes it an inappropriate site for a development of this scale. I am particularly concerned that the proposed development will affect the birds and insects on the South Swale nature reserve (managed by Kent Wildlife Trust, and at least partly within the boundaries of the site), which will become land on the fringes of a substantial industrial development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Alda Boonen
"I am against this proposal because of the damage it will do to the landscape --- in fact the whole of the landscape will be wiped out to be replaced with very high plastic solar panels that do not fit in with the environment ---there are better places to put this monstrosity where there is no real impact on the landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anthony Smith
"This application is overwhelming in its scale and would displace a large area of natural landscape with resources that cannot be replaced or, in the event of the failure of the project will never be returned to its original state. I understand that the general concensus with regard to future energy supplies is to create smaller centres of energy creation attached to local communities. This flies in the face of that philosophy. By comparison, this proposal puts all eggs in one basket and raises, among other things, the question of security."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Arnie Van Orsouw
"I am pleased to say I am totally against the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Farm. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Astris Bos
"I think this proposal should be rejected because of the damage it does to the landscape, Saxon Shore Way, nature and the general environment which will be blighted for miles to see. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Kiker Martin
"I am against the proposal because of the negative impact that the Solar Park will have on the environment and wild life. The Solar Park will spoil the views and walks along this part of the coast line. Why can't this rather large Solar Park be relocated to an appropriate Brown Field site rather than spoil this area of interest?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Canterbury District Green Party
"Canterbury District Green Party has no objection in principle to generation of renewable energy from solar panels. However, the following is our response to the latest CHSP Planning submission. 1. The solar farm will still see the creation of an “extensive, fabricated, artificial, rigid mono-landscape of mainly plastic” to replace what is a comparatively rare example of reclaimed coastal marsh land. 2. The panels still create a major visual impact to walkers in the area, and alternatives to walking here without suffering major negative visual intrusions from the panels will be impossible to secure. They will also be highly visible from several sites, e.g. from Cleve Hill and from Sheppey. 3. Space allocated to mitigation is entirely inefficient. Every hectare that switches from a semi-natural to a man-made environment effectively squeezes out a proportion of the natural or semi-natural ecosystems, thereby concentrating biodiversity into potentially vulnerable and unpredictable assemblages. Here there will thus be 350 hectares less land that can be efficiently used by most of the landscape’s natural inhabitants, even if only for the purposes of effective dispersal. 4. The primary interest of the developers is to make money. They are likely to have only statutory interests in achieving social or environmental efficiency or sustainability. Much greater environmental gains would likely be achieved by alternative energy creation, for instance, requiring all new developments to have solar PV on rooves or by using tidal energy generation from the neighbouring Swale estuary. The use of these alternative energy generating sources may mean less need to obtain compulsory land purchase rights. 5. We believe that this development remains totally out of scale with the local Kentish small scale patchwork landscape and environment. 6. Each successive Conference of the Parties (COP) climate change report indicates that global warming is causing increasingly accelerating sea level rise plus more violent storm conditions. There is no guarantee that the coastal defences can be adequately maintained, and if breached then flood waters could cause significant damage to the proposed operations. Should the CHSPL flood defence resources fail, the Environment Agency will not help to defend a long unreinforced shoreline such as exists here. 7. It is evident that the land under consideration already provides permanent and temporary habitat for a wide variety of bird, reptile, insect and assorted other grass and marshland species. Much of this biodiversity will be utilising or interacting with the adjacent areas most of which comprise of the Swale Special Protection Area [SPA], SSSI’s, Local Nature reserves and a Ramsar site. 8. Since solar panels take up space and capture sunlight, clearly there will be a loss of food production, and the short-term options for future food production under the panels will be extremely limited. 9. As this solar farm is presently envisaged few jobs will be created per unit of expenditure, i.e. socially and economically it would be better to widely distribute the investment among many small-scale beneficiaries rather than have nearly all the profits going to a single corporative operation who are feeding electricity into the system at a single point. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Chris Vaes
"I agree with renewable energy but not at the cost of destroying a mega area of agricultural land in a rural community. Put it in a more suitable place such as an industrial area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher McGowan
"Apart from the potential traffic chaos during construction, cumulative noise levels from inverters, battery storage, ecological impact, etc) I am particularly concerned about the impact on the bird life/wildlife. I question the Flight Assessment Surveys using the Vantage Point Method. CHSP say "the survey used two vantage points providing excellent visual coverage of the majority of the solar park site" The two vantage points used do not provide excellent visual coverage and therefore do not represent accurately the movements of the Schedule One protected Marsh Harrier for example. The construction of this solar farm could result in irreversible damage to the surrounding protected areas. No evidence exists which will enable an appropriate assessment to be adequately undertaken and no amount of attempts at mitigation are convincing. The panels will cause glint and glare creating a ‘lake effect’ of enormous magnitude which is highly likely to cause confusion to water dwelling birds and increase the likelihood of collisions. Regarding wintering Brent Geese, CHSP say "The Habitat Management/Mitigation Area may not be able to replace entirely the loss of foraging provision for Brent Geese, therefore this would be a long term negative effect.' Regarding the Marsh Harrier CHSP says "Disturbance during construction is likely to cause displacement of foraging Marsh Harrier from areas near the construction works" CHSP consistently use words like may be, could or likely. Nothing definite, just vague with no guarantee of mitigation. In reference to Cetti's Warbler and Bearded tit, CHSP uses the same language : "construction works likely to cause localised disturbance resulting in temporary displacement....." I am also very concerned that CHSP’s preferred traffic access route to the proposed development site uses narrow rural roads in Head Hill Road and Seasalter Road. This is a particular concern during the construction phase of the development which will last up to two years. The preferred route will pass through the centre of both Graveney and Goodnestone. A local bus service between Faversham and Whitstable covers the same route. Over much of their length, these routes do not have footways. This is not a suitable route for heavy lorry traffic, given the residual problems of noise, vibration, delay and intimidation caused by heavy lorries. Another issue is the cumulative noise of all the inverters/transformers/battery storage which will put an end to the tranquillity and peace that exists here at the moment - this equipment will be running 24/7. The local community attaches great value to its distinctive local environment and the impact from a large solar power development, of unparalleled size in the UK, will wholly transform the character and appearance of a large area of much-valued local countryside. The choice of this site seems largely driven by the current presence of spare connection capacity to the National Grid provided by the London Array sub-station at Cleve Hill. These facilities already detract from the intrinsic character and beauty of the Swale marshes and should not be used as a justification for further intrusive development. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
D Crabb
"I am concerned about the excessive size of this scheme and it's impact on wildlife and the visual landscape of this part of Kent. While I recognise the value of generating solar energy I feel there are less environmentally damaging ways of achieving the same results. I further am concerned that the flood defences for this part of the coast will be in the hands of private contractors rather than part of the Environment Agency's responsibility and about any impact this might have on Faversham."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Damon Paul Smith
"I strongly against the Solar Park proposed. Whilst I am all for greener energy the scale & location of this site are completely unacceptable. This is a haven for birdlife which would be blighted forever."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Deborah Greenhalgh
"The proposal would destroy one of the last refuges of wildlife and original landscape in coastal Kent. The scale, even if reduced, would be immensely invasive and simply represents the creep of investment by other means. It is quite clear there is also huge risk of flooding of this coastal area, implied by the structural fixtures that are proposed in raising the panels above the landscape, let alone the extreme blight that this would visually represent. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Dominiek Thora
"My objection is that the area for birdlife is severely affected --- basically their habitat is decimated and there are no real additional areas for them. That is unacceptable. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr. Deborah Rees
"I am objecting to the proposed solar power station at Cleve Hill on the following grounds: 1. Negative amenity impact: This area of the country is very densely populated, and Faversham is currently growing as a result of new housing developments. To take away a significant area of local countryside, and to degrade the view from surrounding footpaths will have a negative impact on quality of life for a great many people. 2. Effect on local traffic flow: In an area where traffic is already heavy, and will increase with new housing estates, the construction and servicing of such a large facility will have a significant negative impact on traffic (a further negative impact on quality of life for a great many people). 3. Negative impact on wildlife: The marshes are an important habitat that will be essentially destroyed by this development. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Edwin Doeg
"I object to the planned solar park on the basis that it will damage the natural environment of what is a rural area. The scale of the solar park will alter the nature of the site forever, turning it into an industrial site. This will also irreversibly damage the environment of the ancient twin of Faversham and the amenity value of open countryside in the Sout East of England which is already overcrowded. Should the park/plant ever be decommissioned, it wIll not be possible to restore the land to its current state. During the construction phase the increase in traffic will be detrimental to the quality of life in the surrounding communities andon crease air pollution from the additional traffic and works. Furthermore there will be ongoing traffic for maintenance works into the distant future. This is a poor example of green energy generated at a substantial cost to the quality of life to the inhabitants and fauna of this part of Kent."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elizabeth Watkin
"1.The level of traffic this will introduce to our local rural lane will prove dangerous, both at the initial building stage and later during the maintainance of the site. 2. The impact on the landscape of this site, the equivalent size to our nearest town, will be overwhelming. This is a major recreational site for both local residents and visitors throughout the year, offering amazing walks and seascapes, and an opportunity to be at one with a natural environment. 3. The loss of habitat for all aspects of the site, in and around ditches, areas of rough grassland etc is of major concern, especially as the panels are to be of such huge proportion and close proximity that no light or rain will fall naturally to the ground below. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Burnham
"The proposed solar farm is too big - it's roughly the same size as the nearest town of Faversham It is in completely the wrong place - Graveney marshes are an important protected landscape, surrounded by RAMSAR and SSSI designations It will have a devastating impact on migratory birds that use the marshes to feed in the winter - they are already under stress from other environmental factors It would be better to use rooftops and brownfield sites - it's not the solar power I object to but the location and size."
Other Statutory Consultees
response has attachments
Environment Agency
"Please see attached"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Felicity Shemoon
"It will have a devastating impact on the environment "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geoffrey Hall
"Although I am all in favour of sustainable energy I cannot agree that Cleve Hill is the right site for this project. Too big - in area and actual panels, wrong place as it's such an important site for wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Glenn Hutchison
"The development of Cleve Hill solar park will ruin an area of natural beauty on the North Kent coastline. This area is of huge importance to myself and the people of Faversham and surrounding towns. It is an area for walking, and area for cycling and an area for local wildlife. The size of the area that is proposed for development is huge, far too big and must be reduced to something more acceptable, not just for me, but for the environment that is is proposed to be in. Solar is an important future fuel but surely there is another way to get the same size solar benefit from a different scheme. Panels on commercial and residential buildings for example. Lets not be short sighted and ruin a fantastically beautiful part of our coastline because not all options were explored. I wholeheartedly object to this development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graveney Primary School
"As a small rural primary school in the centre of Graveney village we do have safety concerns about the traffic movements throughout the project, particularly regarding the safety of parents/pupils/staff access to the school site during this period."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hazel O'Boyle
"I have grave concerns over the planned application based on the visual impact on the landscape, effect on ecology and wildlife especially birds – both local and over-wintering The disruption to local traffic & access to the site via unsuitable country lanes/roads. The effect of noise to local wildlife and to residents especially with the battery. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Heather Wootton
"This is too bulky a proposal, the height of the panels is much higher than other panels. It will be visible from many angles, spoiling the countryside amenities. The battery plant is also very bulky and will industrialise the countryside, the technical design is not even explained and I understand a similar example does not exist. I have seen no withdrawal plan about what happens after it has become uneconomical. I do support solar development but not on this scale, why not use a brown fieldwork on the Boo peninsular?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Lanceley
"The proposes solar park is on environmentally sensitive ground, the extent of the damage to the breeding of bird, amphibians and insects is unknown. The upkeep of the sea wall will become the responsibility of a private company - what happens if they go broke or cease to use the site? The panels are obtrusive in the extreme both in extent and height. The area to be put under the panels is enormous - the size of greater Faversham. The same effect could be achieved for a similar price and with far less environmental damage by putting solar panels on every roof in the town "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Jan Pauwels
"My objection is that you reduce the Saxon Shore Way to a miserable walk amongst solar panels and this is unacceptable --- this walk should be elevated to UNESCO Monument status rather than something that can be ignored at will."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jan Plaice
"I am concerned about the impact that the building and running of the solar farm will have on the natural biodiversity of the area. I also have concerns on behalf of local residents and businesses."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Bailey
"I am behind alternative energy but object to using Graveney Marshes (Cleve Hill) for housing Solar panels. Off the coast we have wind farms which are much better suited for the local environment. The disruption to wildlife would be catastrophic. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jeanette Dean-Kimili
"If built we would have a huge industrial site that as proposed is physically bigger than Faversham and right on the doorstep of Faversham using batteries, that are unspecified of a technology which is emerging and largely untested. The size of the panels and development are disproportionate to the area that provides significant amenity to the communities of Seasalter, Faversham, Gravney and Seasalter. The development will destroy the amenity of the protected nature reserve, hiking trails and access to the beach for thousands of local people and visitors. The land to be built on is part of Faversham floodplain that is vital to the control of high water levels. There are alternative brownfield sites that should be used."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Bartlett
"I grew up in Faversham and since I retired I was a volunteer warden at South Swale for the Kent Wildlife Trust for 21 years. I know the area very well and the wild life found there and on the surrounding Graveney marshes. I am in favour of wind farms and solar parks BUT this is the wrong place for such a large solar park, even in the plans for one of reduced size. The Swale is a valuable site of scientific and environmental interest and would be seriously damaged by the huge number of solar panels just below the sea wall. Walking along the sea wall from Seasalter past Castle Coote to Faversham is a wonderful and popular experience but would not be if the solar park was approved."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kate Blacker
"The planned installation will destroy the marsh and end up being a brownfield site which will then be developed in some other way. Housing/industry by the back door. We have had similar things happen here in an area of outstanding natural beauty. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kent Ornithological Society (KOS) (Kent Ornithological Society (KOS))
"The Kent Ornithological Society is opposed to the Cleve Hill Solar Park and will object to the application on the following basis:- • The KOS considers that the location of a development of this scale is inappropriate in view of the international importance of the Swale Estuary and adjacent marshes and farmland for birds and wildlife. • The Society considers that if this development goes ahead it will have a significant detrimental effect on bird populations, particularly wintering wildfowl and waders, caused by the direct loss of a substantial area of coastal farmland. • The establishment of a solar energy park on the proposed site will prevent future potential to create wildlife habitat on the land or the inclusion of the area in future flood prevention schemes such as managed retreat. • The Society is concerned that construction of a huge solar energy park at the proposed site will set a dangerous precedent for future development proposals within the internationally important North Kent Marshes Ramsar/SSSI/SPA site. It is the intention of the Society to provide data in support of our concerns and objection to the Cleve Hill Solar Park."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lida MacGrory
"I am very concerned at the impact this project will have on the local environment. The sheer size and scale of the development seems likely to put a strain on the local habitat and lead to environmental degredation. It is more important than ever that our natural environments are protected and kept intact. Any development must not be a threat to the local habitat it is part of, otherwise the gains made by producing solar power will be meaningless. Given the great loss of species over the last decades, it is vital that all efforts are made to conserve the remainder we still have. The neighbouring reserve is a small but essential part of this and must be protected at all costs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lou Simmonds
"The environmental impact on such a sensitive important site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Luc Janssen
"I am a farmer's son and have family in Graveney. My objection: Do not destroy productive agricultural land for a mega solar farm and pretend to increase bio-diversity at the same time. The proposal to put sheep on it afterwards are poorly thought out and are tantamount to animal cruelty. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Lutgarde Gielen
"My objection: This will damage the landscape and nature for ever --- there are much more appropriate sites to "plant" this."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Marijke Berx
"I have friends who live in this area and support them in objecting to this. My personal objection is that an area so important for overwintering birds is destroyed -- the feeding area is more than halved and there is no additional land for them and this will ultimately deplete the numbers/eliminate them which is a very good reason not to accept this proposal. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Marleen Kwanten
"My neighbours often visit this area and it is well promoted in Belgium -- why put such an important area for tourism at risk -- that is what I object to."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mary Barnes
"I do not feel that this is an appropriate site for such a large installation. It is very close to bird reserves and would harm their natural habitat. It is also not appropriate for local villages and their residents"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Maryann Bongarts
"Objection : Do not wipe out a beautiful area, landscape and heritage that attracts many tourists from all over the world. Preserve this for all to enjoy and put it in a better place that does not affect people or nature. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Maryse Deloyer
"I have read in De Libelle about this beautiful area of nature and visited as a result. My objection: A huge industrial concern such as the one proposed will ruin nature, the landscape, heritage and the fantastic walking opportunities for the greater good! It needs to go in a suitable place where it will not harm the enjoyment of the local people, tourists and local businesses."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mike Roser
"I participate in winter monthly seasonal coastal surveys on behalf of the British Trust for Ornithology/RSPB and others; and seasonal overviews of Castle Coote during the breeding season on behalf of the KWT. It is my view that the proposed development will impinge greatly upon the opportunities of certain bird species to roost; feed and breed throughout the area, over a twelve month cycle. The whole area of proposed development sits adjacent to nationally important sites within the Swale Estuary confines. The aesthetics of the whole area will be permanently destroyed--I have walked the site for circa 50 years. The disruption ; safety and well being of road users cannot be over emphasised along the proposed access route."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Bruce Sherlock
"I have lived in the local area for the last 50 years and enjoyed the unique and beautiful countryside of the Graveney marshes both to walk in and observe the wildlife. I find it monstrous that this can be taken away from the local residents. The size of the project is totally unreasonable and will produce a black wasteland that will be a blot on the landscape for generations. Currently Graveney has a lovely church and a mix of typical rural buildings served by English country lanes: these are totally unsuitable for industrial use. I urge the Secretary of State to quash this application."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Michaela Wraight
"We live in an elevated position at the Waterham side of Graveney, and we would have views of this extensive site. There are many reasons that I think this solar park should be located elsewhere, yes we made need a solar park like this, but Graveney Marshes is not the ideal location. The Marshes are very liable to flooding, we have marshes behind our house and within 2 days of rainy weather they look like lakes, this happens often in the winter months. Whenever this happens there are literally hundreds of birds, geese, ducks and swans landing on it. If the solar farm is built here, what will happen to the batteries when it floods, birds will automatically think that the panels (due to the reflection) are water. We have an immense array of wildlife right where we live, which our young children absolutely adore. Things from hedgehogs, woodpeckers, jays, kestrels, buzzards, swans, rabbits, marsh harriers, sparrow hawks, sloe worms, foxes, pheasants and cuckoos, the list goes on and on. On our journey to Graveney school which is less than a mile away we always see wildlife. Graveney has a beautiful village school which is situated directly on the roadside, if this site goes ahead, I would be horrified at the levels of polution which the children would be exposed to on a daily basis, especially during the building process, some of which may present themselves in years to come The access roads around Graveney are also not suitable for such heavy traffic, it seems like its a major operation when an extra wide vehicle goes through the village from head hill, (Static Caravans being moved to and from Seasalter) because there is not other route. We live on Monkshill Road and the majority of which is single lane carriageway. I urge the planners to look at other possible sites."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Y L Hauge
"Cleve Hill Solar Park are proposing a solar farm. I am led to believe that the definition of 'farm' is an area of land and its buildings used for growing crops and rearing animals. There is never ever mention of solar and battery stations at an unprecedented scale. I am strongly against and opposed to this horrendous, ghastly proposal. Graveney Marshes are surrounded by areas of conservation and natural beauty. They are included in The Saxon Shore Walk and The English Coastal Path. In addition to this they are the important 'corridors' used by many rare birds: nesting sky larks, lapwings,reed bunting and the beautiful marsh harrier- to name a few. The solar 'farm' would completely obliterate the living and breeding conditions of these birds. They would not return to an area beneath the panels which would be dry and dark lacking all of their flora , fauna and the habitat they need to survive and most importantly breed. Furthermore my grandchildren live in Graveney and will go to school there. They , their parents and all local residents would be subject to the poor air quality and noise produced during the build and operation.. They would no longer have the opportunity of beautiful walks through the Marshes, with clean air and tranquillity, spotting wildlife, birds and many wild flowers- they would be walking through what could basically be described as a factory the size of Faversham."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patricia Hall
"My interest is in the effect this solar panel farm will have on the wildlife and plant life of this site which is one of so few wild areas remaining in this part of the country. It is not just about devastating loss of wildlife, it is about realising how our wildlife is interconnected with our lives in so many ways. We are rightly concerned about climate change - it is changing the annual timing of flowering and the migration of birds and butterflies. It is affecting availability of food; it is affecting the weather with excessive drought and floods. What is the point of destroying this ecologically valuable landscape in order to 'help climate change'? It doesn't make any sense. We have to stop thinking of wildlife as something separate from us and realise just how vital it is to keep our wild and wetland areas as well as looking for appropriate sites for alternative sources of energy. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Hague
"I’m a local resident who has lived in this beautiful location for the past 31 years.l am completely against this grotesque proposal. I use this area for photography and painting of all the rare birds and wildlife that reside on these beautiful marshes. The landscape is stunning.The walks along the Saxon Shore are truly unique This proposed solar farm would ruin all of this for so many. One million panels as high as double decker buses covering ground the size of Faversham with a battery covering 9 hectares What chance have these rare migrating birds got? None !! The area would be left completely devoid of any birds,wildlife and people who enjoy such surroundings So I reiterate I am completely against this proposal Peter Hague "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Maton
"I am particularly concerned about the damage to the wildlife of the area. I am a regular visitor as it is a 10 minute drive from where I live, and it is an important area for both breeding and wintering species such as: Barn Owls, Short-eared Owls, Marsh Harriers, Little Egrets and Brent Geese, all of which I have seen recently in this area. It is also a breeding area for the Emperor Moth, which I have also recorded there. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Schroyen Liliane
"I object because the Saxon Shore Way is a national and international asset --- for everyone to enjoy --- turning it into an industrial area devalues this grossly and will turn people away from this area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sue Scott
"This is a huge development which will degrade an area of natural beauty into an industrialised power station. I am in favour of renewable energy owning solar panels myself. This is the wrong place for this development. Such farms are appropriate beside busy roads where they are often located, not in an area regarded by locals as a green haven where we can enjoy the natural environment of land & sea side by side. Both Whitstable & Faversham people regard the marshes as their 'green lung' & relish the wildness & peace of this unspoilt natural haven for wildlife. Both towns are being expanded relentlessly. We need energy, but windfarms at sea & developments alongside busy roads are far more acceptable than demeaning beautiful and unspoilt countryside. We need this rare unspoilt natural landscape. Please don't build the solar panel farm on Graveney marshes. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Terry Patterson
"I object to the proposed building of a solar power station, the impact on the environment is out of all proportion to the benefit, would damage the natural environment of Kent, and have an impact far beyond the site.Although I am not from Kent I visit there regularly – I am a sailor and bring groups down the Medway regularly. The towns of FavershamAnd Graveney will be severely impacted. The vast site – the size of a town – would obliterated the current natural environment. I do not oppose solar power, but I do oppose this inappropriate and disproportionate mega site. Such sites would be challenging when proposed for a vast uninhabited and sunny desert – why on earth is it being considered in a populated area famous for beauty, tranquillity and the natural environment? It will be an appalling blot on the landscape for generations to come."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Tilly Janssen
"I am a farmer's daughter and have family in this area and have been campaigning against the destruction of agricultural land in Graveney ever since this proposal was published --even though I live in Belgium. My objection: Do not sacrifice a huge area of agricultural land that has been productive for an industrial solar concern. There are better places to put it that do not impact on food production. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
V.Alabaster
"I wish to strongly oppose this solar project based on the size of the planned site. This will be larger than Faversham itself, and will totally change the environment around Faversham, change the character of the town and drastically reduce open space for wildlife and recreation. I could support a solar project which was less than a quarter the size of this project, but as it stands ,this seems an ill considered plan which would have drastic consequences for the future."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vicky Ellis
"I am a Biologist and Ecologist and live in Graveney and [REDACTED]. I have grave concerns over the proposal to build a solar farm on the Graveney Marshes for the following reasons. Tranquillity; The marshes are incredibly quiet and calm. The only noise you can hear are those of sea birds and wind. It is one of the only places left in the SE where the night sky is clearly visible. A sound engineer informed me having looked at Clevehill’s background sound checks, that it would be difficult to whisper that quietly. The noise of all the inverters and the incredibly loud switch and corona noise will rob the tranquillity, this equipment will be running 24/7. Landscape; The marshes are designated as being of ‘high landscape value’ and they are noted as being a ‘National Character Area’ and having a ‘Level Landscape Feature’ this is what gives the marshes its beauty and amazing 360 ? panoramic views. The solar panels will be visible for several miles including Oar, Isle of Sheppey, Graveney, Faversham, Whitstable, from the top of Waterham Lane and Thanet Way. The panels will be 12ft high, essentially creating an array of apex roofs covering the whole marsh. The openness of this low-lying land will be transformed from an open, rural landscape to an industrial one by the metal deer fencing, panels, inverters and battery housing. The creation of the Battery storage area will alter the openness of the landscape permanently with the creation of a large secondary bund and the pouring of concrete. Ecology; The proposed area is directly adjacent to a Ramsar site, SSSI, SPA, LWS, LNR, an RSPB bird reserve and near a MCZ and is itself a biodiversity opportunity area. There is evidence based functional linkage to all protected areas with two SPA species utilizing the site for breeding, resting, grazing and hunting. The construction of this solar farm could result in irreversible damage to the surrounding protected areas. Functionally linked land should be given the same considerations as protected land according to NE commissioned report NECR207. Not enough evidence exists, nor research done, which will enable an appropriate assessment to be adequately undertaken. The panels will cause glint and glare and create a ‘lake effect’ of enormous magnitude which is highly likely to cause confusion to water dwelling birds and increase the likelihood of collisions and undermine navigation and devastate the aquatic insect population. The deer fencing will create habitat fragmentation despite the mention of mammal holes. This site supports several protected species such as water vole, great crested newts and 50 percent of the UK bat population all of which, will be adversely affected by light pollution and noise. The site was highlighted by the EA as being significant and therefore after a lengthy public consultation was earmarked to be returned to nature as salt marsh replacing lost habitat elsewhere due to coastal squeeze. This has now been put at risk in the name of private gain. Flooding; Were the managed retreat not to go ahead it’s likely Faversham would be put at risk of flooding due to water dispersal moving down the line directly into Faversham town. Evidence and detailed information available for examination stage. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Ford
"The Area where the solar farm is proposed is a very good wildlife area, a place to recharge yourself away from the very busy roads and industries around the south east It is much to big will distroy good farmland, and an eyesore fr miles around. All solar panels should be on factory and privite house roofs before the open countryside"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Neame
"The following is a summary of our reasons for objecting to the proposal: 1) Environmental impact: The development would cause severe and irreparable environmental damage, harming bird and other wildlife on the site itself and on adjoining land. The site is on one of the most important bird migratory routes in the UK and immediately next to a protected site of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England's evidence review of the ecological impact of solar farms on ecology (NEER02) cites evidence that protected areas and locations close to them should be avoided when considering site selection of solar PV developments. 2) Loss of biodiversity: The existing ecosystems would be destroyed in place of a virtual monoculture. The developers have described what would grow in the area covered by the panels as 'forest-floor fauna'; that is, virtually nothing. 3) Loss of agricultural land: This is not such low-grade land that it cannot be farmed successfully; the areas right next to it and across Faversham Creek are. 4) Visual harm: The appearance of the steel and glass panels, raised high above the ground to address the site's liability for flooding, would be no better than a vast industrial roof. Where solar arrays have been successfully installed in rural areas they have been put from important public areas and screened from view 5) Tourism: One of Kent's key long-distance paths, The Saxon Shore Way, runs along the sea edge of the site. The majority of users will be put off by the despoliation of views from it, with a potentially significant effect on tourism in Faversham and thus the town's economy. 6) The unnecessary scale: The proposal is on a vastly excessive in size, covering land equivalent in area to the town of Faversham. Unlike other ways of generating power solar generation can work at any scale, and is actually most efficient at the smallest as less is lost through the inefficiencies of power inverters. There is no case the developers can make that a station of this size is necessary. Other much smaller arrays have been built without the need for public subsidy. 7) Lack of a sequential test for alternative sites: Ordinarily, and reasonably, the planning process for developments of this scale, such as a new town, or infrastructure projects, such as routing a broad or railway line, would entail consideration of appropriate options or alternatives. The developers admit they have looked at no other sites and claim that doing so is unnecessary. Whilst they may not be legally obliged to do so they cannot then argue that there is any particular reason for them to build at this location. 8) Use of the battery banks: We understand that the capacity of the proposed battery banks far exceeds that needed to modulate the solar power generated on site. It seems likely that the developers intend to use that to exploit the diurnal fluctuations in the price of electricity, wholly wastefully."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anthea Moon
"This proposal is obscene. A wonderful open space, crossed by footpaths, bordered by the Saxon Shore path, within easy reach of so many people, would become an ugly industrial site, purely for financial reasons. It is an important feeding area for thousands of birds. It has flooded within living memory, with the rising sea levels it likely to do so again. Faversham would lose a huge flood plain if the sea defences were raised. The acres of valuable farming land beneath these oversized panels would become useless, nothing would grow in the dark. The roads in the vicinity are not suitable for the movement of the enormous quantities of materials required for these panels and supports, quite apart from the huge batteries. There are brownfield sites which are much more environmentally suitable, e.g. Kingsnorth, with better access. And where will anybody take their grandchildren to listen to skylarks? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ben Hutchinson
"It is a poor use of very environmentally sensitive land. It is some of the most important land for bird migratory routes in the U.K. From an engineering perspective solar power is one of very few renewable power sources which are best suited to small scale local generation- panels can easily be mounted on top of existing buildings, they do not require green field sites. The proposed scheme intends to buy up power from non renewable sources during off peak hours and store it in battery banks and sell it back to consumers during peak time to increase profits. This is being sold as a scheme which is environmentally friendly, not just for profit. This would result in a loss of acricuktural land, surrounding land is farmed! The visual harm this would cause would be devastating especially on such a large scale. Even if it were necessary to build on such a huge scale there are plenty of other sites available which have not been explored and would have a much smaller environmental impact, closer to London where there is a bigger demand for power. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lisa Diggory on behalf of Bob Diggory
"I have been walking and birding in the area of the proposed Solar Farm since the 1970’s when I was a boy. It will be a travesty if permission is given for this huge development to take place. Obviously both breeding and visiting birds will be hugely affected by the construction activity as well as the completed structures. Situated between 2 nature reserves it is quite literally the worst place for a development of such huge size. Aesthetically it will be a complete eyesore to anyone walking in the surrounding area and take away a truly wild place on the doorstep of Faversham, which is a town blighted by too many proposed developments encircling it. This development must not be given permission."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Watmough
"I am concerned about three aspects of the development: The development will have an adverse impact on the adjoins SSSI and on RDB listed species using the site, the proposed mitigation is inadequate; The scale of development will have an adverse impact on sensitive landscape; and Thedevelopment will diminish recreational experience of walking along the coasta footpath. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bridget Medhurst
"I am totally against this monstrous plan to deface this wonderful natural environment. Wildlife will be lost due to this as well as losing a natural wild place that sadly is becoming rare. I’m sure there are brownfield sites that could be utilised, instead of such an important area for wildlife and people."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Claire Williams
"I am deeply concerned about the environmental impact of this proposal on our local area. I believe a more suitable brownfield site can be sourced by the developers."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Colin Branch
"I'm against the size of this in an area of outstanding beauty. I'm all for alternative energy but this is a hideous build."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dave Ward
"My views are that it will be too big and take up too much space ruining beautiful views of the countryside surrounding us, It will also be bad for local wildlife living in the area of which the proposed would like to be built please take my views on board "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dorothy Roberts
"I have lived in Nagden for 40 years,this is a special area for people to come to relax and enjoy the open space,peace and quiet and the wild life.The open spaces are home to rabbits,foxes hares,Marsh harriers little egrets, plovers and various other birds some nest on ground swans nest around the streams .Lots of other birds have winter nesting places here.If this project goes ahead they will have nowhere to go, there’s lots of insects which will go as well.I agree solar panels are a good thing but this is not the right place.The size of the area they will cover, the noise ,dust, height of panels and batteries is awful.The life of the residents overlooking it will be changed .I object strongly to this going ahead Dorothy Roberts"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dynamic Production Solutions
"We are both business owners in the live audio industry and have serious concerns over a solar farm being built on the Graveney Marshes for the following reasons: We found the data submitted by CHS to be incomplete and in need of further testing. Testing should be carried out on all of the equipment to produce consistent noise data. Furthermore, we noted there to be little in the way of mitigation methods for any form of noise management plan. The inverters are likely to cause significant disturbance during the daylight hours (more in the summer), presuming these are only running during the day. Based on the data provided these could be considerably audible at the boundary due to their distribution throughout the site and therefore, clearly audible to the closest dwellings. The report shows that the inverters have a considerable impact on the background noise levels, which in some instances are as low as 28db. They will wipe out the tranquillity of the marshes. Further concerns surround the battery storage area/sub-station, which suggests surface noise of up to 100db at 3.3m from the surface (nothing to suggest 1m readings). Presuming some of this noise will be produced by cooling fans we can estimate frequencies in the range of 3kHz. Though these frequencies tend not to travel far, harmonics produced by the blades hitting the air are highly likely to be substantially audible to the nearest dwelling unless housed inside a building or surrounded by acoustic cladding. That’s excluding any noise generated by other electrical equipment, which will be produced at much lower frequencies that will ultimately travel further. This will become a physiologically annoying rumble to human listeners and wildlife that around the audio source. The 400Kv switch gear is reported to make an excruciating 150db at surface volume, though not in use all the time – this could cause considerable distress for any form of listener within the surrounding area and beyond. Anyone in the immediate vicinity would require hearing protection to avoid permanent hearing loss. In our opinion, steps should be taken to enclose this item of equipment, acoustically screening it from the outside environment, which may not be possible. Referencing the EirGrid Evidence Based Environmental Study 8: Noise; it’s shown that corona noise generated from 400KV equipment and overhead lines can have considerable amplitude at night, and in moist or humid conditions. The study recommends at least 200m of distance is kept between property and any 400kv overhead lines. Given the concentration of 400KV equipment that will be present within the substation vicinity, we believe this distance figure should be considerably increased to reduce exposing occupants to intense corona audio activity. In short, due to the combination of corona noise, inverter noise and the added risk of switch gear operating within the vicinity of property and sensitive ecological receptors, this solar farm requires dramatically increased acoustic treatment and a greatly improved noise management plan to reduce the impact on the psychological health of occupants, visitors and wildlife. We therefore feel, due to the tranquil nature of the marshes, that it would be impossible to mitigate fully against the noise, were this solar farm to go ahead. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Eline Quintiens
"I object because this proposal will cause irreversible damage to the countryside and the beauty of the Saxon Shore Way will be lost forever --- please put this development in a more appropriate place."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Enma Brammer
"Hi, my [REDACTED] and I intend to make the following points I relation to the application: - I am unhappy about the destruction of the horizon and landscape from an aesthetic point of view - I am concerned for the impact on wildlife - I am unhappy about the disruption this project will cause to the infrastructure in Faversham. - I see no valid reason why this site cannot be relocated to a more suitable plot - I’m concerned about the motivating factors I.e. GREED Thanks. Emma Brammer "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Felix Hazlehurst
"I am concerned that the construction of this enormous solar farm will have a detrimental effect on the green spaces that exist around Faversham, and the marshalands and natural habitats that exist there. I am also concerned that the proposed location for the solar farm is right in the middle of other areas of protected land, and I feel that it's construction would have a negative knock on effect to the surrounding areas outside of the proposed development site. I wholly support the ideas to move towards green energy and think that this is essential for our future, but I do not think that it should come at the expense of the environment and that alternative sites should be looked into, preferably Brown field or at least further away from our AONB and SSI sites."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Francesca Baur
"I am a resident of Faversham and have been for 13 years. I consider myself an environmentalist and therefore support renewable energy. What I am opposing here is the scale of this proposal as well as the destruction of the local wildlife. The size of the solar park larger than Faversham with panels higher than double decker buses. This is a protected area that will be deep effected by this proposal. This is an industrial site that should not be allowed in this area. This will destroy a very special place and there will be a total loss of wildlife habitat. There is most definitely a need for renewables but not in this area we need to look at suitable alternatives. this are is at risk of flooding is that really the right place for an industrial solar park? This absolutely must not go ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Freya Hunter
"I strongly believe that this solar power farm should not be built on this site. My reasons include (but are not limited to) The detrimental effect this will cause to wildlife The effect on local businesses as the solar farm will deflect tourists The area is a haven for dog walkers, walkers, bird watchers and people visiting from London. It is vital for the physical and mental health of these people to not disrupt their use of the Saxon shore way, pollute the air and build an eyesore. Research should be made into a suitable alternative, for instance further inland. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hayley Johns
"This proposal is absolutely not in the interest of local people, businesses or the environment. It seems none of the above have been taken into consideration. With so much residential development going on in and around Faversham, why can’t solar be part of these developments? why put beautiful countryside, the fragile coastal habitat and local wildlife populations at risk building a industrial complex of this size. I fully object to this development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helene Willi
"I support sustainable energy but not at this ridiculous size which comprimises the wildlife in this area. We do not need to be using this much energy at the cost of our planet, this is about companies making money."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hetty Genower
"I would like to register my opposition to the solar farm on Graveny Marshes. I aim to discuss the negative effect it would have on: - the environment in which it is placed - the wildlife it will affect - the habitats it will destroy - the danger it will pose to local residents - and finally, possible alternative solutions. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Hilde Kuipers
"I have visited my sister in Kent for the last 35 years -- how awful to hear and see the news about this proposed development. My objections: A lot of money has been invested to preserve the heritage in Graveney and Beyond for the greater good. The Church has had to have lots of money spent on it and putting this industrial park in Graveney will completely ruin its setting -- and this is also true for the dominant houses in the village that have been there for more than 500 years. The wider area will also be affected and one would even be able to see this in Blean Wood! Why do you not put solar panels on the roofs of houses --- there are many being constructed in the Faversham and Sittingbourne area --- has anyone in the government proposed this rather than obliterate everything that is unique and valuable in this area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Ilona Ulmans
"This proposal should be objected against by everyone! It is too large, too high, looks like an industrial roof, kills nature and is put in the wrong place --- this area will lose its tourism appeal completely if this goes ahead. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jo
"The solar park is an inappropriate solution that will affect wildlife and the natural beauty of this area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jo Tonkin
"Negative impact on the natural environment "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jonathan Hill
"It will despoil an important wildlife area. It will be an eyesore. I am against it."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Prior
"I think the environmental impact and the height of the installation in a protected marshland is prohibitive "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Smith
"Environmental Impact Site selection Inadequate description Landscape and visual impact assessment Effect on ecology and wildlife Birds – both local and over-wintering Cultural heritage and archaeology Recreation and land-use Access and traffic, especially during the build Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding the right place? Air quality, both during the build and the operation Interaction and accumulation of effects"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Taylor
"My objections are: • Size of the project is not suitable for the area in question • The proposed look of the project is not in keeping with the area • The local road network is not suitable for the level of traffic movements • The disruption to local residents day to day living whilst the build of the project is unacceptable • The close proximity of panels to existing residential properties is prohibitive to human wellbeing • The expected drop in property value of existing residential properties will cause local people to be unable to move away from the area after the project was complete • The energy produced will not be for local homes in fact may not even be for the UK market "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Karen Hull
"I can very concerned about the scale on the proposed solar park. I understand it will be similar to the size of the whole of Faversham. The effect that this will have on wildlife is extremely worrying. It will destroy the countryside. Please do not allow this to happen. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kate Clarke
"I am unhappy about the Solar park proposal for many reasons: The size of the proposition is HUGE and will impact Graveney and the surrounding area in a very big way. Not only will it create an eyesore and ruin the beautiful landscape but the environmental impact will be vast. The area currently hosts a huge range of wildlife and plant life and these will all be at risk. The proposed site is currently very appealing for visitors and locals alike. It would be a real shame to lose this striking area of interest to a power station with solar panels as high as double decker buses. Not only would it create an ugly landscape but also a lot of noise and air pollution. As far as I am concerned, the solar park should be moved to a different area of the country. Graveney and it's surrounding area is a very special and unique place that should be preserved and cherished."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Katherine May
"This is an important and unique natural environment, where I regularly walk. The planned solar park is excessively large and intrusive, would destroy habitats, and ruin walkers’ enjoyment of the area. Living in Whitstable, I believe that Graveney Marsh is an important place of retreat for locals seeking solitude in busy summer months. In addition, the beautiful view across the Marsh from Wraik Hill would be destroyed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Kelly Van Wijnsberge
"My objection : *This area has a lot to offer --- should this proposal go ahead this will all be lost : the landscape, the Saxon Shore Way, the agricultural land, the heritage, the wildlife, clean air ---- for what??? To put profit in the pockets of the developers and investors. Put this in a suitable place --- most people have solar panels on their roofs in Belgium --- why do you not encourage this rather that obliterate everything?? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kenneth Rawson
"Destruction of such an immense area of our rare habitat will be something that we will forever regret, but will be unable to replace for future generations. Use of former industrial sites does not appear to be considered, and the amount of support infrastructure that is required (not truly represented in information given to the public) will change the area into an industrial wasteland. Where the financial needs of industry are considered over the needs of the people, then governments will carry on the mistakes of the past and continue to degenerate the quality of peoples lives and our habitat. Solar energy IS a necessary future energy source - in the right place......"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lu Stewart on behalf of Kim Thys
"This area has been promoted and appeared in De Standaard -- why ruin such a beautiful spot by depleting nature, the land and the landscape. This is my objection. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Laura Esslemont
"I wish to voice my concern about this development. My concerns are about: 1) the impact it will have on the nature, ecology and wildlife of this area. The marshes are an invaluable environment for birds, and this park threatens that. 2) This area of Kent is special, rich in history, beauty and nature, features which attract tourism and boosts the local economy. The sheer size of the development threatens to spoil these attractions and thus damage our local economy. 3) I am not convinced that alternative sites have been considered - are there not brownfield sites that could be used? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Lucas Brenne
"I object because this proposal will completely destroy a favourite and beautiful holiday destination. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lynn Maree
"I understand the need for solar panels in Kent. But there are many other more appropriate locations. Graveney Marshes are important as an open space for people birds and other wild life and tidal changes The height of the panels is disfiguring, particularly given the location chosen. Profit and ease of construction are poor reasons for a private profit-making company to be allowed to build on a beautiful and essential to health and well-being of the planet space "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Maddie
"This ecosystem and its wildlife would suffer at the hand of this ‘park’. The area is already prone to flooding, and this would be even further augmented by the solar park. To tackle the flooding and regenerate the landscape, this area should be planted with more trees to stabilise the ground and absorb excess water. Instead this construction will only serve to damage the landscape further. Solar panels are an excellent source of renewable, sustainable energy, but these environmental benefits are cancelled out if the panels are installed in a lifeless ‘monoculture’ like this proposal. Solar panels should be installed on rooftops, even roads and pavements, not here. The area is much loved by the local residents and it is a prime source of recreation, natural beauty and cultural heritage. The construction of this proposal will bring risks of health to both the local people and wildlife - air quality, dangerous glare and waste products. There are so many alternatives for making the most of this site, and for making best use of solar energy. This proposal takes none into consideration, focussing seemingly on profit alone."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret Roberts
"The proposed Solar Power Station at Cleve Hill farm is far too big and completely out of scale to the whole area and should not be built on ecologically important marshland of the North Kent coast. I am in favour of renewable energy but there are alternative brownfield sites that could be used for this Solar Power Farm without destroying the valuable marshland and the surrounding area of Faversham. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Kennett
"I strongly disagree with the proposed solar park. I agree we need to cut the use of fossil fuels and support renewable energy. This proposed development is in the wrong place , close to a Nature Reserve therefore i object to the proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martyn Crawley
"While there has been an increase in the installation of solar farms in England, this has primarily occurred in areas of arable production with little impact on the environment or wildlife. The Government's Agriculture Bill makes as one of its main objectives the enhancement of the environment with particular relevance to its impact on both human and wildlife populations. The Cleve Hill proposal will have a major adverse impact on a nationally valued area of resident and transitory wildlife at a time when most important natural habitat areas are doing everything possible to improve habitats. It will also have a damaging effect on the residents and visitors who wish to enjoy the Saxon Shore Way. There is also only one construction access along a road hardly wide enough for two cars let alone for large commercial vehicles. Major delays are often caused by the transport of mobile homes to local sites, these delays will become intolerable for local residents who will suffer inevitable financial loss for the benefit of increased profits of the developers. I travel daily to work in Faversham, I will not inconvenience the developers but they will inevitable inconvenience me. This is unacceptable. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Maureen Wale
"I never thought that I would appose a plan for Solar energy but I STRONGLY appose this proposal. Graveney Marshes is a very special area and an extremely important area for wildlife. The solar farm would mean a tragic loss for many species in particular over wintering, feeding and breeding birds. The area for this proposal is huge and will completely ruin this very special area. Graveney marshes are bordered by a SSSI and a Special Protection area. Both the RSPB, Natural England recommend that Solar developments should not be built on or near protected habitat areas. There are so many other reasons as to why this Solar farm needs apossing. Loss of a very special natural landscape as well as loss of an important heritage and archaeological area. Too many to mention here. I truly hope that this proposal is rejected."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mel J Green
"I have campaigned for the protection of wildlife all of my life. This solar farm is too big and in the wrong place. Why is it on a virgin green field site that has existed undisturbed for 100's of years when there are brown field sites it could occupy? Is it that the clean up operation of brown field site would reduce profits? How can anyone get even past the 1st post of planning on a site that is Ramsar, SSSI and SPA? what is the point in a protection designation otherwise? The species that rely on that area are protected under the Countryside Act (especially the rarer birds) Finally - although the question has been asked of politicians and planning a 1000 times I will ask it again: why isn't it building regs for all new builds to have Solar panels on their roofs"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Melanie Felstead-Kyle
"I am deeply concerned about the impact such an immensely dense and vast solar farm will have on the ecology and wildlife in this area. The local birds and those that over-winter.such as Brent Geese,will be seriously affected.There are major implications for the numerous Protected Species of birds, animal and plants that are resident here. Such an enormous sterile,ugly construction, will cover and ruin a landscape enjoyed and loved by thousands of people. This in my opinion, is not a suitable site for a solar farm of this magnitude."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Meneer Vanderwegen
"I object because the only people who will profit from this are the developers at the destruction of : -the agricultural land -the landscape -the wildlife -the plant life -tourism -health of the people who live there -the heritage -the archaeology -the villages "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Thomas Gould
"I have lived in Whitstable/Seasalter all my life (70 years) and have been a very regular visitor to South Swale LNR for the last 45 years. My interest has been monitoring birds and other wildlife resulting in the publishing of a book 'Birds of the Oystercoast', with the help of artist [redacted] doing the illustrations This proposal will certainly have a profound effect on the whole area especially during the construction stage and the finished structure will prevent the continuing presence of many birds in the area. In the winter the open fields provide resting places for golden plover, lapwing and of course the brent geese and during the summer prevent breeding yellow wagtails and corn buntings etc.. The design of the construction will prevent wildlife from using any part of the panelled area and it will become very obtrusive and a visual offence to anyone trying to enjoy the peace and beauty of the area. While I support green energy, this proposal is one step to far, its too large and too close to an environmentally sensitive area. The site was planned some time ago as a wildlife corridor linking Seasalter levels to Oare and finally Elmley marshes, this application of coarse will prevent that."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Robert Wraight
"I personally do not believe that Graveney Marshes is the best place for this solar par, there are other more suitable sites that could be used, but it seems that this plan was on the cards for some time. If it does go ahead it will be devastating for the local area, it will be an eyesore on the landscape, it will cause pollution, including noise pollution, no one seems to know what would happen to the batteries if the marshes flood, which they are prone to. The infrastructure around Graveney would not be able to handle the volume of traffic, and the wildlife will suffer greatly, the abundance of birds and other animals would be driven out by the noise and disruption, and it will never recover. I urge the planners to look elsewhere for a more suitable site, there is a small village school in Graveney, whose playground sits alongside the road that travels through the village, I hate to think of the pollution that those children will be exposed to. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs E A Rogers
"Sheep and birds not solar lanels."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Linda Annable
"Having lived in this area for 45 years I have always loved the Seasalter area for its natural environment. The wildlife is something special. The thought of this area being covered in so many solar panels is distressing. We have already seen how unattractive they are as we have those in the area between Whitstable and Herne Bay. I do not oppose solar electricity but feel the scale of this development is completely ridiculous for such a special area and it will ruin this space for future generations of people and wildlife."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Neil Robertson
"This site is far too large."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicholas Schoon
"I live a few miles from this site and often visit it on land and by water. My main points are: The UK needs a major increase in installed photovoltaic power combined with electricity storage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide affordable, secure, low impact electricity in the long term. The best place to install it is on rooftops in urban areas, where it is closest to demand, and not in the open countryside where it has a much bigger impact on scenery and, probably, biodiversity. There may be a case for some photovoltaic power on undeveloped land outside built up areas, and there are already many such installations in England including at least one a few miles from Cleve Hill. But this particular proposal is far, far too large. It will have a major impact on local scenery. I am also concerned about the impact on biodiversity, especially bird life, in or next to an area which is meant to benefit from protection because of its important to wildlife. If the proposed installation was considerably smaller, this could make it acceptable without significantly undermining its economic viability. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patricia Craddock
"I am worried about the impact that this will have on the ecology of this environment. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Burmby
"I object to the proposed development because of its effect upon a large area of open natural ground used by the local population for leisure and recreation. In this heavily developed area there are few such spaces making this one particularly valuable. As a local resident I have been using this place for 25 years and would much regret its loss."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Hutchinson
"1) Environmental impact: The development would cause severe and irreparable environmental damage, harming bird and other wildlife on the site itself and on adjoining land. The site is on one of the most important bird migratory routes in the UK and immediately next to a protected site of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England’s evidence review of the ecological impact of solar farms on ecology (NEER02) cites evidence that protected areas and locations close to them should be avoided when considering site selection of solar PV developments. ? 2) Loss of biodiversity: The existing ecosystems would be destroyed in place of a virtual monoculture. The developers have described what would grow in the area covered by the panels as ‘forest-floor fauna’; that is, virtually nothing. 3) Loss of agricultural land: This is not such low-grade land that it cannot be farmed successfully; the areas right next to it and across Faversham Creek are. 4) Visual harm: The appearance of the steel and glass panels, raised high above the ground to address the site’s liability for flooding, would be no better than a vast industrial roof. Where solar arrays have been successfully installed in rural areas they have been put from important public areas and screened from view 5) Tourism: One of Kent’s key long-distance paths, The Saxon Shore Way, runs along the sea edge of the site. The majority of users will be put off by the despoliation of views from it, with a potentially significant effect on tourism in Faversham and thus the town’s economy. 6) The unnecessary scale: The proposal is on a vastly excessive in size, covering land equivalent in area to the town of Faversham. Unlike other ways of generating power solar generation can work at any scale, and is actually most efficient at the smallest as less is lost through the inefficiencies of power inverters. There is no case the developers can make that a station of this size is necessary. Other much smaller arrays have been built without the need for public subsidy. 7) Lack of a sequential test for alternative sites: Ordinarily, and reasonably, the planning process for developments of this scale, such as a new town, or infrastructure projects, such as routing a broad or railway line, would entail consideration of appropriate options or alternatives. The developers admit they have looked at no other sites and claim that doing so is unnecessary. Whilst they may not be legally obliged to do so they cannot then argue that there is any particular reason for them to build at this location. 8) Use of the battery banks: We understand that the capacity of the proposed battery banks far exceeds that needed to modulate the solar power generated on site. It seems likely that the developers intend to use that to exploit the diurnal fluctuations in the price of electricity, wholly wastefully."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Peter Kuipers
"[redacted] have friends and family in the area and have visited Graveney, Faversham, Canterbury and Whitstable many times during the last 30 years. We particularly enjoy walking and therefore our objection is : This proposal will irrevocably damage the Saxon Shore Way, the landscape and the heritage of this area --- The proposal is hypocritical because it is not for he greater good but for the greater profit of the developers and investors."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Mills
"Procedural: The process has not, to my knowledge, involved a strategic examination of the appropriateness of the proposed site as a matter of power infrastructure development' compared to alternatives. The question of its purpose as energy generation is therefore contingent. The procedure followed does not offer meaningful consultation and tends therefore to create its own momentum, which is procedurally unjust. Technological: I am not satisfied that the proposed technology, or the business model it entrenches, are an appropriate response to the societal challenge of energy security or that the case for commercial development justifies the scale and location, and the consequential impact of the proposal. I am not convinced that the proposal has been adequately assessed for its long term technological viability, given the anticipated direct and secondary impacts. Environmental: the proposed commercial development is likely to have a detrimental, irreversible and disproportionate impact on the site, the local environment, and the surrounding communities. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Renaat Kuipers
"I have family in Cambridge and Kent and also have business interests in Kent. I know the proposed area of development very well and recently took a group of friends to celebrate my birthday week in Read's and the Sportsman. I have been coming here for over 30 years. My objections : Why put this mega industrial complex on fertile agricultural land when it could easily go somewhere else on industrial land --such as the Isle of Grain or Kingsnorth. The roads in Graveney are treacherous to say the least -- using these for a 2 year development period would be torture for the local residents. The village has well preserved listed buildings in their original settings -- this project would destroy this for eternity and the heritage should be for all to enjoy for ever. The walking opportunities are fantastic in Graveney, Faversham and Whitstable but no-one wants to do an artificial walk amongst solar panels -- I do not think you realise the worth of this area to wildlife, people and tourism, but then the developers and investors do not value the area -- just the money they can make and pretend that this is for the " greater good--so they should be made to distribute all the profits amongst the villagers. Many birds migrate from Europe to this area -it has the second largest number of overwintering birds in the UK -- these plans cut their feeding area by more than 50% -- that is not in the spirit of renewable energy --- destroying nature to achieve this should never be accepted. I would like to return to this area every year -- but not if there is a mega solar to ruin the landscape, nature, tourism ---unthinkable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Sabine Scheelen
"My objection: Should this development go ahead it will lose all appeal as a holiday destination and I will not return to it."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sara Lee
"I am opposed to the solar park because of its industrial scale and its position in an area of beauty & wildness that is alongside a nature reserve. The proposed park is in an area which is used regularly by many walkers and bird watchers seeking ‘wildness’. The significant and much used section of Saxon Shore Way runs right alongside the site. (It is easily accessible to people using public transport by arriving by train at Faversham and return by train from Whitstable). The walk along the sea wall and through the fields is full of wildlife including Marsh Harriers, Skylarks and over wintering Brent Geese and rare plovers, pipits, red kites and white-tailed eagles. I do not feel that the applicants have made enough effort to investigate alternative sites which would be more appropriate and would have less impact on wildlife and people’s access and enjoyment of nature. The developers have cynically set aside an area for wildlife with little regard to how the marshes are used now. There is a current long-term plan to return the marsh to salt marsh (a much needed and threatened environment), by allowing the sea to breach the current sea wall. The proposal would scupper this. The traffic and noise pollution during and after construction would impact local residents and visitors. The financial impilcations locally from lost revenue from visitors no longer using the area would be great. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Langton-Lockton OBE
"The proposed solar farm is disproportionate in scale. It is larger than the area covered by the town of Faversham. It is an area of considerable natural beauty, valued by local residents and visitors. The panels are too high. The solar park will have a damaging effect on birdlife. The site is a flood plain. Faversham is growing rapidly and cannot afford to lose natural amenities. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Myland
"I approve of Solar Power in principle but find this proposal significantly destructive to an area that I have lived in for over 20 years. I cannot visualise how it will be but the height (double decker bus), the scale (the size of the nearby town of Faversham) and the contingent noise, disruption, pollution, chaos on small country roads and the obliteration of the wonderful and unique landscape literally fills me with despair. I want power alternatives, but I know that the current development at Cleve Hill built a road that had no planning permission and it should have been removed after the build was completed, it is still there. I feel that big business has had this area in it's sights for years and has presented its project in a benign manner calling it a 'park' which belies the true nature of the huge industrialised development. The height and proximity of the panels will be visible for miles around, so many areas look across this marshland and enjoy the tranquil view. It will be destroyed and how much glare and glinting of the moving panels will have to be tolerated by those who overlook the area? There is nothing in Europe the size of this proposed Solar Park and why, when there are so many other places that solar panels could be constructed, this wonderful area should be destroyed is beyond comprehension. The nature reserve will be decimated, it is unprincipled to imagine that wildlife and birds can be moved to a different designated area without a significant amount of distress, death and reduction in numbers. What will the effect of flooding be? With climate change on our minds and the marshes a natural overspill area what will happen if they flood, and if they are protected, where will the flood water go? How vulnerable will other areas be? I urge you to look at other areas for Solar Panels, sides of motorways and railways are options. I would suggest that a large site would always be easier to manage and therefore more profitable for those that run it. Please don't let profit for the few reduce the quality of life for many. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sharon Hawker
"That this is an easy/quick fix way to meet the environmental/ reusable energy criteria. It does not take into account the long term impact it'll have have. That alternative options that may take more effort and thought have been considered as per usual. If all new biuildings Inc commercial had to have solar panels or renewable energy stipulated, the need to damage and take over more of our countryside and open spaces wouldn't be needed. We can't keep taking and need yo think more longterm - very concerned about how much open spaces will be left for our children and their mental and physical wellbeing."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephen Thorley
"We should not be using farmland or environmentally important land for solar generation. Renewables are important, however we should utilise the correct types of renewable for the geographic area concerned. In Britain, Wind (predominantly offshore) and Tidal power should be our focus, as it is suitable to our landscape. Solar can be utilised on existing and new buildings, but should not be used on fields. These kinds of arrays are suited to desert landscapes, where the yield is higher and the impact minimal. Covering enormous areas of land with panels, prevents all other wildlife or nature from using any of the land...very dangerous and totally unacceptable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Steve Arthur
"I am registering an objection on environmental grounds. I do not represent any particular organisation but I am aware that the Kent Ornithological Soc and RSPB also object. There are plenty of reasons for local residents to object , and local opposition is pretty much universal (from those who have an opinion at least..), but I will concentrate on the impact of the intended solar park on wildlife . The Thames Estuary is an internationally important wildlife site but it is not only the sea and mudflats that need protection. The whole South Swale/Cleve Marshes area is used by large numbers of birds. In winter the most numerous are Brent Geese and waders. Some species principally need the fields for roosting at high tide whilst others (Lapwing and Golden Plover) feed on the fields . In spring most waders and wildfowl depart , and the area becomes a breeding ground for nationally declining farmland species such as Skylarks and Yellow Wagtails. The shingle at Castle Coote, adjacent to the proposal area and vulnerable to disturbance, is the only remaining site in Kent where Little Terns attempt to breed . Barn Owls, Marsh Harriers and Peregrines , all of which require large open territories, hunt over the Cleve Marshes area year round, joined by Short-eared Owls and Merlins in some winters and Hobbies in summer. The area is also an important resting and feeding area for species on migration. Large numbers of swallows following the coastline are often the most obvious, but the open nature of the site also appeals to migrating upland species such as Wheatear, Whinchat and Ring Ouzel. Concessions such as setting back the solar 100m from the sea wall or individual set aside fields miss the point about what is important about the habitat for the species it attracts - namely that it is large, flat, open, and (away from the coast path) undisturbed, as well as adjacent to the rich feeding grounds of the mudflats. Finally, please consider the precedent that approval of the proposal would set and the ironic signal it sends. If destroying important wildlife habitat is an acceptable price for "green" energy it can only foster public cynicism about renewable energy policy. Thank you for taking these comments into consideration . Steve Arthur "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Steve Chown
"I am totally against this industrial development. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of The Kuipers Family
"Our daughter lives in the area identified for development and we have visited it frequently over the last 40 years -- as such we know the area very well and are completely astounded at the plans that have been proposed. This solar park is too big and ugly --it is in the wrong place. We object to the proposal because : It would ruin a beautiful and unique marsh landscape. The heritage which has been preserved for hundreds of years, at a high cost -- and for the greater good --- would be severely affected, in the village and further afield. The wildlife, which is so precious and plentiful will be obliterated. The roads in the village are very small and the long period of construction with lots of construction traffic will adversely affect people's mental health and their ability to travel.This will also adversely impact on the physical health of anyone living nearby. We are very keen walker and have travelled to many countries for walking holidays -- there is no walk anywhere that can compare with walks in England, including the Saxon Shore Way. Putting this solar industrial park next to it will destroy the uniqueness of it forever. We hope that common sense prevails and not profit at all costs. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Veronica Tombs
"I feel that the proposed solar power station is much too large.The solar panels are enormous and will ruin the environment.I hope you will reconsider this project "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vic Phillips
"Will totally ruin what is currently a totally natural environment for wildlife. The size is going to totally monopolies the landscape. This area is already over populated and developed"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vincent Ray
"The reasons this solar power farm should not be built on this site include: Significant environmental impact Significant destruction of important wildlife/bird habitat No consideration of suitable alternatives [further inland for example] Turning an area of historic and outstanding beauty into something resembling a factory Ongoing access and traffic - during and after construction Ruining the enjoyment of walkers, dog walkers and bird watchers using the Saxon Shore Way "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Virginia Hills
"I am deeply concerned about the environmental, social and Economic impact of the proposed plans including (but not limited to) Effect on ecology and wildlife Birds – both local and over-wintering Hydrology, hydrogeology, flood risk Soil and ground conditions Cultural heritage and archaeology Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery Socio-economics, effects on tourism Recreation and land-use Access and traffic, especially during the build Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding the right place? Air quality, both during the build and the operation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Hoile
"I have concerns that the industrialisation of this site both within the process of its construction and on-going maintenance will have a seriously damaging effect both long term on the condition of the land, the current wild life and the amenity it provides for the recreation of local people and tourists to the area, its unique attraction will be eradicated. The scale of this development is disproportionate and when combined with other power generating developments within the Thames Estuary the visual impact from both land and sea has serious detrimental effect. The original planning acceptance for developing this site was based the requirements both current and future for the London Array Wind Farm. The expansion capacity did not include a development proposal for the entire surrounding marsh area. The fact that London Array chose not to go ahead with expansion of their offshore facility might suggest that the extra capacity had potential value in terms of other developments. If this is the case then not only local people were mislead but also the Planning Inspectorate who granted the original development permission. It is difficult for the layman to believe that London Array would risk significant capital investment if there wasn't security backstop....Cleve Hill. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alex McGann
"The reasons this solar power farm should not be built on this site include: Significant environmental impact Significant destruction of important wildlife/bird habitat No consideration of suitable alternatives [further inland for example] Turning an area of historic and outstanding beauty into something resembling a factory Ongoing access and traffic - during and after construction Ruining the enjoyment of walkers, dog walkers and bird watchers using the Saxon Shore Way"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amanda Croft
"The size of the solar power station is my biggest concern, while I understand there is a need to find alternative power sources, I feel it should not be at the built to the detriment of the wildlife which abounds on Graveney marshes. I think that it would be a far better solution to build the new houses that are going up all around Faversham with solar panels, thereby providing houses and solar energy. The Graveney Marshes Solar power farm is NOT an efficient or as I see it an effective way of managing our need for alternative energy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amy Hughes
"The solar panels will be installed on an east-west orientation creating a vast industrial roof with no gaps between the panels which creates a 'lake' effect. This will present dangers to birds who will try to land on it and insects who will lay their eggs on it, thinking it is water. The land beneath the panels will have no sunlight and nothing will grow, altering the microbiology of the land forever."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Andy Howard
"Put simply, this whole proposal is all wrong. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Angela Pryke
"I strongly object to this proposal for the following reasons: 1) The location is existing good fertile farmland 2) The area is adjacent to SSSI sites and is popular for walking and wildlife, when/if this gets approval it will dramatically change a large part of the Kent coastline 3) The scale and scope of the project is far to large and will blight a huge area 4) The developers have led a misleading and deceitful public consultation process 5) The time frame for building (and planning) is unacceptable trapping local residents for years to come, especially those who had previous plans which they are now no longer able to pursue. 6) Noise from building is a large concern to local residents, especially those immediately affected like my mother who lives at [redacted]. 7) Traffic through Graveney during building will cause chaos as the roads are not suitable for the number of HGV vehicles needed 8) The managing of the sea defences by the developers goes against the Environments agencies longer term plans which would be much better for local people and wildlife alike. I will happily provide further more detailed information on all of these points at a later date."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Angus McLewin
"WILDLIFE PROTECTION This area of the Thames Estuary is home to key populations of wading and migratory birds as well as a haven for protected species of birds of prey such as the Marsh and Hen Harrier. These areas must be protected and preserved as the North Kent Marshes are internationally important for birds and the area being targeted by Hive Energy and Wirsol borders an extensive Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar-designated site. The Cleve Hill site adjoins two Kent Wildlife Trust reserves; Oare Marshes and South Swale, while the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds manages large chunks of the nearby Seasalter Levels. Both species of Harriers are Schedule 1 listed bird on The Wildlife and Countryside Act. A significant number of the 91,000 UK overall population of the dark-bellied Brent Geese overwinter here in the Thames Estuary, feeding on eel grass and grazing in coastal fields. Classified in the UK as Amber under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015), and priority species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. Agricultural land is significant for the declining populations of Lapwings - lapwings are now concentrated at relatively few, specially managed, sites. Lapwings will breed on arable land as well as wet grassland, but populations here have declined dramatically too in recent years, such that the lapwing is now red-listed as a bird of conservation concern. [REDACTED] SOLAR ENERGY PROVISION Like many people objecting to this proposal, I am supportive of renewable energy supplies using solar panels but the focus should be on providing them on existing and new build housing, not on creating industrial scale parks covering and destroying agricultural land and areas of the countryside where wildlife has thrived and now desperately needs, as the pressure on housing needs is encroaching on more and more land that wildlife uses. The Faversham area is under pressure with many new housing schemes that do not to appear to include any solar energy provision and Kent has done more than its fair share to accommodate and provide both wind and solar power but nothing on this scale. This proposal is five times the size of the UK’s current largest solar park, at Lyneham in Wiltshire. By being positioned in a potential flood area, the whole park is going to have panels raised up to nearly 4metrres high, unacceptably and unnecessarily impacting upon the whole of the surrounding landscape. As someone who has walked along this stretch of the North Kent coast for 60 years and wants to ensure my grandchildren will still be able to experience and support the wildlife here, I believe that this proposal is the wrong type of solar energy scheme in totally the wrong place. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anna Stanford
"I have lived in Swale all my life and am a regular visitor to the area where Cleve Hill Solar Park is proposed. I value the wildlife of the marshes and the protected status of the surrounding area. UK wildlife is under significant threat on a number of fronts and it is essential that our must valuable areas are protected and even enhanced. My main environmental concern is the imminent and significant threat of climate change - how it will affect this landscape and wildlife and the impacts on current and future generations, including that of my children. I have worked in the field of renewable energy for much of my career and recognise the urgent need to develop clean energy projects and increase the amount of renewable energy generating capacity in the UK. Each area should do its bit if it has the required natural resources and infrastructure - we can't just leave it to others. Therefore, I believe that Swale is a prime candidate for the development of large, utility-scale solar parks and associated battery storage. I believe the urgent need for this overrides any visual impact concerns. In principle, therefore, I support the proposal for Cleve Hill Solar Park and believe that the visual impact will be minimal with sensitive design, including screening. However, I also know that renewable energy projects must be developed sensitively and appropriately and I remain concerned at the potential impact on wildlife. Firstly, it is important to note that the current land-use (agricultural) is not particularly beneficial to wildlife. Indeed, surveys have shown that there are low invertebrate numbers, probably as a result of agricultural chemical inputs. It may look 'green' but it is in fact poor quality for biodiversity. Agricultural activities also have had a negative impact on local waterways and aquatic wildlife. I therefore welcome the site being taken out of agricultural use and conversion to a solar farm could - on evidence from other projects elsewhere - have a net positive impact on wildlife, providing a quiet, undisturbed and food-rich habitat. I like the idea of a dedicated Habitat Management Area and community orchard in the proposal - these are positive measures. However, I am concerned that the proposed design of the PV array - an east-west orientation angled at only 8 degrees - could 'sterilise' the ground below by creating a rooftop cutting out sunlight. As this design is quite uncommon, I do not feel confident that there is enough evidence in the application on the potential impacts and that we can therefore be sure that there is net positive benefit for wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Anne Stevens
"I object to this proposal as it will turn a valuable natural area -- necessary for plant life and birdlife and the production of food into an artificial forest -- degrading it to an industrial zone. This industrial proposal should be put in a better suited area such as industrial area where no harm is done to wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Barry Vane
"A blot on the landscape.Ruining a superb wildlife habitat"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ben Chapman
"Hello, I am strongly against the development of the solar power farm. There are several reasons why this solar power farm should not be built on this site, the most important of these would include: - Turning an area of historic and outstanding beauty into something resembling a factory - Ongoing access and traffic - during and after construction - Ruining the enjoyment of walkers, dog walkers and bird watchers using the Saxon Shore Way - Significant environmental impact - Significant destruction of important wildlife/bird habitat - No consideration of suitable alternatives [further inland for example I hope this helps builds a case against this awful proposition. Thanks, Ben"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brents Community Association
"Whilst the Brents Community Association (BCA) generally supports the use of renewable energy, it is wholly opposed to the the Cleve Hill proposal, due to: the enormous site (the size of the town of Faversham) and height of the installations; the unlimited damage to the environment of the whole area; the impact on natural habitat of wildlife. It is disingenuous to call it a 'park' - it is an industrial site. The BCA represents thousands of residents from the west creekside up through the neighbouring estate and beyond. We have continually worked to improve the environment keeping the creekside free of litter and preserving the habitats of birds and other wildlife. Also the whole area has always attracted ramblers and cyclists as eco-tourists, who will no longer come when confronted with this huge monstrosity. We are also concerned about the future of the site when it comes to the end of it's life - more housing development?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Richard Wintle-Smith
"1. Increasing Flood risk - The 10 hectares + that will surround the sub-station and batteries is part of the part of the Faversham flood plain. Little consideration seems to have been given to the negative impact on the surrounding ares including Faversham Town in the event of of the need to close the Thames Barrier. Where does the extra water go? 2. The visual impact of of the proposed development is horrendous, units as high 12ft will be visible from as far away as Conyer, Sheppey, Whitstable and Boughton it will appear as an enormous warehouse. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Candice McGowan
"1. Landscape & visual impact: High landscape value Swale designation (plan 2017), 360 degrees panoramic views, 12ft high apex panels would be seen from Oare, Isle Sheppey, Graveney, Faversham, Whistable, Thanet way, new bund, concrete, fencing, battery storage, all affecting connectivity aspects. Apparent lack of consideration of suitable alternatives on brownfield sites. 2.Environmental Impacts: Wildlife: not enough evidence or research to demonstrate there will be no significant impact on all wildlife, habitat fragmentation caused by fences, size of area covered, full corridor of bird movement may not have been fully assessed, a full assessment of "Habitat and Species Regulation 2020" should be done to prove no impact will be made on all birdlife in the area including overwintering visitors, Brent Geese are nervous, will not necessarily return, many protected species will be affected including Marsh Harriers, Lapwings, Cettis warbler, yellow hammer, yellow wagtail, bearded tit, barn owl, Great Crested newts, water voles, bats to mention a few. 3. Cultural Heritage & Archaeology: the North Kent AHLV identifies the area as an" open and ecologically important landscape defined by open flat grazing land with broad skies...a strong sense of remoteness", insufficient importance appears to have been given to this and how both locals, visitors and tourists will be affected by the changes planned. Victory Wood, Blean and Harty's Church are properties not considered. 4. Traffic: Proposed route for heavy lorries is totally unsuitable, narrow road, sharp corner over narrow bridge, passes school, church, residential properties, access to rights of way, hardly any footpath causes intimidation by lorries. No considerations for other forms of transport eg. sea. Incorrect info citing London Array transportation - not on the same scale. Subsidence issues to houses, roads, bridge. Disruption to everyday life over a 2yr period. 5.Hydrology, flood risk, soil & ground conditions: Flood zone 3A, was supposed to be returned to salt marsh to replace lost habitats from coastal squeeze, and protect places like Faversham from flooding. Concerns about how CHSP are to maintain flood protection over the period of occupancy. Soil temperature studies impact evidence for a ground covering of this size resulting in variation of air and soil microclimate, including vegetation management, photosynthesis and net ecosystem. Water run off. Soil erosion, sedimentation in streams degrading wildlife. 6. Noise: Tranquillity of massive area destroyed by electrical equipment, battery storage ( of which little detail has been provided), ground borne vibration, pile driving, is there sufficient attention to Castle Coot receptors, humming from transformers, cooling fans. 7. Socioeconomics: no specific study on tourism impact, this should not be overlooked, Saxon Shore way runs alongside with great views over the marshes, the impact of high fences and solar array would destroy the pleasure for locals and tourists alike. Many use this open space to escape industrialisation, this would be lost. 8. Other: Recreation & land use, Air Quality, Glint & glare, Waste, Human rights, Poor consultations especially for disabled, major accidents, hrs of working. A full submission will be detail when needed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carmel Park
"I am greatly concerned about the physical change to the landscape and the impact on the wildlife. I'm concerned about the impact on the tide and that the water levels will push up the tides in Faversham which is already prone to flooding."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Caroline Williams
"Environmental Impact Site selection and lack of consideration of suitable alternatives Inadequate description of the proposed development Legislative and planning policy context Landscape and visual impact Effect on ecology and wildlife Birds – both local and over-wintering Cultural heritage and archaeology Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery Socio-economics, effects on tourism Access and traffic, especially during the build Interaction and accumulation of effects"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Cath Jones
"the size and location of the proposed solar farm will utterly destroy the marshes. As a local person who regularly walks along the coastal path, I cannot understand how such a mammoth solar farm can even be considered. Why are brown field sites not being used instead? Why are new industrial units and existing industrial units not being fitted with solar panels? Install panels on houses instead? The height and size of the panels will decimate the wilderness feel of the area. I know of a local seven year old who walks this area with her father. When she heard about the proposed farm, she cried. This is just plain WRONG "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Avery
"I am a primary school teacher and have resided in Kent with my family for most of my life. I live near Folkestone and have been a frequent visitor to Graveney Marshes since 1998, regularly walking across the marshes, enjoying the tranquil countryside and all that nature has to offer. I feel that Graveney Marshes are unique and vital in helping me to relax and recover from the everyday stresses and strains that I go through in a typical week at work. With a family to look after and a demanding job, I find the need to recharge my batteries is paramount to my health and sense of wellbeing and walking in the countryside is the best tonic and leaves me, and many others, refreshed and ready for another week. I am afraid that if we do not value these oases of beauty and calm, we are in danger of losing them and, without these reviving opportunities, our mental health will also suffer. The planned solar farm will needlessly destroy so much of our beautiful countryside and is an violation of our quality of life that can never be restored. The tranquil character of our countryside is at risk and I am horrified that this solar farm could even get past the drawing board when so many other options should first be considered. For example, we should be taking advantage of roof space on school buildings, churches, supermarkets and new housing developments to harness the solar power; it won’t’ disturb our countryside or ruin the habitat of many important wildlife species, animals and plants. As a primary school teacher and the science lead at the school, I am daily find being made aware of the need to keep our precious countryside safe as I teach children about nature in science as well as across the curriculum. Our curriculum across the year groups, and in all primary schools, revolves heavily around nature and involves many visits to countryside places. You may be aware of beach or forest schools where children are taught to understand and respect our natural world. Indeed, we have explored Graveney Marshes and learnt about this fantastic example of great diversity in nature. The children have also learnt all about the importance of finding alternatives to creating energy and understand that solar power is a great use of the resources we have available. However, I have to say that they are devastated and extremely confused to discover that the solar farm planned will destroy a much-loved space. They struggle to understand how their government (even at the age of 7, children are beginning to understand about government and voting in a democratic society!) could possibly consider this as a good idea. It makes me feel so terribly sad when I think that in a few years’ time these children will be asking why we allowed this to happen. My hope is that this solar farm will not be considered as an option for renewable energy. I believe we have the greatest treasure of all in nature and we must not overlook our responsibility to nature and to our children’s future and the future of this planet. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charlotte Haigh
"As a resident of Faversham, and previously Canterbury, the Graveney Marshes are a landscape me and my family enjoy on an almost daily basis. It offers a great space for local residents and tourists to access and enjoy the North Kent coastline. The proposed plans for a large Solar Park will decimate this area of beauty, and negatively impact the local wildlife and breeding habitats of a range of key bird species. With climate change, and an increases in extreme weather events, the building of the Solar Park will also increase the risk of flooding. Finally, the impact on the local area, the level of traffic, the congestion and increased noise pollution to the local area, both during the building stage and on completion will put untold pressure on the already struggling road network. Surely there are other brownfield sites that can be considered?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charlotte Molesworth
"These marshes represent for the Avocet, Wigeon, Dunlin, Redshank, Shelduck, Teal, Little Egret, Grey Plover, Knot, Ruff, Black Tailed Godwit, Bar Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Short Eared Owls, Hobby and Peregrine Falcons nationally significant habitats that would be detrimental to the populations if lost. The birds use many parts of the site, not only the western end. There are breeding birds such as skylarks, dunnocks and yellow wagtails together with reed buntings, oystercatcher and lapwings nesting all over the site. Most of these are ground-nesting birds and rely on insects found in the existing vegetation to feed their young. Nine species of bat are present on the marsh including soprano pipistrelles, common pipistrelles, noctules and Daubenton’s bats. The marshes provide habitat for over 30 species of rare and scarce species of species of beetle, bugs, flies, bees and planthoppers which are either of regional or national significance"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charlotte Southall
"1 The very large size of the proposed solar array will dominate the area and dramatically alter its character. This is an area of considerable beauty, history and diverse bird life and such a large array will be detrimental to the area. 2 the height of the solar panels will be overwhelming and very intrusive. 3 the size of the area covered will dramatically alter the availability of marsh area for wildlife 4 a smaller scheme with lower panel structures would be beneficial in many ways and from my perspective as someone who buys from sustainable energy sources currently welcome. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Callaghan
"The developers have provided a great deal of information about the land which they wish to use, however much of it is irrelevant (eg all the data about badgers and otters that are not found there as it is totally unsuitable for them). On the other hand, there is a lot of necessary information missing about how they intend to use weedkillers, pesticides and other synthetic chemicals. Their proposals have made the proud boast that the quality of the land could be improved if no longer used for farming, so this additional information is vital if this claim is to be justified. During the clearing and preparation of this land, and during construction, there are a number of common plant species that will germinate there. Not just stinging nettles and brambles, but more hardy species such as elder, hawthorn, silver birch, sycamore etc. These will be extremely difficult to eliminate unless tackled early, and I think the use of broad-spectrum herbicides will be unavoidable, and yet the developers proposals include no information about this. Once the solar farm is established, these species will continue to germinate from wind-blown seeds, and other large annuals too – cow parsley, hemlock and hogweed are common in this area. There will be areas under the solar panels where it will not be practical to mow due to the many panels supports, so these areas will also need application of herbicide. There has been some mention of sheep “maybe” being used to control vegetation, but they are not able on their own to control many of the plant species already listed, and there will be broad-leaved perennial weeds such as creeping thistle and ragwort which they do not eat. It is well known that the efficiency of solar panels is reduced as they get dirty, and it is is common for detergents to be used to clean them. What I have indicated is that there is certain to be a need to apply synthetic chemicals on the land at Cleve Hill. This is certain to have a significant impact upon the rare bird species that use the land (eg marsh harriers, peregrines, buzzards, red kites, kestrels, merlins and hobbies) . The health of that land is inextricably linked to the health of surrounding areas which are already designated as areas of special interest (a SSSI, a RAMSAR etc). All of the raptors which use that land forage over a considerable area around the Estuary, so each parcel of land cannot be considered in isolation, but the health of the whole area must be maintained. The plans for Cleve Hill have failed to address the issues that I have outlined, and this must be remedied. If the developers disagree with my assessment, then they must explain in detail how my logic is at fault. However, whatever their stated intentions, I ask the planning authorities to insist that they be included as strict conditions of any permission to proceed. It is not acceptable for plans to be submitted that side-step issues relating to the use of synthetic chemicals like herbicides, and for permission to then be granted that allows them the leeway to use them at a later date. If planning permission is granted on the assumption that no use of chemicals will be required, then I ask that “no chemical use” be included as strict condition for the project to commence."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Chris Vanderhoydonc
"What I like most about this area is the preservation of the farmhouses and church buildings. My objection is: There is little consideration for the setting of the church and the other ancient buildings in the village of Graveney -- please put this solar industrial park in a more suitable location and consider putting solar panels on the roofs of houses and commercial buildings where they do not do any harm to man, nature or animal. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Yates
"I wish to object to the proposed solar farm on the following grounds: It is a place of outstanding beauty that we should be protecting for future generations. It is an important site for wildlife in general and bird life in particular. The scale of the planned development is huge and will dominate the area. The site is exposed and will be clearly visible in the landscape from Whitstable to Faversham. The height of the panels make this an industrial scale proposal totally unsuitable for the location and aggressive in the destructive impact it will have. Alternatives have not been explored and presented. I believe in renewables on a smaller scale where impact is manageable. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Harding
"I strongly object to this proposal for the following reasons: 1) The location is existing good fertile farmland 2) The area is adjacent to SSSI sites and is popular for walking and wildlife, when/if this gets approval it will dramatically change a large part of the Kent coastline 3) The scale and scope of the project is far to large and will blight a huge area 4) The developers have led a misleading and deceitful public consultation process 5) The time frame for building (and planning) is unacceptable trapping local residents for years to come, especially those who had previous plans which they are now no longer able to pursue. 6) Noise from building is a large concern to local residents, especially those immediately affected like my mother who lives at [redacted]. 7) Traffic through Graveney during building will cause chaos as the roads are not suitable for the number of HGV vehicles needed 8) The managing of the sea defences by the developers goes against the Environments agencies longer term plans which would be much better for local people and wildlife alike. I will happily provide further more detailed information on all of these points at a later date."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Regan
"I am very concerned that this proposed solar park will have a massive negative impact on the ecoligical system! Birds , plants and animals will be badly affected. What of the impact on human health , too ? This area also provides people with fresh air and space for running and walking - so important for our wellbeing - both physical and mental !"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Clarke Family
"We are concerned about the size of the park which will ruin the nature of the wild marshlands and above all the size of the panels which will dominate and irrevocably alter the landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Daniel Harding
"I am profoundly alarmed at the impact the proposed development will have on an area of significant importance to local and international wildlife, as well as on the visual aspect of the site and the implications for the long-term effect on the soil and the surrounding ecology. Other areas in the county would seem to offer a more suitable place for the proposed battery, and the area which would be covered is important to tourism and local recreation. The scale of the plan appears to be excessive, and the size of the solar panels would have a devasating impact both visually and, in the long-term, on the soil conditions."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Broyd
"I regularly cycle through Graveney Marshes into Faversham. It is a long route but I take it because it is off main roads and has a still beauty and I often see wildlife. The Solar Farm would ruin the character of the landscape and would change the nature of the wildlife that live in the area. The vast housing estates that have grown up around Whitstable and other towns in the past 30 years have acres and acres of roofing that could be used for solar panels given some imagination and drive to properly explain and incentivise the process. It is wrong to ruin the landscape simply because alternative, less environmentally damaging, approaches to renewables take a bit more effort and creativity. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr J P Croft
"I register my concern as Faversham resident and regular user of Graveney Marshes. It is not acceptable for a private company to seek such a development on such an unprecedented scale. The obvious consequences of the development for both the environment and the quality of life of neighbours should disqualify this proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Eleanor Williams
"The main points I wish to make in relation to the application for a Cleve Hill Solar Park are: The government should pay for energy plants (of any description) and own Britain's energy. It is just too big, too invasive, too experimental, too negatively impacting on the local area - which doesn't have the infrastructure to cope with build and follow up - too detrimental to wildlife. It's too high and too intensive. So ugly and a large blot on the landscape. Economically - the profits don't stay in Britain, British people pay a premium for the energy, how many local people local jobs will it actually create. There is no known risk to the wildlife since it has never been done before but obviously is going to have a massive negative impact on wildlife and birdlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Estelle Jourd
"The proposed Cleve Solar Farm power station which has been described by the leader of Swale Council as “a complete disaster” is just that. It is solely a for profit venture which is being ‘sold’ as a wonderful scheme to provide energy for 110,000 homes. The damage to the environment during construction and for the lifetime of this project is overwhelming. The proposed site borders an extensive site of scientific interest (SSSI) and the Kent Wildlife Trust reserves at Oare Marshes and South Swale and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds manages areas in nearby Seasalter Levels and the coastal path that runs alongside the site is used by thousands who appreciate the unrivalled beauty and peacefulness of this area. The construction of this solar farm is estimated to take 2 years during which fully loaded HGVs will have to negotiate the narrow country lane through Graveney, estimated at 50 HGVs per day. This is unsustainable. The road is used by farm vehicles, a removals business, local bus services (including buses for fruit pickers) and many cycling clubs. It is impossible for 2 HGVs to pass one another on this road. The scale of the proposed solar farm is out of all proportion to this rural environment and the physical and visual impact of this industrialisation of the countryside would be devastating. There is absolutely no need or justification for the wrecking of this special treasured space. This project is to be a for profit one. Where is the governmental support for solar panels on private houses and the vast industrial sites with roofs that could be utilised? We need locally accountable energy companies and cooperatives to rival the existing private energy suppliers as opposed to these vast environmentally destructive projects with no consideration for the suitability of the site or the damage to local populations. [redacted] said during a previous protest “it is not elitist or nimbyist to care about the countryside it is the proper demand of the citizen”. The proposed panels will completely cover the site designed as they are, the height of a double decker bus and zigzagging across the ground with no space in between. This industrialisation is unimaginable and shocking especially with the subsequent glare in the sunlight. For the multitude of people who come to watch the Brent geese arrive in their hundreds in the autumn to feed in the sea and on the marshes, and to hear the skylarks in the summer months singing on the wing above their nests on the ground, and the countless seabirds in their natural surroundings, to hear the wind rustling in the reeds, and the cry of the distant sheep, this is such a special place. Somewhere to lose oneself in nature, to recharge one’s batteries away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In my whole life having known and loved this place for over 70 years I am heartbroken at the thought that this wonderful place is to be descecrated in this way."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Fabio Canini
"I object because: The solar panels used here are nearing a million in number --- they are artificial, cheap and manufactured in China -----------you can not manufacture thousands of years of natural English environment and the wildlife on it -- you can not let this area be destroyed. This is the wrong place ---it needs to go in a more suitable place such as defunct industrial areas. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
France
"This plan destroys an area of beauty and a haven for wildlife. This destruction will be complete and the site will never return to its natural state. These solar panels are already old technology and will be outdated virtually before they have been constructed. There are suitable brownfields sites that would be better utilised. The traffic necessary for the construction would further destroy an area of peace and tranquility that will never return."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gail Richards
"I am a regular visitor to Graveney Marshes. I visit to walk the Saxon Way and take a keen interest in the wildlife. Particularly the marsh harriers and Brent geese. I oppose the development of the solar park farm."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gem Davie
"These proposed plans would be a catastrophe for the environment and the local wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gina Porter
"Graveney marshes are unspoilt and beautiful. I believe that this solar farm would have a deleterious impact on this area and its wildlife. I am very much pro solar energy, but feel strongly that it should be built into housing building regs, and that solar farms should be built on brownfield sites, which these marshes are'nt."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graeme Murton
"The loss of a wild life sanctuary and the blight on the shore side and Faversham , IT WILL NEVER BE REPLACED, find some where else that does not destroy so much natural beauty."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Guido Schonkeren
"Objection: I know friends here and this is shameful -- this village of Graveney and the towns of Faversham and Whitstable have already been involved in the "LondonArray" development --something not to be repeated as a horrendous reminder is clearly visible for all to see and the villagers still have the scars of having to put up with the influx of lorries and this would be so much worse --- getting cheap access to a "point" is not an excuse for destroying this area of nature."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Hanne Vrolix
"As a keen walker I totally object to the decimation of the Saxon Shore Way --- this walk should be looked after so that local people and tourists can continue to enjoy it. Having to walk amongst and next to giant artificial structures, being monitored with security cameras is a nonsense and this "park" should be planted where it does not impact on anyone. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helen James
"I am opposed to the solar park because it is far too big for the proposed site. As a local resident I know what an important piece of land and it serves as an important ecological lung for Whitstable. Solar power is a good thing but the scale of this is ridiculous. It will destroy the local area, for wildlife, for tourists and for local people. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Hilde Creemers
"My objection : This gigantic solar farm will completely transform the uniqueness, character and appearance of the landscape of Graveney Marshes. The open rural area of agricultural land would be replaced by artificial structures, inverters, transformers and a large battery storage facility. In addition this will be fenced off ----making this a no-go area for tourists such as myself. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Jaklien Goijens
"The impact -- should this project go ahead -- on the Saxon Shore Way and the enjoyment of this area will be severely adversely affected, making it unattractive as a place to visit."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Conway
"I have a number of concerns about the application for the solar power station at this particular site. These concerns I wish to submit are as follows: 1. The huge scale of the proposed development, the size of the town of Faversham, will have a profound effect on the local community in terms of increased traffic, and, more worryingly, chemical and noise pollution. This is a beautiful and peaceful coastal area, of international importance (a RAMSAR designated area is adjacent to the proposed site), which is enjoyed by many people, but will be completely destroyed by such a dominating presence over such a wide area. 2. Inappropriate positioning of the site. There is an SSSI next to the proposed site, as well as an RSPB reserve and RAMSAR site. Such a massive industrialisation on and next to this significant open area will inevitably adversely affect the wildlife and habitat. 3. The proposal of Cleve Hill Solar to take responsibility for coastal flood defences raises the risk of a conflict of interests. A profit-motivated company will serve its own best interests first. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Macalpine-Downie
"This site is a high grade agricultural land. It is host to rare and protected wildlife species and is part of the international important North Kent Marshes area. If this project goes ahead no matter how it is dressed up the local wildlife will suffer and it will not be to the benefit of local environment. Once all the land is covered over one way or another what then !! "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Merza
"This is a step in completely the wrong direction.... It will destroy an important local amenity and have a massive environmental impact. We should be investing in fitting PV to domestic and industrial buildings where the owner gains the economic benefit and gets to understand the amount of energy they are using.... Reduction is the key here, not commercially motivated exploitation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Brian Francis Regan
"While one is very sympathetic to the need for solar energy generation, this particular development is completely inappropriate in the proposed location for the following reasons: The massive scale and construction of the development will have a huge environmental and visual impact on the landscape. It is inevitable that it will have a a major detrimental effect on the ecology and wildlife in this extremely sensitive area which attracts a wide variety of birds, both local and over-wintering. To date, the description of the proposed development is quite inadequate. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Carey
"This project, if it goes ahead, will have an enormous and cataclysmic effect on the site itself and also on the local area. At a time when people like David Attenborough are warning that we must do all that we can to support and encourage all wildlife, converting an area of the north Kent marshes larger than Faversham into one huge factory roof is too high a price to pay, whatever the amount of green electricity produced. There would be a massive impact on the local community, including traffic - trucks and lorries in a continuous stream along the two or three narrow access lanes - and fumes and noise ....... The addition to the original plan, of the battery storage facility, taking up another 24 acres, involves the use rare metals, mined from probably dwindling resources somewhere in this world. It will/would increase the profitability of the project. Finally, the bigger picture: Faversham is under siege from the developers in all directions! Surely this should be taken into account in this and all other proposed developments. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Judith Ormesher
"I am concerned about the impact of the E-W aligned large solar panels. These will inevitably completely cover the ground and deplete the vegetation to almost nothing. Photosynthesis will be compromised or cease in large areas. This will allow the soil to degrade and become vulnerable to erosion. The panels themselves will channel rainfall allowing harder, faster downpour impacts with the enhanced risk of flooding and soil erosion. The application does not plan for harvesting of rain water. Not least, covering a large expanse of productive grassland in this way will destroy an important carbon sink. The application talks about significantly lowering PAR(photosynthetically active radiation) and a comparative study of these impacts done under Sitka spruce. It mentions that soil erosion is at a high risk. These are two different habitat types and a solar site of this size has not previously been constructed at this latitude. In addition studies on the effect of soil and photosynthesis have only been done on S facing panels. (APFP Reg 5 (2)a 6.4.53) In summary, the implications of this massive array and associated construction on soil degradation and flooding are not certain from the application. The loss of an important Carbon sink is a factor of concern. There are other options for introducing solar panels and production of solar energy in the area which have not been addressed I.e. the large number of new builds occurring and proposed and of course, brownfield site options. Mitigation of grazing marsh grassland / buffer strips and shelter belt will only be done for for 5 years. It is not clear in terms of carbon loss if this will match the loss of the established habitat. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jules Ellis
" I am a local resident and frequently walk in this area. Whilst I am in agreement with solar energy I am very concern about a solar farm of this scale being put anywhere other than brownfield sites or on existing and new housing and in particular in an area of such important ecology and wildlife..in particular native and migratory birds , and I do not believe this will be mitigated against on a project of this scale and Already loss of species is a big concern and we cannot afford to continue in supporting loss of habitat and species extinction. .other reasons for objection include, damage to asthethic value and resulting impact on eco tourism. .."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Juman Simaan
"I am opposing this solar park because of its anticipated impact on the environment, wildlife and the local landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Katy Limmer
"I have been spending time here regularly over the last twenty years and am a committed birdwatcher and nature enthusiast. I am seriously concerned about the detrimental effects the solar farm will have on the conservation area, the many and varied birds that live and feed and nest and breed on the marshes and the fields throughout the year at a time when many are at risk nationally. There is a very healthy, thriving and unique ecosystem here between plants, insects, mammals and birds, between the sea and the shingle and the marsh and field interior, all interdependent on one another. A huge disruption on this land due to the lengthy construction of the solar farm will have an everlasting and irrecoverably detrimental effect which will bring a great sadness to the many who use this area for their health and wellbeing and to observe such a rich wealth of nature up close, something that isnt possible in many areas. This is what makes Graveney marshes such an unsuitable site for this project when whilst we need to pursue renewable energy projects for the future we must look after the few healthy lands we have and build these sites in places where the disruption will have a less harmful effect."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kevin Harding
"I strongly object to this proposal for the following reasons: 1) The location is existing good fertile farmland 2) The area is adjacent to SSSI sites and is popular for walking and wildlife, when/if this gets approval it will dramatically change a large part of the Kent coastline 3) The scale and scope of the project is far to large and will blight a huge area 4) The developers have led a misleading and deceitful public consultation process 5) The time frame for building (and planning) is unacceptable trapping local residents for years to come, especially those who had previous plans which they are now no longer able to pursue. 6) Noise from building is a large concern to local residents, especially those immediately affected like my mother who lives at [redacted]. 7) Traffic through Graveney during building will cause chaos as the roads are not suitable for the number of HGV vehicles needed 8) The managing of the sea defences by the developers goes against the Environments agencies longer term plans which would be much better for local people and wildlife alike. I will happily provide further more detailed information on all of these points at a later date."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lee Doubtfire
"I own a chalet to the east of the proposed solar array and I am deeply concerned about the possibility of flooding to our land due to raised sea defences in order to protect the assets of the solar array operator. The land on which the proposed solar array is to be built forms a flood plain for the Faversham area, we have seen over the last decade the folly of building on such land. There is also the impact on our wild life in the north Kent marshes, the Swale estuary and the adjacent SSSI site.This loss of habitat will have an impact on our indigenous and migratory wild life at a time when many species are in decline due to loss of habitat. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Leentje Van de Weyer
"This is a beautiful natural area and I think this proposal should not be considered because of the damage it will do to the enjoyment of a valued landscape and Saxon Shore Way Walk."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Lien Oeyen
"I have relatives in this area of Kent and object with them against the destruction of nature, the landscape, the wildlife, productive agricultural land, heritage, the beauty of the marshes. Put this somewhere else. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda French
"I have happily lived in Graveney Village for 37 years with my husband who has been here all his life a total of 62 years. I am really lost for words. Of course, I am against this Solar Park as it will bring so much change into our remaining years and the future generations. Please save and preserve our precious Marshes which are enjoyed daily by all. Not just locals. Open space - Medicine. Nature as it should be allowing wildlife to survive on its own. To loose the tranquil and beauty of this scenery would be detrimental for the future of us all. Kent has changed for the wrong reasons far too much already. Polythene tunnels have just appeared over the years on many acres without us even being allowed to view our opinions. We have to stop this development. We cannot afford to loose any more countryside in Graveney. The village, once again, expected to handle the mayhem of heavy traffic during construction. Why should we be forced to move to another area of the United Kingdom to enjoy God's pleasures of life! Build all new houses with solar panels. vehicles during construction, it will cause so much stress to us all as a community. We have had to suffer this when the Sub Statation was built. We have had our share of disruption, thank you."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Parkes
"My view on the Cleve Hill solar park is that it will have a enormous impact on the village of Graveney. The noise of the electrical equipment will add to the misery for the people. The effect on birds, wildlife and landscape will be horrendous and there is no consideration of suitable alternatives with the proposed site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lucy Boutwood
"I am hugely concerned about the Environmental Impact. This project will affect both local and over-wintering birds - some of which are in decline. This area is massively important to them. The noise created will affect not only wildlife but also tourism With the effects of climate change and the possibility of flooding to this area, this is not the right place to have these panels. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Madeleine Eerdekens
"I am very fortunate to have family living in this area and my objection is that this area should not be transformed into an industrial zone -- this is a beautiful area with great birdlife, walking opportunities, heritage, landscape and quietness --this should be kept like this -- not destroyed!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret joanne Wintle-Smith
"The proposed location of the Solar Power Station will cover part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area. It will abut the Swale Ramsar site which is designated foe its important assemblage of bird and plant species. The site will impact the Swale Special Protection Area and the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area and also the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust. The Faversham and Graveney Marshes attracts large numbers of visitors – whether interested in history, marine life, birds or general recreational walking – to this part of Swale. Although developers assert that for Kent the impact will be negligible, we have seen no analysis of the short and longer economic impact the development will have on Faversham and the businesses that support and service our visitors."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret Peckham
"I object to this application because: 1 it's too massive in size 2 The panels are too high with no space between 3 loss of habitat for fauna and flora 4 loss of amenity for local people to enjoy this beautiful, wide open space 5 loss of amenity to attract tourism in this and the surrounding areas 6 ongoing impact over many years during the building of this solar park "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Maria Menear
"Because of the massive scale of the proposed development we are concerned that it will change the character of Faversham. It will have huge impact on the local wildlife, we are particularly worried about the birdlife. We understand it has formed part of the floodplain for hundreds of years. We also understand that there are alternative brown field sites available or why not fit the large amount of new housing being built with solar panels. This would limit the impact on nature from the housing. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Stefanicki
"Dear Sirs, OPENING STATEMENT: just THINK before bringing up NIMBYism. Who else's backyard am I going to fight for, if not my own. And what, pray, is wrong in NOT wanting something in your backyard? Thing 1: do not try to pull the wool over anyone's eyes by calling your 'project' a Solar PARK. One might be tempted to ask where the childrens' play area will be... Thing 2: The Cleve Hill Ltd team is very professional, so [of course] have an 'answer' to everything. Therefore we, the residents, have to jump through hoops set up by The Process, to no avail. I have meagre confidence in public consultations making any difference. I live here. West Sussex and Hampshire are a little way off, so your officers who live there and not here are less likely to care. Thing 3: I have written the word 'answer' in Thing 2 above in inverted commas, as some of their answers are not answers at all. e.g. August 2018 leaflet, Phase 2 update... page 3 [no page numbers though] I quote: "Respondents expressed their concerns about the size..." Their 'answer' makes no mention of any measures to make it smaller, a natural consequence to an objection over size. "Respondents...believe the proposed location for the site is unsuitable." Their 'answer' - "To date, no other sites have been identified..." A) So... keep looking. B) That is NOT an answer. They [probably on purpose] misconstrue the word 'unsuitable' in the objection. It may be very convenient for the Cleve Hill Ltd people technically, but it remains unsuitable; it is an expanse of natural, wild land. It will become a Solar Power Station. That would make it unsuitable to the area - and [I wonder if you can see this...] there is simply no argument against that. C) Saying that 'no other sites have been identified' is a bit like me saying, "where might I park my camper van [if I had one...]. Outside my house is unsightly and unsuitable. I know, what about outside[REDACTED] Sorry - can't find anywhere else..." Thing 4: "residents expressed their concerns about the visual impact of the site [and] the height of the solar panels..." Their answer is actually quite promising in a way. ""Following our Phase 2 consultation, we have removed more panels at Cleve Hill..." That's the idea! Removal of panels! The obvious answer to mitigate all effects on visual impact is to remove the panels completely. Essentially: no-one wants them here. They should Go Away. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Collins
"Given the modifications made in response to earlier representations with a view to preserving biodiversity on the site,I support the application. I do so on the grounds that the generation of electricity without causing further damage to the atmosphere is vital. The issue is literally existential. Energy storage is an essential component of the economy of electricity supply from renewable sources so I am in favour of both the erection of solar panels and the proposed battery facility."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Oldmeadow
"Loss of habitat for the birds and the green space. Concern over flood levels and the fact China will make the solar panels and do nothing for their own environmnent"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mary Claire Smith
"I wish to register my view that the marshland around Graveney and Faversham rather than be under threat should be registered as an area of outstanding beauty, these ancient flatlands house numerous species of flora and fauna. The south east of England is becoming increasingly built upon in all ways and populated. It is vital that we retain breathing spaces between developments, whilst I am a strong supporter of renewable energy I feel this is the wrong location for this huge project which will devestate the countryside, the views and the lives of those living and visting this unique part of our coastal landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Matthew French
"I have lived in Graveny nearly all my life growing up and then returning after university to start a family. I have seen many changes in Graveney some small some large, but nothing of this proposed magnitude . As a result I am not in support of the proposed solar farm. The proposed area maximises almost all of the availble land that is not protected right up to the boundary. This boundary on a map is a physical line but in reality this boundary is not so black and white wildlife co in habitat either side of the line. utilising all the available land will be devistating for any neighbourgh. Wildlife being forced to leave the area and never return. Looking at the views and the proposed scences I believe one has not been taken from the area I live in. I have just managaed to get planning permision which utilises this outstanding uniterputed view right across to the isle of sheppy. The proposed size of the solarpark would look like an inland sea, that i believe cannot be screened certainly from my outlook. i believe my property and others will be significanly de valued as a result. I refer to various planing advice and proposals where i continually was refused with the reoccuring phrase "intrusion into the countryside" In my case a small extension is hardly a intrusion to the countyside, well this certainly is!! Also living on the sealsalter road im very worried about the increase in trafic and the lasting effect on propety and hedge rows. Too many hedge rows are being removed and not being replanted. Technology is changing so fast with respect to Solar, I am infavor of solar but not at this magnitude, I belive solar should be installed to roofs of large commericail and farm buildings, in 10 years time this technology may well be out of date, where a farm of nearly half the size will be able to harvest the same engery, this is not fact but only a therory but at the moment a panel is only 20% effcient this can only improve. Graveney has already seen the contruction of the London Array substation with no benifit to the local area, dont let anouther project of a greater size have a irriversible affect. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Ellsmore
" I wish to object to the building of a solar power station on the Graveney Marshes. This is a disproportionate development in the context of the area, and will take away an important habitat for wildlife and will result in a significant loss of amenity for the people of the area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Newman
"I believe this development to be completely inappropriate for this area. I am a regular walker/visitor to Graveney Marsh and I love it for it's wildness and unique habitat. This development will destroy this uniqueness and well as severely impacting on the rich flora and fauna of the marsh. We cannot keep destroying nature for profit. Where will the birds and animals live? We need renewable energy but not in these special places. Perhaps on brownfield sites or on our rooftops. Please reject this application."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Sanders
"I support the concept of a Solar Park, but not at Graveney Marshes. It is a site of Special Scientific Interest, part of one of the seventy-four wetland areas in England protected under the Ramsar Convention of 1971, and a Special Protection Area under the EU directive on conservation of wild birds, which is likely to remain in force after Brexit. Above all it is an amenity for the town of Faversham, much enjoyed by everyone who walks, rambles, jogs, runs or bird-watches. More suitable sites are available just up the coast, not least the former airport at Manston, if that is no longer to be used for its intended purpose."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michelle Burney
"I am more than happy to have solar panels within the Faversham area, but feel the size and scale of the proposed site is far to big. The current area is an area of outstanding natural beauty,that is used by wildlife and general public for enjoyment, relaxation and nature conversation. I believe that this could be achieved by setting solar panels lower ground letting three foot and future apart, thus allowing animals to continue to use the grazing land. And making the area smaller. This smaller area can be negated by using local large supermarkets can have solar panels on roof tops and over car parking areas. I hope these suggestions may be considered, in the hope of saving a beautiful area from total destruction. Thank you."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Moira Poulton
"This is too big and in totally the wrong place It will destroy a wonderful area of marshland Please do not let this happen"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Michael Cook
"I object to the planning application for a Solar Power Station at Cleve Hill, Faversham. I am in favour of sources of renewable energy but my objections to this particular proposal are as follows. I have grave concerns about the negative environmental and amenity impact of the solar power station being proposed at Cleve Hill and the surrounding marshes.There are alternative brownfield sites in Kent. What is proposed on the outskirts of my town is a huge industrial development as big if not larger than Favershan itself. Its impact would have a negative effect on the environment and reduce the economic and amenity value to those both living and using the area. The area is a site of Special Scientific Interest. It makes no sense to destroy such a site in pursuit of sustainable energy. There are more appropriate brownfield sites in the county - The old Kingsnorth and Ramsgate power station sites would be more appropriate and not incur damage to a fragile eco system. It is proposed that the power company be given responsibility for the seawall currently covered by the Environment Agency. I fear this could lead, in the future, to them raising the the height of the seawall to protect their solar panels thus increasing the risk of serious flooding to our town. These marshes are a protective floodplain for Faversham. Currently the Environment Agency has responsibility and is thus under democratic control. I am worried that the proposal puts the future of an important SSSI into the hands of a power company. Without oversight by a public body I am not confident that the incentives of the operator and developer would ensure the long term protection of the site. The site is also an important archaeological area which complements the historical context of the town. Such a large industrial complex would have a negative impact on the heritage and culture of Faversham. Noise and disruption during construction and afterwards would be significant. The developers have provided little information about the noise levels generated by the inverters, transformers, battery packs and other elements of the energy production process. Certainly during construction there would be a great amount of heavy traffic on what is a narrow country road. There is a school within one mile of the site which would be badly effected. Currently the seawall is part of the Saxon Shore Way, a recognised foot path enjoyed by many. The natural beauty of the land would be destroyed by the development. This area forms part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive area. It is also directly adjacent to the Swale Ramscar site which is designated because it has an important assemblage of bird and plant species. This will all be at risk. Clearly I am a supporter of clean sustainable energy as a way of preserving our planet but it makes no sense to me to do so by destroying a unique natural environment in the process. There are better places to site such a development. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs J Hobson
"My primary concern about the proposed Cleve Hill solar farm is the vast scale of the operation and therefore the extreme environmental impact this would have on all the many birds, insects and small mammals that rely on Graveney Marshes for their habitat. Once lost, the marshes would be gone forever and so would the wildlife. I really hope that an alternative siting for this solar farm can be found that would not have such devastating environmental consequences. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Jill White
"I wish to register my interest in this development. I have lived in Whitstable for six years but before that often visited this area to watch birds - brought here at a young age by my parents. Graveney is special because of its wildness and distance from development. It is a hugely important site for birds especially wintering waders and wildfowl. The Brent goose population is a regular winter migrant and needs preserving. Despite the assurances from the developers the development of such a massive sight will inevitably have an enormous impact on the wildlife in this area. While I appreciate the need for green energy this is not the place for such an enormous development. We are a small country and our areas dedicated to wildlife continue to shrink. We simply cannot support a development of this size without a massive negative impact on the local wildlife and local population. There are large numbers of brownfield sites in the UK especially along the thames corridor - why not look at smaller more distributed sites there. Developers seem to continually look to North Kent as a 'quite spot' to land badly thought out development projects - Boris Island, Lodge Hill. There seems to be a feeling that as there is little population these awful plans should be swept through. This area should be seen as vitally important to the nation and preserved. This application must be opposed. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Neil Ord
"I am opposing these plans to build a Battery solar plant of enormous scale which intends to occupy the entire Gaverney marshes. The marshes are place of great natural beauty and a recreation place for the general public. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nick Grossmark
"The positioning of this solar park would be detrimental to the views / landscape. Costs would far out way the benifits. Installing on this land would be detrimental to all exsisting wild life. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patrick Semple
"This proposal should not go ahead on the following grounds: It is an inappropriate scale of the location. It would destroy unique and valuable environments, Damage wildlife habitats for huge number of species of migratory birds, Render the landscape barren, Destroy large parts of what has been celebrated as the Garden of England. It could be better fulfilled by other more imaginative means and placements like investment in solar technologies for roofing materials. It is a short-term proposal offering long-term damage."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Menear
"Because of the massive scale of the proposed development we are concerned that it will change the character of Faversham. It will have huge impact on the local wildlife, we are particularly worried about the birdlife. We understand it has formed part of the floodplain for hundreds of years. We also understand that there are alternative brown field sites available or why not fit the large amount of new housing being built with solar panels. This would limit the impact on nature from the housing. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Posie Bogan
"The proposed development will have an unprecedented negative impact due to its massive and the design of the panels which are very different to others used elsewhere so they can be installed much closer together, significantly reducing the quality of the wildlife habitat compared to existing designs. The concerns flagged by Kent Wildlife Trust, CPRE and others should be taken extremely seriously. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rachael Bailey
"The area the solar farm is planned to cover is a beautiful, unique place, where the land meets the sea and the flore and fauna still continues to thrive. This essential, breeding, landing, feeding habitat for migrant birds, is highly important for the diminishing bird life that frequent these shores. With over 60% of birds dying from human intervention, plastic, construction, fishing - mass consumption of the lands precious resources, we can now clearly see the devastating effects of our actions. It is therefore essential that projects which involves the destruction of such a conservation areas are objected. Yes we need to invest in solar energy but not at the cost of further environmental harm. This green energy should be green in every way - unfortunately there are so many brown field areas why are these not earmarked for such developments? Or on the roofs of all the houses which already exist. This plan is so short sighted and once again costing the earth, please think of all the devastation this will cause and the consequences that will be incurred and reconsider ..."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rikki Ellsmore
"Climate change is an increasingly important issue, we need more renewable energy, and storing renewable energy is essential. However I do not subscribe to the theory that renewable energy needs to be produced subsidy-free - the government should do much more to promote all forms of renewable energy, including the provision of subsidies. This would lessen the need for organisations such as Cleve Hill to argue the benefits of economies of scale, leading to the excessive size of the proposed solar installation. I have seen an operational ground-mounted solar development, some distance to the east of the Faversham water treatment plant. Although considerably smaller than the proposed site , it is a visible mark on the landscape. The installation of such a large solar site will inevitably have a detrimental effect on local flora and fauna. In my opinion the best way to mitigate the impact would be to create a much smaller installation. If this is not economically viable (ie hugely profitable to the developers) then find another site. The creation of a solar installation that is virtually the same size as Faversham itself creates it's own problems. It is simply far too large. In conclusion I strongly object to the proposals."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Wraight
"I am against the solar park because firstly this is an area of outstanding beauty and it is of national importance for winter feeding waders. Areas that should be protected no matter what - these birds fly at night as well as day and they will mistake these panels for water. Thousands will die over the years if it is built - numbers that cannot and must not be allowed to happen. All the marshes surrounding this farm (Horsehil Farm) are protected areas - why is this area (the proposed solar park) not? Secondly, Graveney village is too small for the traffic that will be generated. London Array wrecked the roads and they have never been repaired properly and only half the windmills were erected and now lots of them are not working. Thirdly, this solar farm could be obsolete in five years - what then? Are the panels recyclable? I doubt it! And the there would be more hassle as they are removed and replaced."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Rowena Reder
"Key concerns are that: - this whole proposed project is far too large - there would be no benefit for ordinary people"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roy French
"I have lived in Graveney for 62 years. The following are my reasons for refusing permission for Cleve Hill Solar Park:- a) The intrusion into the wildlife habitat which has been there for thousands of years b) The actual size of the Solar Park c) To leave the flood defences in the hands of a Private Company, NOT acceptable d) No plan to control traffic in regards to the Construction Site if passed e) Between seven and ten thousand houses to be built in the Faversham area with no solar panels on any of them! Agricultural land that produces food is short. Just another reason for refusal. What is the acreage of the roofs not being used in the UK Building Programme to generate electricity? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Ruth Maslin
"Very concerned about three key issues: the flooding risk, the effect on wildlfie, and the impact on the countryside."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sam Vale
"As a local resident I use the site for recreational purposes most weeks. My concerns are numerous, but I am particularly worried about the impact that the solar farm will have on the local ecology including the local wild bird populations. There are several reports that reveal that the glare from the screens can effect birds in flight and will potentially impact of both local and migrating birds. Furthermore, the marsh land is wildlife rich area for many British and European protected species. In the plans for the solar farm there has not been enough consideration for the environmental factors that will have a heavy price on the local area and particularly the rare species that live there. There should be a full consultation of other alternative that have less of a substantial impact on an area of of rare salt marsh that is an area of outstanding beauty and thriving ecology. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Blair
"I am concerned about the environmental impact of such a large development. Bird and plant life will be affected. There will be pollution during the construction process. There will be an increase in traffic along a minor road. Consideration should have been given to building on a brown field site instead. The lovely walks across the marshes will be ruined."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Seasalter Chalet Owners Association
"Objections 1 Increase in flood risk Our site lies adjacent to the proposed development and is situated on the seaward side of the sea wall, which is currently the responsibility of the Environment Agency. If the Agency were to delegate responsibility to CHSPL they would be able to raise the height of the seawall in order to protect their assets and insulate large areas of land from inundation. These marshes have always been a coastal floodplain for the Faversham area and we are fearful that by diverting sea water away from the proposed solar park our property will take the brunt of any inundation causing massive damage to our property. 2 Loss of landscape and amenity Both the general public and our members enjoy walking along the Saxon Shore Way experiencing the extensive views, which include the whole marsh, grazing land, fruit farms and orchards. We believe the scale of the proposed solar park is unprecedented and would completely alter the open views of arable and wildlife marshland which will be replaced by serried rows of dark panels stretching into the distance from almost every view point. 3 Alternative sites Unlike other forms of energy, solar power does not need to be installed on such a huge scale. Similar benefits can be obtained from smaller sites and indeed, the installation of panels on domestic houses. There are numerous brown field sites available in the immediate area that do not seem to have been investigated and it would appear that the main attraction of Cleve Hill is the utilisation of spare capacity at the recently constructed electricity substation. This fact is not sufficient justification for the devastation of such a unique landscape. 4 Wildlife In this part of Kent we are privileged to be surrounded by no less than eight designated areas for nature conservation and special scientific interest. There is a reason for this; the area is celebrated for its diversity of wildlife, which would be devastated by the developers removal of plants and topsoil and installation of equipment which would result in the whole site being unavailable for ground nesting birds nor as a foraging /feeding habitat for birds, bats and other animals and insects over a long period. 5 Soil and ground conditions The developers propose to create grazing land under the solar panels with a mixture of grasses and wildflowers. However, we believe that this would not be possible due to the lack of sunlight and rain water penetrating the ground beneath the panels. 6 Site Scale In our opinion the unprecedented scale of the development is totally unacceptable. The height of the proposed solar panels would be approximately 4 metres and be orientated so as to appear as a continuous roof-like structure, together with huge walled areas built to accommodate the Li-lon batteries. The whole site would therefore give the appearance of an industrial landscape, completely out of keeping with its surroundings and be clearly visible to walkers using the Saxon Shore Way, which is atop the seawall. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Simon Houstoun
"Cleve Hill Solar Park is proposed to be constructed on Grade 1 agricultural land, adjoining a wildlife nature reserve (South Bank of the Swale N R). Quite apart from this entire area, on account of its proximity to the Swale Estuary, being a vital space for an assortment of bird species ( eg lapwings,barnacle geese) , the Saxon Shore Way will run along its perimeter for almost 4 miles. This coastal footpath is a prime recreational facility for both walkers and ornithologists alike. The construction of unsightly solar panels will ruin this. Who wishes to walk along a 4 mile stretch of coast staring at these things? Looking at other solar panel installations already installed, there is little, if any attempt to screen them from public view. I am not against solar panels, but in this location, a scheme of this size is completely inappropriate. These should be located on brown field sites or even on factory or superstore roofs. Some of our 21st Century industrial buildings are increasingly massive in size ( eg Aldi distribution centre on Sheppey @ Queenborough) and they should be made to accommodate solar panels in exchange for both the land they occupy and the unsightliness of their huge structures. Summing up, fine scheme -inappropriate location. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Stephani Maykes
"I have friends in this area and my objection is that people in Graveney are not being treated fairly, in fact they are disrespected and their particular circumstances are and were ignored in the "tick box consultations" and the proposed execution of this plan. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Steve Gray
"I di not wish this area of outstanding natural beauty to be lost for any reason, even eco energy generation. There are so many other less intrusive locations that could be chosen, if indeed this project is necessary. Personally I cycle along this coast regularly as do many others, for enjoyment of the outdoors and fitness, along with many others. I would not want that joy of the outdoors to be lost."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stuart Cole
"I am registering my objection to the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park development, as a regular visitor to the area who is concerned about its impact on the: * Beautiful and serene marsh landscape * Local tourism economy * Habitat of migrating birds and other wildlife I'm in favour of the move from dependency on fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, if developments are located in suitable areas and minimise the impact on the local community and wildlife habitats. The Cleve Hill Solar Park development is on an industrial scale, with solar panels as tall as double decker buses, so I fear that it will blight the marshland landscape that my mother and I have enjoyed walking around since we moved into the area nearly four years ago. Faversham and surrounding villages have a thriving community spirit and support many independent businesses, but it's a fragile economy dependent upon attracting day-trippers and tourists to the area. I am very concerned that the solar park development will deter ramblers, cyclists, bird-watchers and others who enjoy this unique landscape from visiting, with consequential economic damage to local businesses and livelihoods. The Graveney Marshes is renowned for sightings of rare migrating birds. Have the developers presented any evidence to show that their reduction of the planned size and density of the development will be sufficient to mitigate adverse impacts on birdlife and mammals through the loss of their habitat? In my view, the developers have not demonstrated the need for this size of development, nor that Graveney Marshes is a suitable site in which to locate it. Your sincerely, Stuart Cole "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Wraight
"I am against the Cleve Hill Solar for the following reasons: 1. Damage to the bird population - disruption of nesting birds for 3 years, fragmentation of their environment and all the wildlife in general. They may see the site as water reflection. 2. Damage to the village - enormous movements, used as diversion when A299 closed. The railway bridge is narrow and awkward for passing as is all the narrow route. Detrimental to the school children. Disruption at picking up and dropping off times. Also for farmers, roads already damaged by London Array and never mended. 3. Very few footpaths through the village and a well known cycle route. Lorries endanger everyone. 4. What will happen once it is out of date and needs updating, and how long before this happens all over again to update or take it all away. Surely it would be better to have these solar panels on everyone's houses and all new buildings so that land is not lost for growing and grazing - we may need this land in the future."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Suzanne P Martin
"As a local resident who uses and values the countryside between Whitstable and Faversham I wish to oppose the granting of a Development Consent Order for the installation of the huge solar photovoltaic array, battery storage and related infrastructure as proposed by Cleve Hill Solar Park. Such an industrial development is completely inappropriate for this site and would have negative implications for our whole area. The devastation which would be caused to the lives of local residents, businesses, tourism and leisure amenities is absolutely unacceptable, as would be the environmental damage. Globally, we have lost 35% of wetlands since 1970; their loss impacts directly on carbon-related climate change. The landscape of the North Kent Marshes is one of the most important wetland sites in Europe. Comprising Oare Marshes, Graveney, Nagden and Cleve Marshes, Faversham Flats and part of the Isle of Sheppey and linked to adjoining coastline, it is an integrated coastal ecosystem of international importance for multiple species including local and international bird populations. The area proposed for this array is entirely the wrong place: bordered by a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and Ramsar site. Much of it is within the Natural England-designated Greater Thames Estuary Natural Area and Character Area, and is noted as an Area of Greatest Habitat Opportunity and a Biodiversity Opportunity Area. It adjoins the Kent Wildlife Trust reserves. The land which which would be covered by this development is functionally linked to protected areas and its removal from the ecosystem would be a devastating loss of contiguous habitat, with direct impact also on habitats within the actual development site. Five times bigger than anything else built or planned in the UK this project is very differently structured from other solar developments, with panels facing east to west and installed closer together. This design is likely to increase impacts on, and significantly reduce the opportunities for, wildlife. I support the development of solar and other cleaner forms of energy but not on the vast and destructive scale of this sort of commercial enterprise in such nsuitable locations, and therefore request that permission be refused. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Swale Friends of the Earth
"Swale Friends of the Earth is one of over 100 voluntary local groups across the UK. We work in the borough of Swale to create a thriving world - a healthy natural environment and a fair economy where everyone’s needs are met, now and in the future. One of our campaign priorities is action against climate change and supporting the development of renewable energy. On this basis we support solar farms in our area, including large utility-scale projects because of the urgent need identified by the IPCC to quickly and significantly reduce carbon emissions. In principle, therefore, we support the development of Cleve Hill Solar Farm. At 350MW, the project will, according to the developer, provide enough clean electricity for over 91,000 homes annually, which will make a significant positive contribution to reducing UK carbon emissions. It is also important that renewable energy is affordable and we welcome that this project will be developed subsidy-free. We have no objection to the scale or location on visual impact grounds because, in our opinion, the need to increase UK renewable energy capacity overrides this. We also have no objection to the battery storage system aspect of the proposal on visual, safety or sustainability grounds and support this - storing energy is critical for a smart, decarbonised energy system fit for the 21st century, allowing more clean, flexible generation to be incorporated. It is important, however, that any renewable energy project is designed to avoid local environmental impacts and our main concern is around the negative impact on wildlife and biodiversity, particularly as this is a sensitive site with a number of legal protections. We support this project only if it is demonstrated that there is a NET POSITIVE impact on local biodiversity and wildlife. We believe that taking the fields out of agricultural production will have a benefit, by reducing chemical inputs. The surveys have already shown that invertebrate numbers on the site are low and this is a result of current and previous agricultural use. As has been demonstrated elsewhere, change of use to a traditional solar farm could have important benefits for insects and therefore birds on the site and also for wildlife (amphibians, fish and birds) on surrounding waterways. We welcome the inclusion in the proposal of a dedicated Habitat Management Area of 56 ha. However, we are not confident from the information provided by the developer that the particular design chosen for the layout of the PV panels - i.e. an east-west orientation angled at 8 degrees- will achieve the potential benefits from change of land use. We understand this uncommon design gives a more even generation profile compared to the usual south-facing 30 degrees design. However, we are very concerned that this will create significant shade under a 'roof' of panels, effectively sterilising the ground below, preventing the growth of flora and creating no benefits for fauna. We would like, therefore, to register concern at the current proposed design for the project on wildlife grounds."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Swale Green Party
"REP1) 1. Industrial-scale solar is not necessary. Is industrial-scale solar necessary? The bulk of our renewable energy comes from off-shore wind, with ample opportunity for more. The advantage of solar is that it can be deployed at an individual, community or local scale with little impact. Seventy villages with one 17-acre field of solar panels (5MW) would provide the equivalent energy resource as the power station proposed. The best place for solar panels is on the roofs of houses, offices, factories and other industrial buildings. 2. There is inadequate consideration of alternative sites. Is there a more suitable site? A number of brownfield sites with a sufficient grid connection have been identified. They are dismissed because they may not provide 350MW. This is an arbitrary figure. 3. The development is not consistent with the local plan. The local plan values the area for its amenity value and attraction to tourists. The proposal, which includes large-scale battery storage, is an inappropriate industrial development in the countryside. 4. The development will have an unacceptable impact on wildlife. The site provides excellent habitat for a wide variety of bird, reptile, insect and assorted other grass and marshland species. The disturbance to these populations will be unacceptable. 5. The site is inappropriate because it is surrounded by designated sites of national and international importance. The adjacent area is designated a site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and Ramsar site. The Swale is a Marine Conservation Zone. The opportunities for mitigation of any habitat losses are extremely limited. The impact of the development on these designated sites is unacceptable. 6. The design of the solar power station is inappropriate for the site. The proposal is for panels to be aligned east-west. The ecological impact of this design will be greater than conventional south-facing panels. A solar power station of this design has never been built in the UK. The first power station to use this design should be on a smaller-scale and on a less sensitive site so that the data on the ecological impact in the UK can be collected. 7. It is essential that we protect our wild places. Wildlife is in sharp decline all over the country. Loss of biodiversity threatens our own survival. It is essential that we take a view of the cumulative effect of development and protect important wildlife habitats. The Kent marshes are a rare habitat. They should be valued and preserved. 8. The development will have a negative impact on an important amenity used by the local population and visitors. The development will impair the amenity valued by locals and visitors. The Saxon Shore way is a very popular coastal footpath. 9. Limited economic benefit of the scheme. Despite its large scale the development will create very few local jobs. No community fund to benefit local community projects is proposed, despite the significant effect on the quality of life of the local community. -------------------------------------------------------- REP2) 1) Environmental impact: The development would cause severe and irreparable environmental damage, harming bird and other wildlife on the site itself and on adjoining land. The site is on one of the most important bird migratory routes in the UK and immediately next to a protected site of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England’s evidence review of the ecological impact of solar farms on ecology (NEER02) cites evidence that protected areas and locations close to them should be avoided when considering site selection of solar PV developments. ? 2) Loss of biodiversity: The existing ecosystems would be destroyed in place of a virtual monoculture. The developers have described what would grow in the area covered by the panels as ‘forest-floor fauna’; that is, virtually nothing. 3) Loss of agricultural land: This is not such low-grade land that it cannot be farmed successfully; the areas right next to it and across Faversham Creek are. 4) Visual harm: The appearance of the steel and glass panels, raised high above the ground to address the site’s liability for flooding, would be no better than a vast industrial roof. Where solar arrays have been successfully installed in rural areas they have been put from important public areas and screened from view 5) Tourism: One of Kent’s key long-distance paths, The Saxon Shore Way, runs along the sea edge of the site. The majority of users will be put off by the despoliation of views from it, with a potentially significant effect on tourism in Faversham and thus the town’s economy. 6) The unnecessary scale: The proposal is on a vastly excessive in size, covering land equivalent in area to the town of Faversham. Unlike other ways of generating power solar generation can work at any scale, and is actually most efficient at the smallest as less is lost through the inefficiencies of power inverters. There is no case the developers can make that a station of this size is necessary. Other much smaller arrays have been built without the need for public subsidy. 7) Lack of a sequential test for alternative sites: Ordinarily, and reasonably, the planning process for developments of this scale, such as a new town, or infrastructure projects, such as routing a broad or railway line, would entail consideration of appropriate options or alternatives. The developers admit they have looked at no other sites and claim that doing so is unnecessary. Whilst they may not be legally obliged to do so they cannot then argue that there is any particular reason for them to build at this location. 8) Use of the battery banks: We understand that the capacity of the proposed battery banks far exceeds that needed to modulate the solar power generated on site. It seems likely that the developers intend to use that to exploit the diurnal fluctuations in the price of electricity, wholly wastefully. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Odell on behalf of The Odell Family
"The lack of proper evaluation of alternative sites. The negative impact on wildlife. The size of the battery alone is an issue in terms of physical presence, environmental impact, and noise. The number of panels is highly detrimental to the landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Sportsman
"As a business operating in close proximity to the proposed site of the solar park, we have many concerns. People come from all over, England, Europe and the wider world to visit our restaurant. That is partly down to the wild, natural beauty of its location and wildlife. We are concerned that the size and appearance of the solar park would deter customers and also birdlife from coming to the area. We also question whether the area is suitable for the solar park, whether there are other, more appropriate, locations. This area is prone to flooding, includes a SSSI and there is much cultural and historical heritage here, as archeology has shown. Is this unique and special "Terroir" really the right place? Should the solar park go ahead, we are worried that the construction process will detrimentally affect us. Heavy lorries using the small coastal road we are located on would be disruptive for our staff and customers. We also have concerns over how the building process would impact air quality, how noisy the construction will be and whether there will be noticeable continued noise from the battery once the park is up and running. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Thomas Harding
"I oppose the Cleve Hill Solar Power Station for the following reasons. - renewable energy is essential but Britain is a small island and it is not sustainable to think that covering massive areas of open countryside with industrial scale solar panels is the answer. The country needs to consider how to balance our energy needs with our need to maintain our countryside and natural spaces. - the megalithium battery plant would in itself be bigger than the biggest park in the nearby town of Faversham - this illustrates how the development is out of scale. - the effects on wildlife, in particular bird-life would be devastating and this is totally at odds with the need to maintain and protect the diversity of species in the United Kingdom."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Thomas Hayes
"I am registering to be come an interested party because of my support for the project and grave concern about the action group attempting to stop the much needed large scale renewable energy infrastructure. The latest climate change reports and predictions make very troubling and sobering reading and the impacts of not investing in renewable energy could be devastating to our entire society. The campaign group against the solar farm has spread misinformation and the decisions ought to be based on sound analysis and facts. I am completely disinterested from the process and I am a chartered water and environmental manager and a chartered environmentalist wit over 20 years professional experience."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tim Hobson
"I have read the developers plans and the objections made by national bodies and organisations but I have seen no reference to my own concerns. This development is based on untried battery technology. Solar panels have a life expectancy of 25 years. These panels will be " old technology" in 10 years time. So who will decommission this site at the end of it's life? Who will pay? Will the owners declare themselves bankrupt and walk away from their liabilities? Will a tariff be applied to the company's earning for future decommissioning. When no longer viable will it just be left as an industrial eyesore? Will the batteries be left to rot and poison the environment? Or will the tax payer be left to clear up another industrial waste land after the owners have paid themselves handsomely and walked away! "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tony Rouse
"There is a fully protected moth breeding in the local area called a Fiery Clearwing (Shedule 5 W&C act 1981). This is one of the few sites in the country where it breeds. This developement could have unforseen impacts on this rare moth."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Veerle Loyens
" I object because the potential environmental damage of this project far exceeds the benefit. A very large area of unspoilt nature will be lost forever just for profit. Anything that produces electricity generates an electro-magnetic field will affect animals and taking away bird habitats creates an alien environment which they cannot adapt to and therefore they will be obliterated,"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Waldens of Seasalter
"We as a company are strongly against this horrendous proposal. Graveney Marshes are part of South Swale SSSI many rare birds live there and obviously they would become extinct.The Saxon Shore Way passes around the marshes ( between Seasalter and Faversham) Graveney is a relatively small but widely dispersed village surrounded by open farmland , so there will be no hiding of these huge ghastly structures. As reported in the Guardian June 2016 ' Graveney has already been blighted with the worlds largest off shore wind farm ' - why does it need more disruption and future poor air quality during the build and the actual operation ? We as a holiday caravan park have many residents and holiday makers that come to Seasalter because of its peace and tranquillity. Our park is opposite the sea and along the Saxon Shore Walk. All of our visitors have a variety of interests these include bird watching, painting and photography, this beautiful surrounding area enables these interests to take place, whilst walking along the Saxon Walk, The building of this solar park would have a huge impact on the their interests and hobbies and for the hundreds of walkers who throughout the year walk the Saxon Shore. There are many talks and organised walks regarding the bird life, this would all an come to an abrupt end. The solar park would have a serious impact on our family run business, established over the past eighty years. This would result in a serious downturn of business to ourselves , the local walkers pub, the cafe, Whitstable and surrounding area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Wendy Van Clemen
"I object to this proposal because it would obliterate a quiet, still, dark, unique landscape -- very few are left and this should be looked after and preserved. This solar "park" should go on an industrial terrain."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of William A Needham
"My major concerns are: - the huge environmental impact this will have - the impact on access and traffic, during the build and thereafter"
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of William Boggia
"Key concerns are: - effect on ecology and wildlife - effect on the birds, both local and over-wintering - cultural heritage and archaeology: the salt pans in the area date back to King Henry IV who gave to the Archbishop - unwanted noise - socio-economic: negative effect on tourism As a long-standing local resident I have fought to keep these marshes in a natural state since the 1950s."
Members of the Public/Businesses
William Neal
"This is an area of great natural beauty. The solar panels are huge and ugly and the required construction for such a large site will overwhelm the already full roads in the area. Once it is done it cannot be undone and Faversham will have this eyesore forever. It is not clear who is funding this project and if they will be able to finance the whole thing, bearing in mind the named Directors are running similar projects at the same time all over the country.This will not in anyway benefit the people of Faversham or surrounding areas but will make a minority of its Directors very rich who do not live in the area so they are not inconvenienced in anyway. The green solar part of the project is a smokescreen to destroy our seaside countryside. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Stewart
"I am writing to express my strong opposition to the proposed development for a number of principal reasons. 1. The proposed scale of this scheme is totally at variance with the rural and marshland setting which this area has enjoyed for centuries and the planned mitigation measures are totally inadequate for such an open landscape and its proximity to residential properties , heritage assets , and the Saxon Shore way 2. The development design with east-west facing panels, extensive battery storage facilities, and the 3.9 m height of the panels represents an intrusive industrial landscape over such a wide area - some 436 acres 3. I am concerned that the proposal for the developers to assume the future responsibility for flood risk management instead of the Environment Agency will direct their primary focus on safeguarding the solar farm and as a consequence Faversham Creek could be at risk from higher water levels with the added consequences for Faversham itself as the marshes currently offer a protective floodplain. 4. The proposed solar park site would impact on some environmentally sensitive areas and would have a direct impact on habitats in terms of ecology and ornithology and the proposed mitigation areas are inadequate in terms of safeguarding the wildlife 5. The Assessments undertaken by the developers do not fully reflect the importance of the heritage assets and their setting. In my opinion insufficient weight has been given to the importance of these assets and their historical setting in Graveney. 6. Access to the site is extremely limited and the volume and size of lorry movements would create chaos for the single road through the village over the two year construction period with noise , vibration and safety issues being of real concern. 7. The scheme would be significantly detrimental to the large number of people who value the quality of this landscape for bird watching and rambling ; many of these come from other parts of the UK and from abroad , and who in turn provide many economic benefits to the local economy and tourism. 8. It is clear that there are many brownfield sites across the UK which would be eminently more suitable for such a scheme and even in Kent there are former and current power station sites which would afford easy access to the National Grid. In conclusion , it is clear throughout the consultation stages that the developers have largely stood firm on their overriding objective to maximise the generating and storage capacity of this site to the detriment of the ecology, wildlife, heritage and landscape values of a rare marshland area with such important biodiversity and it would be such a travesty to see this lost for economic gain when alternative sites are readily available. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alastair Gould
"The plans for this solar farm are wholly out of keeping with the site,and will have a significant visual impact . The east-west orientation of the panels creates a sterile environment under them limiting the ability for any wildlife to flourish around them . I do not think the flood risks have been adequately considered. There will be an impact on wildlife and I do not think the mitigation areas are enough."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alex Scott
"Environmental Impact - This development will have a serious negative effect on wild life and the scale of the development is not suited to this area. Its industrial nature will destroy the landscape and have serious impact on the bird life and local wild life habitats."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alice Trenchard
"I live locally, regularly enjoy watching the wildlife, & walk along the foot path where the Cleve hill solar project is intended: it's a setting that provides food, crops, & peace for them, me, and many other visitors (tourists): being it's part of the Saxon Shore footpath. The Abbey field solar farm at Faversham, is on a much smaller scale: it's in a field that's much more discrete, and more importantly it feels like it can easily be removed and the area restored; it's still invasive, and access to some enjoyable walks are no longer possible, but we locals have accepted it. Why put such a massive solar project in a place that can be seen from a big distance & so obviously changes the landscape, and so permanent a construction? And why not continue to support solar on every building, alongside motorways, car parks, petrol stations and put greater pressure on big companies, property developers, superstores, to supply locals with solar energy on their buildings too? This would generate a healthier feeling between us the public and the government, local councils, and the large companies that are here or thinking of setting up here. Those of us who already live here feel with this project little care or thought has been given to us, future generations, it's wildlife, the rural landscape or the bigger long term picture. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alison Smith
"This is a project of an inappropriate type and scale for the local area and which is of detriment to the quality and value of the local landscape and conservation matters."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amanda Mannering
"My objection is that the solar farm covers far too great an area, and an area almost unique in the UK, with its abundance of wildlife, flowers and so on. There is also the question of noise from the large storage batteries which I understand are also to be installed. I see from your website that this farm will supply electricity to 91,000 houses. This does not seem a huge number in proportion to the size of the proposed solar farm. It is obvious we need solar power, but it is surely a travesty to despoil a unique area when there could be alternative methods of providing solar power, for example incorporating into the design of all new build developments the installation of sufficient solar panels for all domestic requirements. The same requirement could be made of large out of town supermarkets too."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Mussett
"Whereas I strongly support renewable energy projects, I violently object to the siting of this excessively large and intrusive power station. Graveney Marshes form a valuable natural resource, and are situated next to an SSSI. This greedy development would ruin hundreds of acres of this idyllic area of coastal Kent. I believe the derelict land at the old Kingsnorth power station on the Hoo peninsular would be a much better location"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anna Bales
"I am a supporter of solar power but belueve that the sheer scale and position of this power station is unacceptable. My concerns are that claims are made that wildlife, notably ground nesting birds, will not be disturbed. My main objection is that nothing of this scale has been attempted before or on sensitive wildlife sites. No-one knows what the effects will be and it is irresponsible to claim otherwise."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Anne Jones
"Key concerns that should be examined are the effects on: - nature - wildlife - disruption with traffic - desecration of farmland - threat to town of Faversham from flooding - effect on the eels in the area"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ashley Brown
"I object to this"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Barry Morgan
"The development is far to big for this environment. The array would be the same size as Faversham. It is totally out of keeping with the surroundings. The environmental damage will be huge, it will damage a site not just of national but international importance. It will be unsightly with panels deliberately raised to maximise solar input which will make it an unforgivable eyesore. It has been portrayed as environmentally friendly when it will wreck this site. Traffic on the Graveny Road will be highly dangerous as it is unsuited to to large vehicles, especially where the school is"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Jefferys
"I have a great concern about the traffic and pollution which will come with this ‘green’ development. My children attend the local school and we walk along country lanes with no pavements to get to school and back. Mitigation needs to be put in place to protect our children from the c.250 lorry movements a day along unsuitable roads and producing vibration, noise and pollution. The school playground is right on the roadside and the school playing fields are over the road meaning the children have to cross the road to reach it. A pavement should be installed to link Graveney and Goodnestone to make it safe for the families in our communities. It is unacceptable to ask local people to put up with this without giving something back and reducing the risks as far as is possible. In addition, the community should have better access to the land if the solar farm is to be built. There has been missed opportunity to provide something back to the local community and visitors to the area enabling walking, cycling, horse riding in the local area to replace the potential loss of tourism going forward. There is a national cycle network running between Faversham and Whitstable which could be taken off the road and made into a road free section which is safe for families and children. It could be made truly accessible for the disabled and elderly if done well. If the solar farm is to be built, the developers should be taking the opportunity to give something back and could be pioneering in setting up something which would be valued and would start to repay the loss of a beautiful landscape by thinking outside of the box and using some of their profits to do something amazing. This type of development which is on a huge scale is likely to be replicated in other parts of the country and this could be an opportunity to set the standard on what should be given back. I would like to present an alternative plan which shows how footpaths/bridleways/cycle paths could be incorporated into the development and linked into existing networks to provide something valuable to our communities. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Pain
"I wish to oppose this proposed development on the grounds that it is an fairly rare part of the river Swale which is undeveloped and of outstanding landscape quality. The site is home to many species of birds and valuable agricultural land. The development will be extremely large and highly obtrusive. Degraded brownfield sites are available in the vicinity of the Isle of Sheppey and Medway where infrastructure is more readily available. We cannot deny the need for renewable energy but not at the cost of destroying significant marine landscapes in order to make a quick profit."
Members of the Public/Businesses
C. Hetherington
"Environmental Impact. Site selection and lack of consideration of suitable alternatives. Inadequate description of the proposed development. Landscape and visual impact Effect on ecology, wildlife and birds – both locally and over-wintering. Ground conditions, flooding. Cultural heritage and Archaeology. Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery. Recreation and land-use. Access and traffic, especially during the build. Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding - is this the right place? Air quality, both during the build and the operation. Glint and glare, human health, waste products. "
Local Authorities
Canterbury City Council
"I am writing following the Secretary of State's decision on 14th December 2018 to accept an application for an Order granting development consent made under Section 37 (2) of the Planning Act 2008 regarding the Cleve Hill Solar Park The City Council is intending to produce a Local Impact Report at the relevant stage of the Pre-examination timetable, providing detailed responses on what it sees to be the impacts of the development on our district, and work on this will commence shortly. In advance of this, the City Council wish to make a relevant representation, outlining the following principal issues we consider to be of relevance: landscape and visual change; ecology/ornithology/biodiversity; drainage/flood risk; cultural heritage/archaeology; noise and vibration; socio-economics/tourism/recreation; access and traffic; climate change; and, air quality. As stated previously, the City Council will provide more detail in its Local Impact Report, as well as providing its view on the broader planning issues relating to the development. I hope these comments are useful and should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Yours faithfully [redacted]"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Caroline Begg
"I am deeply worried about the impact the proposed site with have on the rich and diverse Bird and plant life. Furthermore, the site would create a real eye sore on the landscape. I believe there are other areas that should be considered which would not have such detrimental impact. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carolyn Andrews
"I support the development of all forms of renewable energy including solar power. My family have a 4 KW solar array installed in our garden and we generate more electricity than we use. However, I have grave concerns about the negative environmental and amenity impact of the solar power station being proposed at Cleve Hill. My objections to the proposal are based on my personal knowledge of the proposed site since my husband and I have regularly walked along the sea wall for the past 44 years. My objections are as follows: What is being proposed on the outskirts of our town is an extremely large industrial development, comparable to the size of Faversham itself. A development of this scale will inevitably have a severe negative impact on the environment and reduce the economic and amenity value to those both living in and using the area. The panels will be 3.9 metres high and will extend over 176 hectares while the substation and the batteries located behind the bund will extend over 10 hectares. The development of battery technology is still in its infancy and is largely untested, particularly with regard to efficiency, noise and maintenance levels. The proposed site is on the edge of a site of special scientific interest and a wetland area of international importance. There will be deleterious effects on wildlife, while the biodiversity of the area covered by the solar panels, batteries and substations will be more or less destroyed. The developers have included a Site of Special Scientific Interest within the area of the development. Our concern is that the future supervision, management and protection of this SSSI will be under the control of the power company. The proposed project site is currently protected by the seawall which is maintained by the Environment Agency. This area of marshland has long been a coastal floodplain protecting Faversham and the Agency has adopted a policy of long term managed retreat. This policy will need to be amended if the projects’ assets are to be protected, implying that the developers will take control of future flood defences and determine future Environment Agency policy. The Graveney Marshes attract a large number of visitors for a variety of reasons including marine life, bird watching and recreational walking. The establishment of this industrial complex, with its rows of panels, battery compound, sub-station, security fencing and surveillance equipment will mean that the character of all the well-established and much-used footpaths along the Saxon Shore Way between Faversham and Seasalter would be changed beyond recognition with significant adverse effects on tourism to the area. The construction of the project will involve the transport of a substantial volume of materials, equipment and labour to the site on rural roads which are totally inadequate for the purpose. More importantly, the development’s assets will need to be maintained over the lifetime of the project, again implying a significant movement of materials and labour to the site. This application should be rejected. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carolyn Duey
"I object to the proposed industrial solar development on Graveney Marshes and would like to register as an interested party. This development is purely a commercial enterprise which will adversely affect the already threatened birds and animals in an area which is a safe haven. Kent Wildlife Trust and others have raised serious objections. The size and scale of this development is truly huge in scale and height and coverage of the ground which will impact in every way and leave a potential brownfield site when its short life ends. The area is well known to walkers and tourists for its wild beauty and this site will impact on the local economy as well. The choice of this site is ill considered and counter to many government policies. The traffic from the large and numerous lorries driving on the narrow country roads will be dangerous and noisy especially as one on these roads is a National cycle route. Surely this development will need lighting and security fencing which will blight the landscape and destroy nesting and breeding sites which are already under threat. Stop this site and place it a more appropriate area. I love this place and it would break my heart to see it go. Please read the fine detail and don’t be taken in by their hollow promises. Thank you Carolyn Duey [REDACTED]"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carolyn Lancefield
"I am a firm supporter of green energy but feel this is, as planned, a visually objectionable plan which will have a very significant impact on wildlife of all kinds. Many bodies have objected on scientific/wildlife grounds to this huge development particularly in light of its size and unusual design. This is not an appropriate development for this area in my view. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Cecilia Hammond
"Faversham is already being desecrated for future generations the once small market town has long gone. Now the country side is being attacked and those who should be fighting this appalling plan seem to have their hands tied. Why are SBC not insisting that developers install Solar on all new builds ?. The Solar farm that is almost certainly going to happen is a disgrace and sadly people seem to be giving up in disgust with comments like( It doesn't matter what we think they will do it anyway). In not too many years our towns will merge together this area is no longer The Garden Of England and MPS & Councillors appear to have little power to stop the corrosion. Stop Solar farms in areas of beauty all new builds by Law should have Solar installed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charlotte Firmin
"This plan is just too big. Along with the thousands of new houses and potential Brexit lorry park the impact of this proposed solar park will threaten the environment, the community and the wildlife of our area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris J R Lowe
"Our house had a solar thermal panel in 1984 and was the first in Kent with photovoltaic panels, so strongly support renewable energy. Need to decarbonise energy supply but only appropriately sited schemes, scaled to avoid damage to the environment, the beauty and vitality of the countryside. Despite modifications still in the wrong place. Principal issues of concern include: Policy Conflicts with Government Sustainable Development Strategy, 2005, and Environmental Strategy 2018, to leave the environment better than before, and EU requirement to apply the Precautionary Principle. Location Relationship to electrical supply network – poor capacity of connection point, high cost of connection to this point, inefficiency in relation to major demands., many other low carbon sources in Kent. Viability Rapidly changing electricity market including: digitisation Increasing flexibility and Demand Side Response Supplies close to point of use, such as Community Energy [REDACTED] and back-up supplies (eg hospitals, data centres) End of subsidies ( UK's backup power subsidies are illegal, European court rules ) Open Networks Project greater Grid flexibility [REDACTED] Falling Contract for Difference prices reduce viability Continually declining electricity demand Hence is an inappropriate scheme Alternatives Other locations and mix of technologies Impacts Huge industrial intrusion into historic landscapes Destruction of and damage to: 1 national and locally designated, and scarce, habitats The current agricultural status of site reduces its inherent biodiversity, but site strongly contributes to the the neighbouring designated sites. 2 viable farmland and its soil Loss of productive agricultural land – adds to land lost to increasing housing and flooding, UK losing 1,580 sq.km in 10 years. Soil is fundamental to healthy planet & countryside, it stores 10bn tonnes Carbon, supports ecosystems and manages water. [redacted] 3 “quiet area”, destroying tranquillity Tranquillity is essential to human physical and mental well being. 4 “dark area” Dark areas needed to see stars and for wildlife. 5 national routes - Saxon Shore Way and other paths Site is an important recreation amenity for enjoyment of the natural environment and wide uninterrupted views over natural landscapes. 6 Flood Protection Questionable engineering and meteorological assumptions and location, description and magnitude for breach scenarios. Conflict with the Environment Agency's Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy. Very intrusive process of construction, Cleve Hill Substation experience shows significant damage from vibration and impact. Intrusive operational noise, fencing and lighting Impossible for grazing “Mitigation” “Mitigation” cannot overcome the adverse consequences – only make it slightly less bad, does not undo the damage. No mitigation can compensate for the industrialisation of open, low-lying, highly visible and highly valued countryside. Benefits Climate Change: scheme maybe low carbon but reduces carbon absorption of existing land, and carbon benefits could be obtained without destroying this huge 'green' area. More detailed comments will be provided in Written Representation, and I wish to reserve the right to respond to issues which the Inspector highlights or additional evidence provided in support of the Application. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Chris Thomas
"There are other brownfield sites better suited nearby such as the decommissioned Kings North Power Station site for this. The effect it will have on the wildlife and ecology of the area. The route to and from it is a country lane and Graveney village will suffer as a result of this heavy traffic."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Lovell
"I am a resident of Faversham and am strongly opposed to the proposed solar park because of the impact a development of this size will have on the local area. Wild and natural areas are very limited in the south east of England and are precious to many people who enjoy experiencing nature and activities such as walking, birdwatching etc. Opportunities to be outside in a natural environmental are crucial to mental health and well being. With the population of Faversham expanding with new housing developments it is important that there are natural spaces for people to enjoy and for recreation. The marshes currently provide this. The proposed development will effectively turn the area into an industrial site destroying the beauty and relative tranquillity which currently exists. The proposed park will also have a detrimental impact on wildlife and birds in the area including the SSSI.I am concerned that the developers will have control of the SSSI and not a democratically accountable body. While solar power should be developed care should be taken to ensure that it is done in a way that has the least detrimental impact possible. This proposed development is too large and in too sensitive an area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Claire Mason
"I wish to object to the solar farm on environmental, social and economic grounds. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Clare Boggia
"I object to this application for the following reasons: Sheer size The area is visible for miles in an area of open marshland and on SSSI land Access for construction through small narrow Lanes although appreciate this is short term Noise... from battery storage plus size of battery storage "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Colin Alabaster
"The size and location of the proposed industrial development is the basis of my objection. The local roads to the area cannot be considered as suitable for the volume and size of the construction work that ultimately will be required. The visual impact from such an historic market town and surrounding area will surely be hugely negative and will further aggravate the impact of the several large housing developments that are both ongoing and proposed in Faversham and immediate local area. Further, the proposed area includes amenities to the local population and visitors that are acknowledged to be greatly beneficial (nature reserves and sites designated as SSSI) and removes current the governance of such sites away from public bodies and places them under private hands."
Members of the Public/Businesses
CPRE Kent
"CPRE Kent wishes to register its fundamental objection to this scheme. We acknowledge the importance of a decarbonised energy supply, and support renewable energy schemes where they are appropriately sited and scaled; this scheme meets neither requirement. While this Relevant Representation provides an outline of the issues with which we are principally concerned, we wish to reserve the right to respond to any additional issues that the Inspector highlights, or to additional evidence provided in support of the application. More detailed comments on these matters will be made available at the examination stage of this application. We note the modifications made to the proposals since the statutory consultation phase, many of which are welcome. However, we retain a number of significant concerns: - Landscape impact, dark skies, noise and tranquillity: we note the reduction in the proposed area to be covered in solar arrays, but the extent of ground cover and other construction remains significant. The Saxon Shore Way and other paths in the area are an important recreation amenity with particular emphasis on the enjoyment of the natural environment and uninterrupted views over natural landscapes; there is no screening or other mitigation that can compensate for the industrialisation of this low-lying, open and highly valued countryside. - Grazing: we note the applicant’s response to our earlier comments and retain our concerns at the prospect of grazing within the compounds housing the arrays. - Transport, access and air quality: we note the response to our earlier comments in the consultation report and the relevant sections of the ES, but local experience during the construction of the Cleve Hill substation indicates that the potential for damage from vibration and impact remains significant. - Biodiversity/Ecology: we recognise that the development site itself is not designated, but it retains important functional links with the surrounding designated sites. We retain our concerns that the loss of this important contribution will not be adequately mitigated by these proposals. - Hydrology and soil microclimate: given the stated closeness of the proposed arrays, we find the responses made to our comments regarding vegetation growth under the arrays less than reassuring, particularly in the context of increasingly intense flash rainfall. - Flood risk: we retain concerns over the underlying engineering and meteorological assumptions, relating to the location, description and magnitude for breach scenarios, which the full DCO fails to adequately address. Our concerns also pertain to the proposed conflict with the Environment Agency's Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy. - Loss of agricultural land: we retain concerns over the significant loss of productive agricultural land at a time when pressures of housing supply and climate insecurity are increasing. - Site selection/alternatives: we recognise the connectivity offered by the proximity of the Cleve Hill substation but have seen insufficient evidence that this is the best possible location for the connection of a facility of this scale to the Grid. - Heritage: we do not accept that there are ‘no direct effects’ to significant heritage assets in the area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Dalton
"My reason for concern is that I am the owner of a chalet at Graveney Beach which is adjacent to the proposed development. My principal concerns are: 1. Increased risk of flooding to my property if the scheme goes ahead. 2.Loss of habitat for many species of bird who use the area for feeding, nesting and breeding. 3. The sheer size of the project and its affect on the local area and specifically visual impact from the Swale estuary and the Saxon Shore Way. 4. The impact of such a massive construction project on minor roads which would have to be used to access the site and the communities through which they run."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Mairs
"I wish to register my objection to this scheme. I acknowledge the importance of renewable-energy projects where appropriately sited and scaled; this scheme, however, is neither. It is damagingly sited and the scale is unacceptable. This Relevant Representation provides an outline of the issues that principally concern me, but I wish to reserve the right to respond to any further issues highlighted by the Inspector, or to additional evidence provided in support of the application. I can make available more detailed comments on these matters at the examination stage of this application. My significant concerns relate to: ? Impact on landscape, dark skies, noise and tranquillity: the extent of the solar panels and associated construction remains damagingly significant. The Cleve Hill scheme represents industrialisation on a vast scale and will harm currently attractive views for many miles around. Screening or other mitigation cannot compensate for the intrusion on this low-lying, cherished countryside. ? Biodiversity: the development site’s lack of designation is not relevant in this case; it is functionally linked with surrounding designated sites that lie within the internationally important North Kent Marshes. The sheer extent of open land is what makes this area so valuable to birdlife including wildfowl, waders and raptors, as well as declining species of mammal including brown hare. ?Recreation: This area is of inestimable value to so many people in what is overall a highly overcrowded part of the country. The Saxon Shore Way and other paths provide an important amenity for those who treasure the natural environment and uninterrupted views over largely natural landscapes. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Parsons
"I am deeply concerned about the impact such a solar park would have on the local environment, the wildlife and the people who live close by and love the area so much including me and my family. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Smith
"I am deeply opposed to the solar park due to the disruption to this area of natural beauty and the damaging effect to the local wild bird population. This is an important and historic area for the migration of wild birds which the removal of their grazing grounds will have a significant impact. This as well as the effect on the predators in the area such as the marsh harriers. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Diane Comley
"I object to the solar park for the following reasons: A huge amount of habitat will be lost, for migrating birds and other species (e.g. skylark) that breed and feed in this landscape area. The mitigation areas do not come close to compensating for this loss. The scale and amount of solar panels will be an eyesore for this rare section of uninhabited coast - highly visible from the Saxon Shore Way. Suggested Compensation in the form of public footpaths through the solar farm is laughable. I object to the loss of such a huge area of greenspace in this already build up area of the country. Too much of Kent and the South East is being industrialised - covered by polytunnels, greenhouses, solar pannels, lorry parks, motorways, large housing developments ...and so on. Solar power should be incorporated in most building developments- commercial and housing, and form an important part of planning policy. There are huge amounts of land being covered in quick build industrial units that are not contributing to the national amibiton for renewables. Our environment needs more protection. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Charles Turner
"1) The proposed Solar Power Station is truly enormous and, as such, can only have a totally dominant effect on the landscape for many miles around. In particular it will have an overbearing effect on the town of Faversham. The maritime heritage of Faversham is being actively revived and fostered. Yet this development is scheduled to impinge on a very long stretch of the banks of Faversham Creek. 2) This development would create a massive wedge of biologically sterile land separating major nature reserves - including a RAMSAR site of international importance and protected by treaty. It is now well recognised that at a time when there are global threats to biodiversity, reserves need to be planned and extended on a landscape scale. The Nagden, Graveney and Cleve Marshes are a integral part of the South Swale marshes and should have been protected as such, to consolidate its conservation potential. 3) Britain's coastal areas are precious, as emphasised by the National Trust's Neptune coastline campaign. This development would seriously damage the environment of the Swale and greatly diminish public enjoyment and access to one of the increasingly few 'wild' areas in the Thames gateway 4)This development is on too big a scale. Solar energy is vitally important but smaller solar farms on less visible and vulnerable sites should be preferred and this project rejected. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr John Puckett
"Kent Bat Group is a registered charity and one of our main aims is to protect and promote the bat species found in the county. For many years we have been surveying Daubenton's bats and other species feeding over the Graveney Marshes as part of the countrywide Bat Conservation Trust's National Bat Monitoring Programme. We know that at least six species of bat use the marshes as a prime feeding area. A very large scale solar farm will undoubtedly reduce foraging opportunities for all six species. It is a good intentioned scheme but in the wrong place. There are large areas of industrial arable desert in East Kent (from a biodiversity point of view) that would be far more suitable. Hence our objection to the scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Porter
"This site is of historic and environment importance, the Saxon Shore Way is of historical importance which follows the line of the Roman fortification and the location includes ancient forts, historical town, nature reserves and coastline. This will have a negative impact on economic tourism and leisure locally. In addition, the proposed development will have an unprecedented negative impact due to the extensive design of the panels which are very different to others used elsewhere so they can be installed much closer together, significantly reducing the quality of the wildlife habitat compared to existing designs. The concerns flagged by Kent Wildlife Trust, CPRE and others should be taken extremely seriously."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Easterly Cox
"I consider the site to be an area of outstanding natural beauty and of significance for wildlife. I am in favour of solar energy per se but I am against locating it in this special landscape. I love this area for so many reasons and it is heartbreaking to think that it could be ruined by the installation of this solar farm. Solar energy has to come Hand in hand with respect for the environment and this project does anything but that. The imperative to instal solar, is without a doubt a task we have to face now but when I see the missed oportunity of fitting solar panels to all the thousands of houses that are being built in the area, it makes me dispair that councils have not imposed carbon neutral sustainable designs which could have created the solar city that environmentalists have been calling for. I think this exposes this project as a money generating project rather than primarily generating clean energy because if this was the real incentive, much more would have been done to build efficient housing that would have offered a vast area of roof space for generating the solar energy that we need."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart on behalf of Eddy Vrijsen
"I am a technician for F16 military planes and as part of maintenance and the training I very regularly fly and land in the East of England. I know this area very well and admire the nature and the quaint villages and towns. It is beyond belief that you would destroy the Graveney Marshes with this mega solar park and this is then also my objection : The destruction of this natural area in Kent should not be allowed and more appropriate sites should be used. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT on behalf of Elizabeth Bartlett
"Key concerns are: - the environmental impact - site selection - inadequate description - landscape and visual impact - ecology and wildlife - all birds and mammals large and small - flood risk - noise from installation - traffic through village - glare - damage to rioad and dwellings - too big, wrong place"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Faversham Creek Trust
"Faversham Creek Trust’s charitable objectives are summarised as "Regenerating Faversham’s Maritime Heritage". We represent the volunteer campaign groups Friends of Faversham Creek and Save Abbey Farm. Our organisation aims to: • Improve the navigability of Faversham Creek and increase the moorings and facilities available to boats and sailors, in order to • Increase the number of boats and people using the Creek for leisure and business purposes • Encourage young people to become involved in waterborne activities • Promote use of the footpaths around the Creek for walking, bird watching and wildlife awareness The landscape now would still be recognisable to the Romans. It forms part of a beautiful landscape to view from the North Sea and the Swale, as well as from the land. The view from the water should be acknowledged for its importance. It is an area of significant importance due to its natural beauty (with AONB designation for part of it), its special scientific interest, its marine protection areas. We believe that the proposed industrial scale solar power station would be seriously detrimental to the environment, for humans and for wildlife, both animal and vegetable. Already there is a significant decline in the number of birds to be found here, attributable to many causes. These flocks and individual birds need all the space that is currently available to them, as the bird flight patterns mapped by Save Graveney Marshes show. These birds are dependent on the plant and animal life to be found across all the thousand acres, and could not survive on the small amount of land proposed. Although this land is not considered as high quality farm land, it still produces worthwhile crops each year. The closeness of the panels and the water run-off from them would kill the bacteria, worms, insects etc in the soil, making the land dead for future use. This is a flood plain which forms part of the national and local planning for managing flooding as sea levels rise and flooding becomes more frequent due to climate change and other factors. Removing this important flood plain area is likely to result in serious risks for Faversham and other built up areas which depend on proper coastal and flood management. The current plan to breach the sea wall in the event of serious flooding must be retained. There have already been serious floods in recent years when part of this land has been flooded, eg December 2013. Without the flood water covering this area, the flooding in Faversham would have been far more serious than it was that year – when there was serious damage to property. How can Britain as a country criticise other countries for despoiling their landscapes, whether rain forests, territory for tigers or anything else, if we are prepared to despoil our own landscapes which are important for wildlife and human engagement? It seems very hypocritical to expect one standard for other countries while falling to a lower standard ourselves. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gullands on behalf of Faversham Oyster Fishery Company
"We represent the Faversham Oyster Fishery Company (FOFC) which wishes to be registered as an interested party for the forthcoming examination of the Cleve Hill Solar Park Development Consent Order application. The FOFC is a statutory company which has existed prior to the time of the Magna Carta. The company has promoted three separate Acts of Parliament, the most recent being the Faversham Oyster Fishery Company Act 2017. The company’s exclusive fishery grounds extend eastwards from Fowley Island in the Swale into Whitstable Bay for a distance of some 9 miles. So far as is relevant the fishery grounds include the foreshore up to the seawall abutting the site of the proposed development where the company’s management of the fishery includes the harvesting of cockles and of mussel spat. The company has sporting rights in respect of the foreshore and has granted a lease of those rights to the Kent Wildfowling and Conservation Association. The draft DCO includes a Compulsory Purchase Order in which a number of plots of land are identified over which the FOFC has exclusive rights. The CHSPL is seeking to acquire rights and restrictions over those FOFC plots of land. The FOFC might also make a relevant claim under Section 57 of the 2008 Act (Category 3). Whilst the FOFC has been aware of previous consultations by the applicant, the nature and extent of the interests the applicant intends to acquire have only recently become apparent and their potential impacts on their interests are still being evaluated. There has been one meeting between the FOFC and CHSPL following which draft Heads of Terms have been prepared by CHSPL but no accord has yet been reached in respect of them. The FOFC may wish to make further written representations on issues that are of concern to it including: the nature and extent of the land and/or interests being acquired; the justification for compulsory acquisition; the funding statement; the impact of the project on shell fisheries; other impacts of the project and the policies relevant to the determination of the application. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Genevieve Tullberg
"I was brought up in Graveney and our family home is still there. My concerns include the size of the farm, the harm to wildlife, the impact on local tourism, and the environmental impact. My understanding is that the solar panels will be is huge, and the area they cover vast. This is an area of importance for wildlife, particularly birds. Of course it is important to find other sources of energy, but this is not the right site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
George Begg
"The scale of the proposal is wholeley inappropriate in an area of natural beauty The effect on the wildlife, natural environment and indeed the very character of the area will be devestating. Sincerely George Begg"
Members of the Public/Businesses
George Bull
"The proposed solar panels will occupy a large area of land that is at present a local asset for walking and enjoying wildlife. Its location is close to Faversham and surrounding villages, with easy access from many parts of the town, allowing people to take advantage of this natural area with its far ranging views without having to travel. Several new housing developments, currently in build around Faversham, will soon swell the local population seeking open spaces for recreation. Footpaths through this area will lose their appeal if much of the views are blocked by solar panel structures, resulting in loss of amenity, just when people are being urged to stay healthy by outdoor activities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Georgia Wilcox
"I wholeheartedly disagree with this application, mainly on the basis that it is entirely the wrong location for something of this nature. Not only is this an area of outstanding beauty, it is also full of wildlife that would be severely threatened by a solar park, particularly one so uniquely designed as to allow so little light to the ground below. This area of land is already home to over-wintering birds which may be disrupted already by other projects in the Thames Estuary. It seems that there are other suitable brownfield sites for a project such as this, or even on the 3 housing estates that are currently being built in the Faversham area. It is an area of land that is also widely used for recreational use, from solo ramblers to whole school sponsored walks for charity (Queen Elizabeth's Grammar)."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graeme Murton
"The solar park would be a blight on the whole coast line and Faversham let alone the effect it will have on the animal sanctuary ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GREAT (Graveney Rural Environment Action Team) (GREAT (Graveney Rural Environment Action Team))
"GREAT (Graveney Rural Environment Action Team) represents the local residents of Graveney who are opposed to the proposed scheme. Whilst supporters of solar we are opposed to this scheme for the following reasons: - It’s too big – massive solar parks like this are normally located in desert regions - It’s in the wrong place – a decommissioned coal power station would be better - It will be harmful to wildlife and protected species of birds, animals and plants - It will destroy a landscape loved and used by thousands of people The applicant’s stated aim is to produce the lowest cost energy in the UK – but at what cost to the environment? Our written representation will cover: 1. Landscape and heritage factors 1.1. The agricultural, coastal and countryside setting of the site. 1.2. The marshland nature of the area will be disrupted, 1.3. Views from important heritage assets such as Harty Church and Victory Wood at Blean. 1.4. Valued landscape according to Swale BC designation. 1.5. Connectivity aspects - Ramsar, SSSI, SPA, etc 1.6. Historical - Graveney Boat etc 2. Local amenity 2.1. The area is loved and used by many local people 2.2. It is of national and international interest 2.3. Cumulative effect - surrounding area is being over-developed. Nearby designated areas such as Oare would be overwhelmed 2.4. It is an area beloved of artists, painters and poets 2.5. Affects on Public Rights of Way 2.6. Human Rights law needs to be considered 3. Wildlife 3.1. Continuous / contiguous space required for bird movements 3.2. Brent Geese etc, nervous birds will not recover from this 3.3. Castle Coote / SSSI / RAMSAR issues. 4. Pollution 4.1. Noise: all equipment in the solar panels and the battery 4.2. Glint and glare 4.3. Battery emissions 5. Risk and safety 5.1. Battery explosion / fire risk 5.2. Terrorist activity 6. Traffic and access 6.1. Impact during construction - local roads are already frequently over-whelmed when incidents happen nearby. 6.2. Insufficient assessment given to non-road alternatives for bringing in materials – financial and non-financial costs to local region, people and the environment should be factored in. 6.3. Not clear that statutory bodies (Highways Agency, KCC) have done sufficient due diligence. 6.4. Application cites London Array - but was not the same scale and is not a suitable precedent 6.5. Impact on young and old - school children in their playground and local residents living near the roads 6.6. Potential for damage to neighbouring houses due to excess traffic - subsidence issues for houses, roads and bridges 6.7. Has sufficient commitment been made to repair everything that will have been damaged during the construction period? 7. Construction disruption 7.1. Pile driving - there are other ways to do this sort of construction (for example screw-drive piles) 7.2. Has sufficient attention been paid to 'receptors' (such as Castle Coote) in their analysis? 8. Misleading consultation 8.1. Poor and misleading information during the consultation 8.2. Consultation meetings were inadequate in terms of answers to questions"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Griselda Mussett
"I am really distressed that such a huge and valuable area of landscape should be subjected to this kind of proposal. It is of course hard to argue against installations for renewable and sustainable energy production, but we do have the old Kingsnorth Power Station site not far away - brownfield and connected to the grid. On the other hand the Graveney marshes are unspoiled, offering precious distant views and solitude. Moreover, there is every chance they will be shown to be the location for really significant historic and heritage events, the possibility that Beowulf's fight with Grendel and then Grendel's mother (more or less the oldest document and poem in the English language) happened right here - on the Isle of Harty (Sheppey) directly opposite the marsh. See Faversham papers No 64. This is controversial but supported by extensive place-name evidence and so far not refuted. Whereas all the country's areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks are site on uplands, none of our lowlands or marshes are protected, which is a glaring anomaly in our heritage and cultural strategy. The spiritual, community, and health-giving values of being able to get to and walk in quiet, empty, distant, sea-side or rural places is profound and we all recognise that, even if statute does not yet do that. The proposed installations on this site, and its proposed security fencing, would be ugly, huge, intrusive, permanent (in terms of our lifetimes), damaging and distressing. The site is vulnerable to tidal flooding, as local people know, see 1953! It seems to me to a great weakness to hand over responsibility for the sea wall and other defences to a company whose main interest is generating electricity... we do not know how long their technology and interest will last, or what would happen to the sea wall responsibility in perpetuity, whereas the statutory agencies present running this would have to maintain their watch. For these and other reasons I object to the proposal - scale, location, environmental and community cost, and risks in perpetuity. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gulliver Immink
"This proposal for a huge industrial solar power station is in a totally inappropriate area. Indeed one reason for it being proposed is due to the underutilisation of the transformer station as the London array has not been completed as originally planned. We heard that the economics of the proposal were justified only because of the transformer station and immediate access to the National Grid. The acreage to be gobbled up will totally destroy the look and feel of the area as well as disturb the very significant wildlife, especially birds of many different types, which depends on that area for its very existence. The land now being behind a sea wall is no longer salt marsh and can - and has in the past - been used for extensive agricultural use. The ‘east-west roof’ design of the panels will destroy the habitat, and together with the vast the battery units will be a blot on the landscape of monumental proportions. The panels will be raised so that flooding will not affect them. However it is an area which should be reserved to allow flooding to protect local places such as Faversham and Whitstable in the event of very high sea levels. This whole area is a visual and recreational amenity bounded by AONB’s, SSSIs, and other preservation designations used by very many people for recreation and study of wildlife. That is just as important as keeping it free for the vast amount of wildlife that uses it. Rather than just object I would like to suggest that policy should change and that instead of such a vast factory, all new houses should be mandated to have solar panels included in the building as an original item. In that way householders would get the direct benefit of solar generated electricity. Additionally all brown field sites, such as Kingsnorth power station (already connected to the National Grid), public buildings, railway stations, offices, factories, etc should be the first choice for solar panels thus not removing open land from agricultural, recreational and wildlife use. The NPPF under ‘The presumption in favour of sustainable development’ states: 1. Plan-making a. The application of policies in this Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a strong reason for restricting the overall scale, type or distribution of development in the plan area. 2. Decision-making a. The application of policies in this Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed Under ‘Open space and recreation’ the NPPF has a significant number of statements summarised thus: Access to a network of high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and physical activity is important for the health and well-being of communities. This is precisely such a space, a place that is a visual amenity, one that people use and enjoy to walk along or through where permitted and used extensively by birds. Planning permission should not be granted. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hannah Bullivant
"[REDACTED]. I am appalled by the suggested size of this development, having studied the plans and the huge impact this is going to have on the local landscape. I spend a lot of time in the countryside here and enjoy the unique and beautiful surroundings. It is such a shame that it is under threat. I am concerned about the increase increased flood risk and the destination it will have on the wildlife too- including many species of protected birds- both local and over wintering. Please please please reconsider this absurd development in such precious countryside. I am very pro solar power but most definitely not at this scale with this cost to wildlife. I feel very strongly indeed about this application and urge the council to deny it. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hannah Perkin
"I am deeply concerned about the effect this will have on local migratory birds and other wildlife and also on the air quality of the surrounding area during the building of the site . I believe that we should all encourage solar energy but that it is the wrong place for such an enormous site when there are brownfield sites where it could be built and plugged into the national grid "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hannah Sherlock
"I strongly oppose this application. I consider the site to be inappropriate given the scale of the development and the catastrophic effect it would have on ecology and wildlife. I have concerns about levels of traffic on local roads and that local infrastructure. I also question how this application can proceed when it appears to rely for access on a road without planning permission. I consider this proposal would have a hugely detrimental effect on the local area, wildlife and amenity for local residents and visitors to the area. This is not the right site for a development of this type and scale."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helen Arthur
"Outline of concerns • Scale of the site – and impact of industrial development – the amount of solar panels, their size and placing • Impact on natural environment and wildlife – and loss of a highly valuable amenity • The management of the site and surrounding area for wildlife • Loss of marshes as a floodplain that protects Faversham • Impact on the Saxon Shore Way – views of such a huge site "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hilary Truscott
"1. Ornithology - there are breeding marsh harriers on this site which are rare birds. Their population is low and very localised. They and other raptors (peregrine falcons, short eared owls) hunt below 10 metres over the whole site. Brent geese feed on the arable land as well as roosting here. Lapwing, which are a major declining species, feed and roost here as do golden plover. 2. The effects on the economy of the local towns - the tourism to the area is an important economic factor which will be seriously damaged if one of the key attractions of the area is wiped out by industrial infrastructure. Both Faversham and Whitstable, with Seasalter, attract visitors because of their beautiful countryside. 3. Landscape - Graveney Marshes is part of Kent level Area of High Landscape Value, recently endorsed in new Local Plan. The structures involved and the very large area which will be covered by them will have a severe and detrimental impact. 4. Historical remains - all buried remains from hundreds of years of history will be lost to future generations since the are has to be pile driven over. "
Other Statutory Consultees
response has attachments
Historic England
"Please See Attached"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Millichap
"Damage to ecology & wildlife and reduction in marsh land available for public use Over development of area Transport impacts on local area Poor site selection and lack of consideration of other more suitable sites Impact of so many solar units on surrounding populated areas Size and scale of solar units Environmental Impact Birds – both local and over-wintering "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Isabelle Fisher
"Environmental Impact: The proposed solar park development is too big. The long and short term term effects, of the solar power station, on the environment, have not been thought through. The site, for the solar power station, is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Providing habitat for wildlife, haven for walkers and dog walkers. The area has a beautiful feeling of unspoilt wildness and wilderness, evoking feeling of escaping the hustle and bustle, buildings, noise, traffic and troubles of everyday life. The views across the marsh, across the swale and out to Sheppey are stunning. Being both a dog walker and a local, I appreciate these areas natural beauty every day, I cannot envisage the damage the construction of the solar power station, will have and the environmental impact of this development, will be catastrophic, Landscape and visual impact assessment: The views across the marshes to Faversham, across to Sheppey, across the Swale are stunning. You can see water, marsh and sea/skyscapes at sunset are breath taking This development will destroy these views The development will also destroy views across the Swale from the Thanet Way driving away from Whitstable Effect on ecology and wildlife: As a dog walker, daily I see the vast array of birds and wildlife inhabiting this area, throughout the seasons. This marshland is a very specific habitat, attracting its own selection of living creatures and plants. I have seen rabbits, mice, bats, marsh harriers, sparrow hawks, dragonflies, geese, ducks, terns, wagtails as well as the sheep, the cows, other dog walkers Birds – both local and over-wintering. I have sound recordings of the geese overwintering on the marshes, where thousands of geese gather before migrating. Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery, will make noise pollution Socio-economics, effects on tourism, deter tourists and bird watchers from coming to the area, impacting a local economy, pubs, holiday lets, caravan sites, Recreation and land-use Walkers, dog walkers and bird watchers regularly use the area for recreation; this will be lost with the development Access and traffic, especially during the build As a local, these tiny country lanes will be jammed and congested every day, making local transport links impossible. The Lorries, minibuses, cars and buses will cause immense traffic problems, for locals going to and from shops and schools, making it impossible to make quick local journeys. I am concerned with this impact on air pollution [REDACTED], living locally this concerns me, the level of pollution from diesel fumes, it is known that micro particles are a major contributor to asthma. I am concerned about the Air quality, both during the build and the operation My Grandparents lived in Nagden cottages throughout the 70’s and 80’s, the solar power station will edge right up to these properties, destroying the views across the marshes from the property, creating traffic chaos around the single lane track, which reaches their old house. Also, the size of the solar panels was not explained or shown how big the double sided solar panels are, at the meetings in Graveney Hall, previously used solar panels , which locals may be more familiar with, are much smaller than the huge 2 sided panels, proposed for this solar power station. I object to this solar power station development as it will destroy the unique marshland habitat for birds and wildlife. It must not go ahead. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Nicholson
"This development with destroy a stunning landscape full of birds and wildlife. Other suitable sites have not been evidenced as having been considered and the scale of the project is mind blowingly massive and disproportionate. Unlike wind turbines, does not add any ascetic value to the landscape. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
James WR Davies
"I oppose the proposal because of the natural habitat and sanctuary that the marshes presently provide. It is both a haven for wildlife and a place of extraordinary beauty that should be maintained and protected. It is a place I have visited and loved for more than 35 years/"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jason Ellis
"I strongly object to this application at Cleve Hill as it would ruin a beautiful area of the Thames Estuary which is of great importance for migratory birds, local flora and fauna, and will impact views, & the people who use it for leisure pursuits. I am also concerned that the Power company could be responsible for the sea defences, & the whole idea of an industrial size business being built on the flood plain. Main objections are; ? Industrial size of application ? Impact on flora & fauna ? Visual impact ? leisure & tourism ? Building on the flood plain ? Protection of sea defences This application will severely blight the views & vistas from all sides for locals & tourists alike who visit them & enjoy them. These green areas that connect towns are hugely important and valuable as they offer safe green corridors for cycling, walking, & access to the sea. With modern life it is essential that people are able to easily access these areas close to their towns for pleasure, leisure, peace, & quiet. With the increase in housing stock being built in the local towns surrounding Graveney Marsh, these green lungs around our towns are of great importance for health both physically, and mentally for us all now, & for future generations to enjoy. Whilst I am generally in favour of renewable energy, we must show a responsible, creative, & forward-thinking approach to their placement, & to their size. Solar panels can be sited on the roofs of new large retail parks, Hospitals, carparks, sports stadium, & incorporated into the regeneration of brown field sites. This approach should be encouraged by Government, & help spread this new technology around the UK, rather than a large industrial type approach, which would set a precedence that could be used in other locations. We should NOT place them on new green areas with a disregard for the flora & fauna that is already thriving there. Whilst it might be easier & cheaper for business, other more suitable sites must be sought. This new technology must enhance our lives not degrade it. I must also question the wisdom of yet more ideas to build on important flood plains. With future weather patterns becoming unpredictable, it is vital that they do their job unhindered, and be part of the bigger costal defences. Would the company involved allow this area to flood, or take measures to protect their investment, thus possibly increasing the risk of flooding to Whitstable & Faversham. This area is rich in wildlife & especially important for migratory birds, flocks of which can be seen on this site. I regularly see Marsh Harriers, Short eared owls, & Kestrels all hunting over this site too. This beautiful & peaceful area with its sweeping sea & pastural views in all directions is regularly used by my family, & many others. I would like this area to remain an area for all to enjoy its beauty. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jasper Hunter
"The reasons this solar power farm should not be built on this site include: Significant environmental impact Significant destruction of important wildlife/bird habitat No consideration of suitable alternatives [further inland for example] Turning an area of historic and outstanding beauty into something resembling a factory Ongoing access and traffic - during and after construction Ruining the enjoyment of walkers, dog walkers and bird watchers using the Saxon Shore Way"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jean Webb
"I find it incomprehensible that this is even being considered in such a wonderful area of natural beauty, there must be another area somewhere in the country that would not cause as much environmental harm. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jennie Boxall
"we have grave concerns about the negative environmental and amenity impact of the solar power station being proposed at Cleve Hill and across the surrounding marshes. There are alternative brownfield sites available, and distributed generation is both possible and more desirable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jennie Williams
"1. The huge scale of this project means that it is best seen as an experiment which means that there is a weak evidential base for offering assurances about its benefits and costs. 2. The site of the project is a precious piece of wild landscape of great importance to people and migratory and wetland birds. 3. The installation and maintenance of this solar farm will have considerable human impact, with the brunt being borne by people living in Graveney and nearby hamlets "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jennifer Davey
"I object to this project due to the hugely increased risk of flooding that will inevitably occur in Faversham town. In order to protect the flood plain, on which the solar power station will be built, better flood defences will need to be built, this will push flood water into the town, necessitating intrusive, defacing and ruinous in the town itself. The marshes and agricultural land will be destroyed for generations, at a time when the UK needs to preserve what natural habitats it has, as well as to be able to grow its own food supplies. This solar power station will destroy this whole area, rendering it a wildlife desert. It is the worst type of industrial vandalism. The height of the solar panels will create a huge obstruction to the views across this low lying area of land. Amenity use by the public will be destroyed and have an adverse effect on the scope of tourism and visitor numbers to the area. The access needed for construction is only by very narrow roads. Any increase in traffic, and particularly the likely heavy construction traffic, will destroy the roads, roadsides and raise pollution in the area. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Jefferys on behalf of Joe Jefferys
"I am [REDACTED] and live in Graveney. I love being outdoors and walking my dog, Suzie, and going cycling with my Mum, Dad, brother and sister. I walk to [REDACTED] and back every day and we have to jump into the hedgerows when a car or van comes. I am worried that when the lorries come to build the solar park we won’t be able to walk safely to school and [REDACTED]. When I am at school we will hear the lorries moving past all day long and won’t be able to enjoy playing outside without breathing in the pollution. Our small village roads can’t cope with all this extra traffic and I am scared of what will happen to me and my friends."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Irwin
"I intend to make a written principle submission based on the following impacts of the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Power station. 1. environmental Impact - on the flora and fauna of the proposed site 2. lack of consideration of suitable alternatives - given that an increase in renewable energy is a national imperative, the consideration of how to increase capacity should inform 'national' planning solutions including the siting of solar panels on new build (and existing commercial and residential property. 3. Landscape visual impact and local economy - this is an area greatly appreciated for its value as a leisure amenity, given it is surrounded by footpaths. It plays a significant part in driving tourism into the nearby towns of Faversham and Whitstable. The siting of the power station will have a detrimental impact on the local economy. 4. Noise, air pollution and traffic congestion - associated with the building and maintenance of the power station "
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Taylor
"Access to the site is unsuitable as for the volume of hgv traffic necessary. The application is based on untested and in some cases undeveloped technologies making this disruptive development experimental. The scale of the project is unsuitable to the environment and is largely being ignored or given hearsay. No consideration is being given to the impact to adjoining properties. Solar energy should be generated at the point of use. No consideration has been made to this in the massive expansion of housing stock in the local area, none of which is designed with this in mind. This highlights the lack of a joined up policy. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julian Doyle
"I have concerns about this project because of the following issues: 1: Effect on the environment, ecology and wildlife such as for birds – both local and over-wintering 2: The loss of the majority of open countryside along the coast between Faversham & Seasalter/Whitstable 3:Recreation and land-use 4: Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding the right place? 5: Site selection and lack of consideration of suitable alternatives 6: Inadequate description of the proposed development 7: Landscape and visual impact assessment "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kate Linforth
"The location is not well thought through, the scale is simply too enormous. The height of the panels is too great. The land will be rendered useless. In a time when we are losing good grazing land in favour of development this proposal seems bonkers. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Katrina Slack
"I believe from the information that I have received that this park is a threat to current valued eco-system. While I am in support of solar power I am not in favour of this location. This is a really important piece of countryside, treasured by walkers and rich in diversity and wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kay Hutchinson
"The following is a summary of my reasons for objecting to the proposal: 1) Environmental impact: The development would cause severe and irreparable environmental damage, harming bird and other wildlife on the site itself and on adjoining land. The site is on one of the most important bird migratory routes in the UK and immediately next to a protected site of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England’s evidence review of the ecological impact of solar farms on ecology (NEER02) cites evidence that protected areas and locations close to them should be avoided when considering site selection of solar PV developments. 2) Loss of biodiversity: The existing ecosystems would be destroyed in place of a virtual monoculture. The developers have described what would grow in the area covered by the panels as ‘forest-floor fauna’; that is, virtually nothing. 3) Loss of agricultural land: This is not such low-grade land that it cannot be farmed successfully; the areas right next to it and across Faversham Creek are. 4) Visual harm: The appearance of the steel and glass panels, raised high above the ground to address the site’s liability for flooding, would be no better than a vast industrial roof. Where solar arrays have been successfully installed in rural areas they have been put from important public areas and screened from view 5) Tourism: One of Kent’s key long-distance paths, The Saxon Shore Way, runs along the sea edge of the site. The majority of users will be put off by the despoliation of views from it, with a potentially significant effect on tourism in Faversham and thus the town’s economy. 6) The unnecessary scale: The proposal is on a vastly excessive in size, covering land equivalent in area to the town of Faversham. Unlike other ways of generating power solar generation can work at any scale, and is actually most efficient at the smallest as less is lost through the inefficiencies of power inverters. There is no case the developers can make that a station of this size is necessary. Other much smaller arrays have been built without the need for public subsidy. 7) Lack of a sequential test for alternative sites: Ordinarily, and reasonably, the planning process for developments of this scale, such as a new town, or infrastructure projects, such as routing a broad or railway line, would entail consideration of appropriate options or alternatives. The developers admit they have looked at no other sites and claim that doing so is unnecessary. Whilst they may not be legally obliged to do so they cannot then argue that there is any particular reason for them to build at this location. 8) Use of the battery banks: We understand that the capacity of the proposed battery banks far exceeds that needed to modulate the solar power generated on site. It seems likely that the developers intend to use that to exploit the diurnal fluctuations in the price of electricity, wholly wastefully. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Keith Shea
"I object to the development. During construction large heavy panels will need large heavy lorries to deliver them but the roads around the site are unsuitable. They are narrow, poorly maintained and suffer from potentially dangerous undulations, falls and crossfalls with many blind bends. Consequently often oncoming vehicles are frequently incorrectly positioned as they avoid the worst of the road surfaces and avoid the many cyclists that use it too. Currently few lorries use the Seasalter Road. Its narrow, winding route and proximity to buildings is inappropriate for articulated vehicles and the prospect of thousands of lorry movements needed to construct the infrastructure and to deliver the large numbers of panels needed , even more so if the size of the solar panels constitute a “wide load”, is alarming. I would also question the ability of the existing road construction to take the pounding of large lorries for a sustained period. The loss of at least 460 acres of flood plain is a concern to me as a resident of Faversham because parts of the town are classified by the Environment Agency as being in danger of inundation from the sea. The proposed construction will increase the likelihood of flooding as well as introduce the prospect of flooding to many more residents. Wildlife will be greatly affected. The site has been managed for decades to protect and encourage wildlife and those considerable efforts have resulted in the area forming part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area. It will have a negative impact on the Swale Ramsar site, the Swale Special Protection Area and the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area as well as Oare Marshes Nature Reserve which is of international importance for migratory, over wintering and breeding wetland birds. Grazing land beneath the panels and the planned planting will be scant compensation and of questionable effect as the panels are designed to capture the sunlight above them with the consequential loss of sunlight below. The developer has provided little information on the expected levels of noise and light pollution from the site once operational, possibly for good reason; security lighting will substantially increase light pollution into the dark skies of the area. It is currently very quiet and at low tide a human voice or bird call carries for hundreds of metres. If the solar park becomes operational the noise from the inverters will be intrusive as noted in the following extract from ‘The Vineyard Gazette’ reporting on a much smaller 5.8 hectare installation in Massachusetts as it became operational. “…the installation of a new municipal solar array added a new sound to the mix: incessant humming that all but drowns out the other sounds at some Smith Hollow residences. As soon as the solar project went live, inverters, the part of the system that converts direct current from the sun to alternating current, began emitting noise on sunny days. Neighbors complained, and the town hired an expert to investigate. The inspection revealed that the sound coming from the inverters exceeds ambient sounds in all eight octaves by a significant margin…”. Finally it will look awful and will adversely affect the enjoyment of those who live in and the many that visit the area. "
Local Authorities
Kent County Council
"Following the Planning Inspectorate’s acceptance (14 December 2018) of an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for Cleve Hill Solar Park, Kent County Council (KCC) requests to be registered as an Interested Party at the Examination. This letter provides a summary of the main aspects of the proposal which KCC agrees and/or disagrees, together with an appropriate explanation, in accordance with the Planning Inspectorate Advice Note 8.3. In summary, an outline of the principal submissions that KCC intends to make in relation to the application will concern: - Highways and transportation, as the Local Highway Authority for Kent; - Public Rights of Way (PRoW); - Biodiversity; - Heritage; and - Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). Highways and Transportation KCC has been engaged in discussions with Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd on the highways and traffic measures for the project. The condition of the highway, as a result of additional HGV traffic, is likely to be affected by the deterioration and the overrunning of the carriageway edges and verges. Road condition surveys will be required by the applicant to identify where construction traffic has caused damage and the applicant will expected to rectify this. Within the proposed construction traffic and phasing, KCC agrees with the methodology used to predict the HGV and LGV traffic, using the known quantity of materials and activities planned in the construction phase. It also notes that the anticipated peak, of up to 80 two-way HGV movements, is significantly less than the 150 two-way HGV movements suggested at the PEIR (section 42) stage. KCC agrees, after reviewing the Environmental Statement (Chapter 14), that the cumulative effects are unlikely to generate traffic on the local road network. The mitigation measures suggested are of an appropriate level, as discussed in the Outline Construction and Traffic Management Plan (CTMP). The final CTMP will need to be agreed with KCC prior to commencement of the project. Whilst not identified in the CTMP, the spread of vehicles arriving on site is likely to be influenced by the nature of the materials being delivered. The applicant should further explain how the components transported by sea are expected to arrive by convoy, as all the HGVs will disembark within a short period. Public Rights of Way (PRoW) Existing Public Access to the Countryside With regards to promoted routes, the Saxon Shore Way long distance walking route is currently aligned along Public Footpath ZR484/CW55. Natural England has proposed the England Coast Path National Trail should be aligned along this path. If approved, this coastal route may see an increase in public use, as a result of the National Trail status and enhanced promotion associated with the site. In response to the PEIR (section 42) consultation, KCC requested that people counters were installed by the applicant at key gateway locations on the PRoW network. These counters would help the applicant understand the existing levels of use on the PRoW network and monitor the future use of the paths during the construction, operation and decommissioning phases of the project. The applicant has acknowledged this request and commissioned ‘Non-Motorised User’ (NMU) surveys of paths that pass through or near the site. Whilst these surveys are welcomed, it is disappointing to note that electronic people counter sensors were not installed (instead of manual surveys), as these counters would have been able to operate 24 hours a day and capture sporadic path users. Caution must therefore be taken when referring to the results of the NMU Survey (Chapter 14, Table 14.8), as the figures obtained during the study may not be reflective of actual path use. Construction Phase Impacts on the PRoW Network The applicant has provided an outline CTMP within the Environmental Statement (ES), which includes a specific section for PRoW. The CTMP indicates that the applicant intends to keep PRoW open and accessible during the construction phase of the project, where the PRoW pass directly through the development site (Technical Appendix A14.1, Appendix G). This approach is welcomed, as it would maintain network connectivity through the site and minimise disruption for path users. With regards to construction traffic, vehicles should not pass along or across PRoW without prior approval from the KCC PROW and Access Service. It would be the responsibility of the applicant to reinstate any vehicular damage to the surface of the right of way. The applicant is reminded that there must be no disturbance of the PRoW surface without the express permission of the KCC PRoW and Access Service. This point is of significance when considering the laying of new cables across the site and future maintenance of this infrastructure. Operational Phase Impacts on the PROW Network Following the response to the PEIR, the Glint and Glare study has been updated to consider the impacts on Public Footpaths ZR484 and ZR485. It is noted that the effects on PRoW users is considered low, such that no mitigation is required (Chapter 17). Whilst the nature of the visual changes may be subjective, it is acknowledged by the applicant that there would be a substantial change in views for users of the PRoW network (Chapter 13). Taking this loss of visual amenity into consideration, along with potential disruption during the construction and decommissioning phases of the project, appropriate PRoW network improvements should be provided by the applicant, to mitigate for the impacts on path users. Mitigation and PRoW Network Development The applicant has proposed a new Permissive Path through the site that would connect Public Footpaths ZR488 and ZR484. The creation of this route is supported, as the path would provide a useful addition to the existing PRoW network. It is understood that the applicant would be willing to enter into a licensed agreement with the County Council for the new Permissive Path. This approach is supported by the PRoW and Access Service, as the license would clarify the terms and conditions of public use and define future maintenance responsibilities. It is assumed that public access along the Permissive Path would cease to exist at the end of the Cleve Hill Solar Park Lease Agreement (Chapter 14, Table 14.1). It is recommended that the applicant should explore the possibility of extending the permissive path agreement beyond this date or consider dedicating the route as a Public Footpath. It is noted that the boundary of the application site has extended eastwards since the initial plans for the Cleve Hill Solar Park were proposed. This revision to the site boundary provides an opportunity to secure a permanent access link between Public Footpaths CW90 and CW55. KCC requests that this new route is dedicated as a Public Footpath through a Creation Agreement with the County Council (Highway Act 1980 s25). The proposed route should be included within the DCO application, to provide clarity for stakeholders and ensure the route is created for the public. Biodiversity Ornithology Mitigation The Ornithological Technical Appendix (A9.1) provides details of the breeding bird surveys but does not provide any further information on the proposed mitigation. The development will result in the loss of ground-nesting bird habitat and the applicant needs to clarify the proposed mitigation. KCC acknowledges that arable land will be lost to the installation of solar PV panels and agrees that the adjacent habitats along the field margins and ditches should be retained. An Outline Landscape and Biodiversity Management Plan has been submitted as part of the DCO application. KCC requests that only one management plan should be produced for the DCO that incorporates all land management requirements, including surface water flooding. This will help prevent conflicting management works on the proposed site. Habitat Regulations Assessment KCC recommends that the Planning Inspectorate will need to carry out the Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) and the applicant must provide the information to inform the assessment. Heritage Archaeology KCC recognises that there is an absence of local fieldwork undertaken to investigate the potential direct effects on archaeology in the proposed development area. Therefore, a worst-case scenario approach has been taken and KCC will continue to work with the applicant on further investigations needed. KCC agrees that a programme of archaeological works should be implemented to mitigate any effects and welcomes a written scheme of investigation to be agreed with KCC and Historic England. Built Heritage KCC agrees that no designated built heritage assets will be directly affected by the development. However, several designated heritage assets are subject to indirect effects from the scheme. The DCO has included detail on mitigation measures for built heritage assets. This includes the retention of the WW2 pillbox and the removal of panels in certain areas to prevent visual impacts from designated assets. KCC also agrees there should be a full recording of the pillbox and its setting in advance of development works. Damage to the asset should be avoided and if modified, should be reversible on decommissioning. Written Scheme of Investigation KCC agrees that direct effects on archaeology can be mitigated through a programme of archaeological works, secured through an agreed ‘Written Scheme of Investigation’. If remains of high significance are discovered during the construction phase, design measures can then be applied to preserve the assets. KCC will continue to work with the applicant to further develop the Outline Written Scheme of Investigation and welcomes the intention to implement heritage information panels in appropriate locations across the proposed development site. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) KCC agrees with the methodology used for the Flood Risk Assessment and the potential increase in surface water runoff associated with the proposed development. The associated drainage strategy and mitigation is adequate for the development and KCC will continue to work with the applicant on these matters. The County Council looks forward to continued working with the applicant and Planning Inspectorate and welcomes the opportunity to comment on matters of detail throughout the Examination. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gullands on behalf of Kent Wildfowling And Conservation Association
"We represent Colin Roger Mount and Robert Clifford Sharman, the trustees of the Kent Wildfowlers and Conservation Association (KWCA) who wish to be registered as an interested party for the forthcoming examination of the Cleve Hill Solar Park Development Consent Order application. The KWCA is a members’ club whose primary interests include the sport of wildfowling and the management and conservation of the relevant natural habitat. The area to be taken for the Cleve Hill development forms a feeding, staging and roosting area for a variety of bird species. The impact of the Cleve Hill Solar Park will be detrimental to the KWCA’s ability to allow its members to quietly enjoy the rights in the manner to which they are currently used. The loss of such a large area of habitat and its positioning in relation to KWCA land may remove certain species from that area, and will create a significant blight and detriment. The wildlife management area to the eastern end of the development site is too remote to the KWCA land to offer any benefit. So far as is relevant to the DCO the KWCA holds three parcels of land in the vicinity as follows: 1. Freehold ownership of saltings in Faversham Creek; 2. Leasehold of shooting rights to the north of the KWCA freehold land in perpetuity; and 3. Lease of shooting rights on Graveney Foreshore from the Faversham Oyster Fishery Company The draft DCO includes a Compulsory Purchase Order in which a number of plots of land are identified on which the ownership/rights etc of the KWCA at Point 1. above are intended to be acquired by CHSPL. The KWCA might also make a relevant claim under Section 57 of the 2008 Act (Category 3). Whilst the KWCA has been aware of previous consultations by the applicant, the nature and extent of the interests the applicant intends to acquire have only recently become apparent and their potential impacts on their interests are still being evaluated. There has been one meeting between the KWCA and CHSPL following which draft Heads of Terms have been prepared by CHSPL but no accord has yet been reached in respect of them. The KWCA may wish to make further written representations on issues that are of concern to it including: the nature and extent of the land and/or interests being acquired; the justification for compulsory acquisition; the funding statement; the impact of the project on the conservation and recreational interests associated with wildfowl; other impacts of the project and the policies relevant to the determination of the application. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kent Wildlife Trust
"Kent Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading nature conservation charity which manages over 60 nature reserves covering over 8,000 hectares across Kent. We are supported by over 31,000 members and some 1,000 registered volunteers. KWT aims to protect and improve habitats in the countryside, coasts, seas and towns for the benefit of wildlife. We have had a number of meetings with the applicant as members of the Habitat Management Steering Group. The following is a summary of some of our key concerns that have led to our opposition to the proposals, and that we wish to be discussed during examination. The brevity requested in this Relevant Representation necessitates that further detail is left to a later stage in examination, which may also be influenced by subsequent meetings of the Habitat Management Steering Group. Impact Upon ‘Functionally Linked’ land It is clear from the survey results that the site of the proposed solar park plays a role in supporting populations of species for which the Special Protection Area (SPA) is notified, and is therefore ‘Functionally Linked’. As such, we believe it is incumbent on the Statutory Agencies to consider revision of the SPA boundary to include this land. Brent Geese Mitigation The success of the Habitat Mitigation Area for Brent geese relies upon achieving a density of 2,097 goose days per hectare, a very specific figure from a study of various management techniques in East Anglia. We do not think it wise to just adopt such a figure without understanding more of the variables that might affect it, not least of which is that the study site was established grassland, rather than arable reversion as is the case here. While a number of studies are also cited, including re-seeding using clover that achieved 1,258 goose days per hectare, as none are directly applicable we consider the approach insufficiently precautionary for mitigation of a SPA feature. Concerns have been raised previously regarding the conflict between stated increases in water quality from the cessation of fertiliser use, and the use of fertiliser to maintain grassland biomass for brent geese. In response it is stated that application of fertiliser is restricted in spatial application in fields to avoid spreading near the field boundaries. However, reference to this in the document referred to appears to be missing, or at least w have not found it. Regardless, it is unclear if the necessary exclusion of the ditches and boundaries to them have been excluded from the functional area of the HMA. Impacts Upon Marsh Harrier It is unclear what impact the significant change to the landscape will have on Marsh Harrier, which at present forages across the site. While we appreciate the distance between the ditch bank tops and the fenceline has been increased compared to the original design – giving more habitat that can be managed for Marsh harrier and increasing the distance between areas of panels – there remains uncertainty as to if the effectiveness of this. Habitat Management There remain a number of questions regarding the aims of some of the areas of new habitats and how these might be achieved, for example cutting vs grazing, stocking densities (based on ‘traditional’ solar farms), ivermectins in cattle dung etc. that would be hard to summarise here. These may or may not be resolved via further discussions of the HMSG, but it would be worth allowing for these to be discussed at examination as a number of the conclusions in the ES are based upon their success. Managed Realignment The Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy proposes Managed Realignment at the development site in order to compensate for habitat loss in the SPA from coastal squeeze. The site provides a unique opportunity for Managed Realignment in the area, and creating a continuum of habitats from mud flat to grazing marsh is a more appropriate use of the site, consistent with wider national aims with regard the environment, biodiversity and landscape. The solar park would prevent this. Kent Wildlife Trust’s objective is to secure the best possible outcome for wildlife, and for the reasons above we believe refusal of the application would achieve that. However, should the Planning Inspectorate and Secretary of State grant the DCO, we will continue to work in good faith with all parties in the interests of biodiversity. Kent Wildlife Trust is also neighbouring landowner, and one over which the applicant is seeking to acquire rights. We are engaging with them in good faith to try to address the problems this could raise, though negotiations are at an early stage."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kevin Castle
"I see this as a very bad proposal due to its sheer size, height, location. This is right apon the historical Saxon shore way, in my view if this is aloud then there will be a massive diplacement to the wildlife, A massive loss to the community and for many other that enjoy the area that is currently a beautiful haven for wildlife. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kevin Chance
"The main points in which I would like to make are,1, bird life the barn owl which is becoming rarer because of developments like this .other developments are ham road Faversham will take away nesting sites of these birds and the solar development at graveney marshes will take away the feeding areas of these birds.many more developments in Faversham at the moment and it’s just too much.this development will have a severe detrimental affect on all wildlife in the area.Also a complete blot on the landscape which is an area of outstanding natural beauty.traffic and pollution will also be a problem in a very rural and beautiful area which hasn’t changed at all in many decades."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lawrence McMahon
"My strong objection to this application is based on these areas of serious concern: Batteries • The safety of batteries has not been adequately addressed. • This is one of the largest Li-Ion battery installations in the world, with no track record of this scale of installation in the UK. • This remains an emerging technology. It is well-established that such batteries can catch fire or explode, especially when exposed to water. • This raises crucial questions: 1. Which body will be responsible for assessing the battery proposal? 2. Will Kent Fire and Rescue have access to the site and battery units; and do they have the appropriate expertise? 3. Is there secondary flood protection, and how is this compatible with emergency access? 4. Given batteries are the shortest-life components with individual variability, what are the replacement arrangements for these units, including traffic management and hazardous waste removal? Access and Traffic • Construction plant, equipment and materials will be delivered to the site via three access routes. All are routed via junction 7 on the M2, which is already overloaded and has a poor accident record. Any blockage or closure will result in lorries using unsuitable rural roads. • Despite the application’s claims of negligible risk, heavy vehicles engaged on construction projects have a poor safety record particularly as regards collisions with cyclists. The freight access route coincides with the Sustrans National Route 1, frequently used by cyclists. No risk mitigation measures have been proposed. • Graveney Primary School is on the access route for site traffic. Children must cross that road to access the playing field. Increased industrial traffic will pose an increased safety risk to these children. Also, increased industrial traffic may disrupt access to the school for staff and parents. • The raised levels of goods traffic will erode the quality of the environment and the quality of life for local people. The associated loss of amenity is unacceptable, whether or not there is residual damage. • We have serious concerns about noise, vibration and air quality. Landscape and Visual Impact • The proposal would have a destructive impact on this landscape. • Graveney Marshes is part of Kent level Area of High Landscape Value and this has recently been endorsed as such for the new Local Plan. • Graveney arable lands have been designated moderate condition/sensitivity and Graveney grazing lands as good condition/high sensitivity. • Views from England Coast Path/Saxon Shore Way will suffer major impact – as will views from footpath ZR478. It is also harmful to distant views, including Wraik Hill. Socio-economic effects and tourism • It is insufficient to limit the tourism impact assessment to Kent or district level. It must be assessed at Faversham area or Whitstable area level. • People visit Faversham and Whitstable as historic towns with unusual shops and restaurants, and for their proximity to outstanding countryside and wildlife. The power station would destroy this appeal due to its industrial appearance and scale, and immediate impact on wildlife. • The power station would impact part of a long-distance footpath and a national cycle route. This will deter people from using these for tourism and for amenity. The latter is significant as the population of Faversham is set to increase significantly with proposed housing developments. There will be more need than ever for open space and places to walk and cycle. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley Davies-Evans
" The Cleve Hill Solar Park solar and battery power station proposal for Graveney Marshes raises many concerns, the main ones being its huge size and the environmental impact. I would like to include in my written representation my thoughts concerning the visual impact of the 880,000 panels which will create a huge roof like structure the size of Faversham. I am concerned about the site selection, the effect on ecology in an already highly protected area and that not enough has been done to find alternative sites, or to consider reducing the scale of the proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lisa Klech
" I disagree with the application on these grounds; The Cleve Hill Solar Farm would be a blight on the local area as it far is too huge. This area is an important setting for rare nesting birds and wildlife, which will suffer greatly. The solar panels would be ridiculously high and ensure that nothing could grow beneath them. This is a popular area for rambling and walkers which will be damaged beyond repair. This huge solar farm will be of no benefit to the local community. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Liz May
"I am very concerned about the proposal solar panel park at Cleve Hill I am concerned with the negative environmental impact the solar farm will have on the area There has been no consideration of suitable alternatives The solar farm will turn an area of historic and outstanding beauty into a factory and will ruin the enjoyment of walkers and bird watches on the Saxon Shore Way I do not want it to be constructed at Cleve Hill and request that alternatives are considered; smaller park / farms inland "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Liz Russell
"recognise the importance of using wind, solar and tidal technologies for power generation to reduce the use of carbon fuels and meet the UK commitments to reduce levels of greenhouse gasses. However, I have grave concerns about the negative environmental and amenity impact of the solar power station being proposed at Cleve Hill and across the surrounding marshes. There are alternative brownfield sites available, and distributed generation is both possible and more desirable. Those concerns are:> Unprecedented scale. What is being proposed on the outskirts of our town is an extremely large industrial development, as big if not now bigger, than Faversham itself. A development of this scale cannot fail to have a profound negative effect on the environment and reduce the economic and amenity value to those both living in and using the area.Site enlargement.The developers have included a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the seawall, the latter to enable the developer to negotiate with the Environment Agency in order to mitigate the risk of managed retreat on the operator’s assets. (panels, batteries and other industrial plant) This has enabled the developer to now claim that the panels will only cover 55% of the site (as if this in some way reduces their impact) and to include the extra land and the SSSI as part of their calculations concerning the benefit to the environment that they suggest the power station will create. This raises serious issues regarding responsibilities and wider governance.Batteries The developer has not clearly specified what battery technology will be used. This is emerging technology still being developed and tested. It is not unreasonable to have concerns about the health and safety aspects of this new technology. There will be 00mwh of battery storage capacity. The battery storage area will be surrounded by a ~4.6m high bund to prevent flooding.Flood Risk These marshes are a protective floodplain for Faversham. The seawall is currently the responsibility of the Environment Agency and therefore under democratic control. If the Agency were to delegate responsibility to the operators of the site for the flood defences, they would be able to raise the height of the wall at will in order to protect their assets. We have concerns about the impact of insulating such a large area of land from inundation – most particularly on increasing the flood risk in Faversham town – already prone to flooding. The marsh area has long been a coastal floodplain protecting Faversham.The governance of the SSSI We are concerned that the enlargement of the site puts the future of an important SSSI into the hands of a power company. We know that the way that SSSIs are managed is critical and without oversight, by a public body we are not confident that the incentives of the developer and operator would ensure the long-term protection of the site. The SSSI appears to have been included to assist the developer in increasing the biodiversity of the site merely by acquiring land already managed for diversity. The Height of the Solar Panels The Solar Panels will vary in height up to 3.9 m above ground level and will be dark blue, grey or black in colour. The panels will extend over 176.3399 ha or 436 acres or 218 football pitches. Archaeology The Historic Environment Desk Based Assessment commissioned by the developer reveals that the site and its immediate environs make an important contribution to the historical and cultural setting of the town and that the creation of a large power station – albeit solar – would ignore Faversham’s historical importance and compromise the setting of the town and its neighbouring villages to the north, Graveney and Goodnestone. We have evidence of medieval saltings and of a historically significant duck shoot that would be obliterated by the panels. We have seen no assessment of the damage to the archaeology of the area covered by the site.Noise & Disruption I am concerned about the level of disruption that will occur during construction and continue during the normal running of the power station. Although there is some technical detail, we have seen little intelligible analysis of the cumulative level of noise generated by the inverters, transformers, battery packs and other elements of the energy production process.Access & TrafficThis is a very large site that would not only be covered with new solar installations but would also require substantial works to provide the roads, new ditches and the electrical plant – including a substantial compound for battery storage. The Faversham Society is concerned that the roads to the site, in particular, Head Hill Road and Seasalter Road are not suitable for the weight and frequency of traffic required to transport such a high volume of materials and equipment to the site. We are unclear about future responsibilities for road maintenance, repair and general restitution.Wildlife The site forms part of the North Kent Marshes Environmentally Sensitive Area. It is also directly adjacent to the Swale Ramsar site which is designated because it has an important assemblage of bird and plant species. The site will also affect the Swale Special Protection Area and the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area and on the opposite side of Faversham Creek, the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust.Soil & Soil Erosion Developers propose to create what they have called ‘grazing land’ under the panels with a mix of grasses and wildflower They propose the grazing of sheep. Even if this were to prove possible, such plans are less than adequate compensation for the loss of such a large, grazing marsh so productive of wildlife.Landscape, Amenity and Economic ValueThe site forms part of a Kent Area of High Landscape Value and a Swale Area of High Landscape Value. The site is visible from long distances including Wraik Hill on the A299 at Whitstable, from Estuary View, from Boughton Hill on the A2 and from Oare village to the west of Faversham Creek – all which have extensive views encompassing the whole marsh, grazing land, fruit farms and orchards. It is an area of high amenity and economic value.The Faversham and Graveney Marshes ‘brand’ attracts a large number of visitors – whether interested in history, marine life, birds or general recreational walking – to this part of Swale. Although developers assert that for Kent the impact will be negligible, we have seen no analysis of the short and longer economic impact the development will have on Faversham and the businesses that support and service our visitors.Footpaths The Saxon Shore Way runs along the top of the seawall, and so any walker from Faversham to Seasalter would start by looking along the parallel ranks of solar panels and then as they turn east looking over row after row of panels stretching east to west to the back of the marsh. The monotony would only be relieved as walkers passed gaps for the spine road and the drainage ditches. At the eastern end of the site, walkers’ next view would be the battery compound and sub-station across the grazing marsh. Walking the Saxon Shore Way from the Seasalter Road end, there would be views of the sub-station and other works and across the marsh towards the solar panels extending to the sea wall. New security fencing and surveillance is also expected to be installed along all footpaths which would add to the unsightliness and serve to intensify the hostile industrialised atmosphere across the marshes. The character of all of these well established and much-used footpaths that are part of the Saxon Shore Way would be changed beyond recognition.This unprecedentedly large solar power station will have a profound negative impact on the people that live in Faversham and the surrounding villages. Although it is these local people who will suffer the losses if this development goes ahead, it appears that as currently conceived, it provides no direct benefit for them either in the short or long term. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP on behalf of London Array Limited (on behalf of specified participants)
"The representations are made by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP on behalf of our client, London Array Limited who represent the consortium participants in the London Array wind farm project (being Orsted London Array II Limited, E.on Climate & Renewables UK London Array Limited, Masdar Energy UK Limited and Boreas (Investment) Limited)) (together referred to in this letter as the Participants). As you are aware, the Participants have the benefit of interests in land proposed to be subject to compulsory purchase in connection with the solar farm development consent order (DCO). The Participants object to the proposed DCO and the seeking of compulsory purchase powers in respect of their interests, the exercise of which could materially and adversely impact the operation of the off-shore wind farm (during both the construction and operation of any solar park). The Participants concerns include the following: 1. Grid Connection: the Participants own soil below 0.7m in an area proposed to be subject to compulsory acquisition (plot 3/05 on Land Plan November 2018 Revision A). These cables are essential for the operation of the wind farm and allow for the transfer of electricity from the wind farm to the substation. In addition the Participants have rights over the top soil to be subject to compulsory acquisition to facilitate maintenance of this equipment. It is imperative to the operation of the wind farm that the integrity of these cables is protected. 2. There are substations located on land over which the acquisition of rights is proposed (plot 3/07A on Land Plan November 2018 Revision A) and the grant of rights may adversely impact on the operation of those substations, which are let to parties to whom the Participants have ongoing landlord obligations. 3. Access for Construction: there is a private road owned by the Participants which is used to access the substation. Any use of this road by HGVs/ other vehicles in the construction of the solar farm may cause obstruction or damage to this road and may affecting the ongoing operation and maintenance of the substation. 4. Flood defences: We understand that works will be required to flood defences which protect the property owned by the Participants and over which the Participants enjoy rights. The integrity of these defences is crucial to ongoing operation of the Participants’ business. London Array Limited and the Participants are ready, willing and able to enter into an agreement with the promoters of the solar farm such that the use of compulsory purchase powers is not necessary and look forward to continuing discussions with the promoters. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Louis Lee Ray
"The reasons this solar power farm should not be built on this site include: Significant environmental impact Significant destruction of important wildlife/bird habitat No consideration of suitable alternatives (further inland) Ruining an area of historic and outstanding beauty Ongoing access and traffic - during and after construction Ruining the enjoyment of walkers, dog walkers and bird watchers on a much-loved route"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Louisa Glancy
"I am usually completely in favour of solar energy and in fact all renewable energy. I wouldn't object to some solar panels. But the scale and the size of the proposed installation is out of all proportion with the landscape, and would really dominate and takeover the environment and natural beauty of the marshes to a massive and disproportionate degree. There are so few patches of wild landscape on the Kent coast it would be a real tragedy to cover this little corner of natural space to such an extent. I think this is a huge mistake and a terrible prospect for local people."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Louisa Taylor
"I disagree with the proposed solar park for the following reasons - it will spoil valuable marshland - it will affect wildlife - it will have a social impact on the local community - the village roads are not suitable for the volume of construction traffic - children attending the village primary school may be at risk from increased HGV traffic - the design is not in keeping with the village aesthetic - the park will affect house prices in the area, meaning long standing residents will either be unable to move or will lose an unacceptable amount of money on their property - this village is an area of natural beauty and to use such a vast quantity of land to create energy that may not even be used by uk homes will be detrimental to human wellbeing - it is far too close to local properties - this is not a venture to create green energy, it is merely an exercise in making profit while masquerading as a way to help the environment. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lut Stewart
"Impact on people : How could this proposal have been properly assessed in the absence of the National Inspectorate’s compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and Human Rights Legislation? The developers have not included any reference or an equality impact assessment in the project or its delivery either. This pertains to the consultation phase, the registration process, the construction, the traffic, the operation and resulting visual effects, the environmental impacts, the right to education and enjoyment of life,... The Secretary of State is legally bound to consider the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty as set out in the Equalities Act 2010 and it is a significant failure not to have taken account of these. It also regrettably explains – in part - the behaviour of the developers in their dealings with the villagers of Graveney. Landscape : How could this proposal have been properly assessed in the absence of guidelines for residential and landscape visual impact/amenity assessments relating to a solar plant of this size, given there is no track record of this scale of installation in the UK – or one that is positioned so close to property boundaries, has solar panels that are 3.9 meters high, a fence, security cameras and is positioned –in part - on a hill so that screening can never mitigate the detrimental visual effects of such a scheme. This project would completely obliterate a very visible valued landscape for ever. Heritage : Why was this proposal not properly assessed against all heritage assets in Graveney so that the importance of the setting of dominant buildings could not be ignored? Battery Proposal: How can the impact of the battery proposal be independently and objectively assessed when the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy –as a research grant provider into energy storage -- is also therefore a stakeholder? Hazardous Waste: How will the impact of the use of hazardous materials be assessed, given there is no track record of this scale of installation in the UK. Which official or professional body will be responsible for examining and assessing the impact of this on people, the land and the wildlife? What finances would be put into place –to guarantee- the monitoring of the impact of hazardous substances during the project and to carry out the safe removal of all materials at the end of the life of the project? Saxon Shore Way/Leisure How will the impact of the destruction of the Saxon Shore Way’s setting be assessed, given there is no track record of this scale of installation in the UK. Which official or professional body will be responsible for examining and assessing the impact of this on revenue, tourism, enjoyment, employment --- especially because no real attempt was made to consult with ramblers and walkers by the developers ---which is against the advice of the National Inspectorate. Wildlife: How will the impact on the endocrine system of birds, animals and insects be assessed, given there is no track record of this amount of destruction of agricultural land and gigantic scale of installation in the UK. Which official or professional body will be responsible for examining and assessing the impact of this? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Maggie Williams
"Concerns about damage to wildlife and change of habitat for many local and migranting animals, insects and birds. Concerns about damage to the coastline and natural drainage systems. Concerns that this will be an eyesore blighting a beautiful area for both locals and visitors. Concerns that there are far more suitable brownfield sites and cannot comprehend why this site is even under consideration for this purpose. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marianne Le Boutillier
"I am in favour of sustainable energy, but concerned about the size of the proposed solar park for the following reasons. Damage to the ecosystem. Due to the unpredictable and very fast changing results of climate change, with rising sea levels, storm surges etc, the floodplain is of vital importance for the town. I don't think even the experts thought things would deteriorate so fast, so their flood predictions may not be accurate I think that the power from such an enormous project should be for the benefit of local people, but all I see is more traffic and disruption, destroyed marshland and therefore animal/bird habitats, and huge changes especially for the people living in GRAVENEY "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marika Sherwood
"The area they want to use is too large; the panels are too large and too many; don't want the 'electrical substation and batteries' - also too large. We must protect all forms of wildlife, not destroy it. Cant have a sort of industrial estate larger than the whole town of Faversham on our doorstep. A small are with smaller panels would be acceptable. And useful. If all new housing being built was required to include solar panels, a smaller farm would produce enough electricity for the local area. The company should find some brownfield sites, not bordering on nature reserves and at some distance from local villages."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marilyn Gabbett
"I have a beach hut at [REDACTED] which will be more vulnerable to flooding should this development proceed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marine Management Organisation
"The Planning Inspectorate National Infrastructure Directorate By email only Your reference: EN010085 Our reference: DCO/2018/00013 28 January 2019 Dear Sir/Madam APPLICATION BY CLEVE HILL SOLAR PARK LTD FOR AN ORDER GRANTING DEVELOPMENT CONSENT FOR THE CLEVE HILL SOLAR PARK RESPONSE TO SECTION 56 OF THE PLANNING ACT 2008 (AS AMENDED) This document comprises the Marine Management Organisation’s (“MMO”) initial comments in respect of the above Development Consent Order (“DCO”) application in the form of a relevant representation. This is without prejudice to any future representation the MMO may make about the DCO application throughout the examination process. This is also without prejudice to any decision the MMO may make on any associated application for consent, permission, approval or any other type of authorisation submitted to the MMO. The MMO is an interested party for the examination of DCO applications for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (“NSIPs”) in the marine area. The MMO received notification dated 19 December 2018 stating that the Planning Inspectorate (“PINS”) (on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) has accepted an application from Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd (the “Applicant”), for a DCO to construct, operate and maintain Cleve Hill Solar Park (the “Project”). The MMO’s role in Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects The MMO was established by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (the “2009 Act”) to make a contribution to sustainable development in the marine area and to promote clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. The responsibilities of the MMO include the licensing of construction works, deposits and removals in English inshore and offshore waters and for Northern Ireland offshore waters by way of a marine licence . Inshore waters include any area which is submerged at mean high water spring (“MHWS”) tide. They also include the waters of every estuary, river or channel where the tide flows at MHWS tide. Waters in areas which are closed permanently or intermittently by a lock or other artificial means against the regular action of the tide are included, where seawater flows into or out from the area. In the case of NSIPs, the Planning Act 2008 (the “2008 Act”) enables DCO’s for projects which affect the marine environment to include provisions which deem marine licences . As a prescribed consultee under the 2008 Act, the MMO advises developers during pre-application on those aspects of a project that may have an impact on the marine area or those who use it. In addition to considering the impacts of any construction, deposit or removal within the marine area, this also includes assessing any risks to human health, other legitimate uses of the sea and any potential impacts on the marine environment from terrestrial works. Where a marine licence is deemed within a DCO, the MMO is the delivery body responsible for post-consent monitoring, variation, enforcement and revocation of provisions relating to the marine environment. As such, the MMO has a keen interest in ensuring that provisions drafted in a deemed marine licence (“DML”) enable the MMO to fulfil these obligations. Further information on licensable activities can be found on the MMO’s website . Further information on the interaction between the Planning Inspectorate and the MMO can be found in our joint advice note . Cleve Hill Solar Park The proposed development site is located near Graveney, approximately 2 km north east of Faversham and 5 km west of Whitstable on the north Kent coast, where Faversham Creek forms the western site boundary and The Swale Channel forms the northern boundary. The proposed development site extends over 491.2 hectares and includes areas of arable land, freshwater grazing marsh, flood defences and the existing Cleve Hill substation. The MMO understands that the Project will comprise an electricity generating facility (by way of a Solar Photovoltaic Array) and an electrical energy storage facility, with a total capacity exceeding 50 Megawatts (‘MW’), together with associated infrastructure and development required by the project. At present, the only aspect of this project that would fall within the remit of the MMO is understood to comprise of maintenance of existing flood defence system currently maintained by the Environment Agency. Pre-application consultation The MMO was not consulted on the original scoping opinion for the project, as the site boundary at that time was entirely above MHWS. Subsequently, it was identified by the applicant that there was a requirement to maintain the existing coastal flood defences which run around the northern and western sides of the proposed development site. Such flood defence maintenance activities would include works below MHWS, and therefore fall under the remit of the MMO. Following an amendment to the site boundary, the MMO was consulted by the Applicant under section 42 of the 2008 Act in May 2018. A response was provided by the MMO in June 2018 and November 2018. Comments on the DCO application The MMO notes that the Applicant intends to take responsibility for the existing flood defences within the development site, and therefore any associated maintenance works which may be needed, as and when required, throughout the lifetime of the Project. These flood defences are currently maintained by the Environment Agency under article 19 (Maintenance of coast protection, drainage and flood defence works) of the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order 2011. Under article 19 (Maintenance of coast protection, drainage and flood defence works) of the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order 2011 a licence is not required for an activity carried out by, or on behalf of the Environment Agency for maintaining coast protection works, drainage works or flood defence works. This exemption is subject to the condition that the activity is carried out within the existing boundaries of the works being maintained, and that it does not apply to any activity that consists of beach replenishment. Part 6, s29 of the draft DCO includes provisions for the Applicant to apply the above marine licence exemption to any maintenance works undertaken in relation to the Project by the Applicant, as if it had been carried out by the Environment Agency. The MMO has significant concerns around a proposal which purports to extend the exemptions intended to cover activities carried out by statutory authorities for statutory purposes to private companies. As such, the MMO is unable to support the inclusion of the above provision. The Applicant is aware of the MMO’s concerns regarding Part 6 s29 of the draft DCO, and that it is our preference to include a DML to permit ongoing maintenance activities. To support this, the Applicant has also included a draft DML within their application. Further work is required on this document to ensure that it is fit for purpose to enable the MMO to carry out its obligations relating to post consent monitoring, variation, enforcement and revocation of provisions relating to the marine environment. The MMO will continue to engage with the Applicant regarding the drafting of the DML and the development of Statements of Common Ground (SoCG) but would like to highlight the following issues in the first instance; a) Any activities permitted under a DML must be detailed within the DCO and supporting information. This includes methodologies on how these activities are likely to be undertaken. Whilst we accept that finite details of works may only be confirmed in the future (i.e. via a post-consent licence condition), there is very little to no coverage of works in the current DCO and supporting Environmental Statement (“ES”). b) Additionally, in order to ensure that the impacts of activities authorised within the DML have been mitigated via the inclusion of relevant and specific conditions within the DML, a robust assessment of impacts must be undertaken within the ES. The MMO is unable to find any assessment of the impacts of the flood defence maintenance activities within the submitted ES. It may be considered that the environmental impacts are ‘minimal’ as the proposed works are only ‘maintenance’ of existing flood defence already undertaken by the Environment Agency, but the ES should be updated to ensure that this has been considered. This is line with the high-level principles of EIA and the Rochdale Envelope where the worst-case ‘project as a whole’ is considered. c) The MMO will engage with Environment Agency (and any other relevant parties we may deem necessary) to ensure that the activities proposed are sufficient to manage the existing flood defence and that provisions within the DML are sufficient. Conclusion The MMO object to the inclusion of Part 6, s29 of the draft DCO, but do support the alternative proposal of inclusion of a DML. While some work is required to ensure that it is fit for purpose, we do not consider that this will be burdensome for the Applicant. We strongly recommend that the Applicant engage with the MMO throughout the process in order to ensure the assessment is as smooth as possible and agreements can be reached through a SoCG. The MMO reserves the right to modify its present advice or opinion in view of any additional maters or information that may come to our attention. The MMO would be grateful if you could ensure that those indicated below are added to the distribution list for PINS communications for this case. Yours faithfully, Laura Calvert Marine Licensing Case Officer D +44 (0)208 026 5341 E [email protected] Copies to: Tracey Champney (MMO): [email protected] Edward Walker (MMO): [email protected] "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michelle Castaneda
"I am a resident of Graveney. I have lived in the village with my family since 2004. I have grave concerns regarding the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park. The scale of the Solar Park is extremely concerning.The industrial development with be as big if not bigger that Faversham itself. It will have a negative effect on the environment and could potentially reduce the economic value of my home and the amenities in the surrounding area. What type of battery technology will be used ? What effects will they have on our health and wellbeing ? What evidence based assurance can Cleve Hill Solar Park produce to ensure the batteries used will not have an adverse effect on our health ? I am concerned about the flood risk. The marshes are a protected flood plain for Faversham and the surrounding villages. Any building work could potentially increase the flooding risk to Faversham. The solar panels are going to be nearly 4 meters high !!! They will ruin the landscape, localpeople and visitors will be prevented from enjoying the landscape. We will no longer be able to enjoy walks, bird watch etc as there willonly be thousands of 4 meter solar panels to look at. The Solar Park will make Graveney a dangerous place to live. It will generate and increase in noise levels, pollution and distruption. We have a primary school along the route to the solar Park, this will endanger children at dropping off and collection times and will have an adverse effect on their health as the children will be breathing in the toxic emissions from the vehicles used to deliver the machinery. New road will have to be built as Seasalter Road and Head Hill Road are unsuitable for the amount of traffic this monstrosity will generate. This awful proposal will sadly have a profoundly negative effect on the lovely area in which I live.It will be an eyesore as it will be seen for miles around. It will ruin footpaths and our walks. It will have an adverse effect on the quality of our lives. Surely there must be a better place in which to locate the Solar Park ? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Miss Angela Powell
"Having grown up in the area I quickly learned the importance of the nature reserve and the natural habitat, also the outstanding beauty for walkers and cyclists alike. What is being proposed will destroy all of this and, once it's gone, it's gone. We need to do more to protect such areas from so-called "progress" and take a deeper look at what the huge environmental, emotional and physical cost is not only to the living creatures losing/being deeply affected by the change in their natural habitat, but also the mental welfare of humans who gain so much in having available to them an area of such beauty where they can go for enjoyment away from buildings and structures and noise, and just relish a wide open space and silence."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Miss P M Dickenson
"I have many times walked these beautiful marshes when my partner Peter Murray and I have travelled to see my brother Bill and his wife Victoria who live in Faversham. Also run here many times. My brother died in June 2017, however, we still go to Faversham to see Victoria. I and Peter really feel very very sad about the proposed planning application and we really wish to object very strongly to this application. What terrible things will happen to the wildlife and the flora and fauna. Please, please do not go ahead with this planning application."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr David Bullivant
"I am all for Green Energy and feel like it is a vital part of our future. But this is a poorly thought through plan. The sheer size and choice of location is not ok. My children go to school in Graveney and we spend a lot of time in the surrounding area. Please listen to the people that exist in this space that the scale of a plant like this is disastrous. There are many MANY other sites that something like this could exist, and should exist. Thanks David."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ms Nicolette May on behalf of Mr John Davies
" I object to Cleve hill and Graveney Marshes being allowed to become a huge solar farm that is covering an area bigger than Faversham Town. The negative impact this construction will have on the environment will cause irrevocable damage to this untouched marsh, land and flora and fauna species. The mud flats and surrounding marshes are home to large numbers of indigenous and migratory birds. Myself and my family regularly visit this area as it is part of the Saxon shore way and have seen bitterns, marsh harriers ,cuckoos,Read warblers,swans,geese, herons, grass snakes as well as the shoreline birds. Which make this beautiful location a free site for all to visit. It is an asset to the local area and businesses such as to restaurants and guest accomodation and to all local residents in kent.There are not many places like this remaining and it deserves to be protected. There are other places that solar panels can go without encroaching on land which is symbiotic to the life of and on the mudflats."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Michael Wilcox
"Many of the points I would make in a personal capacity have been included within the representation provided on behalf of 'GREAT'. I am a supported of renewable energy projects, but not at an unreasonable cost to the environment. This is the first solar and battery project to be assessed by the Planning Inspectorate. As such it covers new ground and I have concerns that the developer has not provided a sufficiently detailed set of plans. I am keen to understand how the Planning Inspectorate proposes to handle the new elements within the scheme and ensure proper scrutiny is applied by appropriate experts to all parts of the design. There is a significant risk that a poorly thought through recommendation and decision will create a bad precedent. The developer makes many claims about ongoing good stewardship in their application. It is thought likely that the special purpose vehicle created by the developers (Hive and Wirsol) for this project will be sold on if and when planning consent is granted. What guarantees, governance and oversight will be in place to ensure that promises made are adhered to. How will this be policed, what penalties would be levied. The technology used as the basis for the application will quickly become outdated. In order for the scheme to remain viable, the developers are likely to want to (or need to) upgrade the facility on a regular basis. This needs more scrutiny. The total financial and non-financial costs of the project have not been fully assessed. From a financial point of view the location is attractive to the developer because it is cheap to build on greenfield sites. But there are costs that won't be borne by the developer that should be properly assessed and taken into account. Local residents, wildlife, birds, and the environment will all pay a price in one form or another. The various impact assessments carried out by the developer fail to account fully for the overall cost of this huge scheme. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Robert Croudace
"My objection to the Cleve Hill Solar Park is due to the immense scale, design and location of the site. The physical impact and irreperable harm it will have on an internationally important SSSI area, nature reserves and natural marshes and ditches for migratory and local wildlife is of great concern. In addition to the seismic aesthetic change in the countryside's vista because of the panels' location, quantity, and physical size, their east to west orientation is of great enironmental concern by impeding opportunities for wildlife. There cannot fail to be a hugely significant and direct impact on the wildlife already there. How such habitats can consequently remain functionally linked with one another and to continue supporting the wildlife they currently do becomes highly doubtful. So much is at risk within habitats that are delicately balanced and vulnerable ecosystems. There will simply be a direct loss of this unique coastal habitat for a wide range of important species that benefit and thrive here. The collective aspects of the solar park seems to have been devised and proposed as positive with complete disregard to a vitally important and fundamental location for wildlife and the historic landscape of the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Frances Prescott
"I own two parcels of freehold land within feet of the eastern boundary of this proposal. both plots have a holiday chalet and I have been associated with the area for 60 years. I object in the straight possible terms to this proposal. 1. This proposal will industrialise a rural and estuarine landscape of great beauty, loved and used by the public in considerable numbers. 2. it is a green field site, many brownfield sites are available further up the Thames estuary. 3. the existing farmland is of immense importance for the bird life of swale estuary providing, resting and feeding areas at high tide. 4. the vast area of plastic will severely damage if not totally destroy the local biodiversity. 5. the separation of the towns of Faversham and Whitstable will be destroyed. the solar farm leading directly to the development of Seasalter. please do not destroy this wonderful area of open countryside. "
Other Statutory Consultees
National Grid Electricity Transmission PLC
" Representation by National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc to the Cleve Hill Solar Park Project (“the Project”) National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc (“National Grid”) wishes to make a relevant representation to the Project in order to protect its position in relation to infrastructure and land which is within or in close proximity to the proposed Order limits. National Grid’s rights to retain its apparatus in situ and rights of access to inspect, maintain, renew and repair such apparatus located within or in close proximity to the Order limits should be maintained at all times and access to inspect and maintain such apparatus must not be restricted. The documentation and plans submitted for the Project have been reviewed in relation to impacts on National Grid’s existing apparatus and land interests located within this area. National Grid has a high voltage electricity overhead transmission line, which forms an essential part of the electricity transmission network in England and Wales within, or in close proximity to, the Order limits: • ZV (400kV) overhead line route - Canterbury North to Kemsley - Cleve Hill to Kemsley National Grid will require protective provisions to be included within the DCO to ensure that its interests are adequately protected and to ensure compliance with relevant safety standards. National Grid is liaising with the Promoter in relation to the protective provisions for inclusion within the DCO along with any supplementary agreements which may be required. National Grid will keep the Examining Authority updated in relation to these discussions. As a responsible statutory undertaker, National Grid’s primary concern is to meet its statutory obligations and ensure that any development does not impact in any adverse way upon those statutory obligations. National Grid reserves the right to make further representations as part of the examination process but in the meantime will negotiate with the Promoter with a view to reaching a satisfactory agreement. "
Other Statutory Consultees
response has attachments
Natural England
"Please see Attached ------------------------- Natural England has been working closely with the applicant since December 2016. We have also been working through the Habitat Management Steering Group (HMSG) to advise on mitigation measures and biodiversity enhancements. These relevant representations contain a summary of what Natural England considers to be the main nature conservation, landscape and related issues. A more detailed version of these representations will also be sent to the Planning Inspectorate. Overall, our view is that the applicant has made significant progress in addressing impacts on statutorily designated nature conservation sites. However, there are still some points of detail where further discussion is required to flesh out mitigation proposals to provide a sufficient degree of confidence as to their efficacy. The main impacts on statutorily designated nature conservation sites are noise and visual disturbance, production of dust, and hydrological impacts during construction and/or decommissioning; and loss of functionally linked habitat during operation. Taking each of these in turn: Noise and visual disturbance during construction Wintering birds on intertidal habitat - whilst we welcome the Outline SPA Construction Noise Management Plan (CNMP), we recommend investigating whether piling work closest to the SPA can be avoided at high tide. Breeding birds of grazing marsh and reedbed - Whilst welcome the commitment to avoid disturbance in the breeding season, we question whether the 65dB threshold provides sufficient certainty over the absence of potential impacts. Greater clarity is also needed regarding the scheduling for construction. Marsh harriers - Natural England welcomes the specific commitment to a 500m exclusion zone around any marsh harrier nest. Dust and water quality impacts Natural England’s view is that the measures in the Outline CEMP are sufficient to address dust and water quality impacts during construction. In order to assess the operational impact on Ramsar ditch communities, it would be helpful to understand whether the proposed level of fertiliser application on the Arable Reversion Habitat Management Area (AR HMA) is more or less than currently applied. Loss of habitat In order to avoid an adverse effect on integrity, there should be no net loss of foraging resource for brent geese, lapwings, golden plovers and marsh harriers. Brent geese – if the AR HMA is managed to maximise its potential for brent geese, it is a sufficient area. However, further discussion through the HMSG is necessary to determine whether management for geese, and in particular the fertiliser application, would compromise any other ecological interests. Lapwings and golden plovers – there are some uncertainties remaining around whether the AR HMA can provide sufficient foraging habitat for lapwings and golden plovers, and will work with the applicant to resolve these and provide further advice as the Examination progresses. Marsh Harriers – Setting back the solar arrays from the ditches is an improvement over the PEIR layout as it reduces the risk that the array will pose a barrier to foraging marsh harrier. We recommend management of the grassland between the ditches and solar array to maximise the habitat for small terrestrial mammals, as prey for the marsh harriers Protected Species The development site supports populations of great crested newts and water voles, which will require a licence before works start. Natural England is working with the applicant on the requirements for this. Other Issues Landscape – Natural England agrees that impacts on the Kent Downs AONB will not be significant. Access and recreation – Natural England notes that there will be significant visual impact on users of the England Coast Path. We recognise the attempt made to mitigate this through planting, though would advocate reedbed rather than scrub in certain areas. Biodiversity enhancements – Natural England will continue to advise on the management of habitat within the application site, through the HMSG, to maximise the opportunity for wildlife gain. Wider biodiversity – whilst there is opportunity for gains, eg for breeding birds associated with the ditches and reedbed habitat, there will be a loss to those species (other than those that are the specific focus of the AR HMA) that use the arable fields or are attracted by the arable farming operations. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicola Chatten
"I object to the construction of the solar farm and give the following reasons 1) environmental concerns - pollution, carbon footprint, noise 2) concerns with impact on habitat for animals and insects 3) unnecessary size of project 4) use brown fields sites in uk before greenfield "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicolette May
" I oppose the building of this massive solar farm on Graveney Marshes for the following reasons. The council and government could generate enough solar energy by placing solar panels on all council premises,swimming pools,schools and other public buildings. it could also access road side verges and brown fill land where nature has not been established. All new build houses should have solar panels . Stop handing stuff out to the private sector. Energy resources should be run by the uk councils and governments not a profit making opportunity. Graveney marshes is one of only two areas that the council have stated is of national interest and beauty in kent. The mud flats provide food for migratory and local birds along with other wildlife that use the marshland to live. It is a place of natural beauty and along the historic Saxon shore walk way. very few places provide such a vista of sky,sea and land. Nationally there is research into the value of marsh land to prevent and slow flooding and purify pollution.What happens when the solar panels are removed? It will become another building site at the cost of the environment and its wildlife. The coast will look like anywhere else. There are only two marshes left and this is one."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Fletcher
"I am totally against this proposal, They shouldn't cover a beautiful landscape that's really important to wildlife and the environment, especially to produce so called 'green energy' which isn't as green as it's made out to be, due to the vast consumption of resources and energy that is used to produce these panels and storage. The proposal is so shortsighted because the technology is going to become outdated in a very short span of time. Also, the impact that the 90 construction vehicles a day, to quote the developer, will have a massive negative effect on the air quality and local infrastructure. Also from Whitstable hill when the sun sets, reflects off the lying water at present, and dazzles drivers cresting the fast A299 . There is a better solution, not greedily grabbing wild and important bird and invertibrates sanctuary. Refuse it, it's all about money and not about solving the energy crisis "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Andrews
"I support the development of all forms of renewable energy including solar power. My wife and I have a 4 KW solar array installed in our garden and we generate more electricity than we use. However, I have grave concerns about the negative environmental and amenity impact of the solar power station being proposed at Cleve Hill. My objections to the proposal are based on my personal knowledge of the proposed site since my wife and I have regularly walked along the sea wall for the past 44 years. My objections are as follows: What is being proposed on the outskirts of our town is an extremely large industrial development, comparable to the size of Faversham itself. A development of this scale will inevitably have a severe negative impact on the environment and reduce the economic and amenity value to those both living in and using the area. The panels will be 3.9 metres high and will extend over 176 hectares while the substation and the batteries located behind the bund will extend over 10 hectares. The development of battery technology is still in its infancy and is largely untested, particularly with regard to efficiency, noise and maintenance levels. The proposed site is on the edge of a site of special scientific interest and a wetland area of international importance. There will be deleterious effects on wildlife, while the biodiversity of the area covered by the solar panels, batteries and substations will be more or less destroyed. The developers have included a Site of Special Scientific Interest within the area of the development. Our concern is that the future supervision, management and protection of this SSSI will be under the control of the power company. The proposed project site is currently protected by the seawall which is maintained by the Environment Agency. This area of marshland has long been a coastal floodplain protecting Faversham and the Agency has adopted a policy of long term managed retreat. This policy will need to be amended if the projects’ assets are to be protected, implying that the developers will take control of future flood defences and determine future Environment Agency policy. The Graveney Marshes attract a large number of visitors for a variety of reasons including marine life, bird watching and recreational walking. The establishment of this industrial complex, with its rows of panels, battery compound, sub-station, security fencing and surveillance equipment will mean that the character of all the well-established and much-used footpaths along the Saxon Shore Way between Faversham and Seasalter would be changed beyond recognition with significant adverse effects on tourism to the area. The construction of the project will involve the transport of a substantial volume of materials, equipment and labour to the site on rural roads which are totally inadequate for the purpose. More importantly, the development’s assets will need to be maintained over the lifetime of the project, again implying a significant movement of materials and labour to the site. This application should be rejected. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Coyte
"I am against the construction of the Solar Park as it will destroy an important area of unique wildlife. There are far better places to install solar panels such as existing factory roofs where it will not have an impact on the environment. The idea behind renewable energy is to help save the planet not to disrupt and destroy what little is left. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter John Latham
"Representation against the installation of Cleve Hill Solar Park on Graveney Marshes in respect of the following issues: 1. Environment, general and specific to Faversham town 2. Landscape and visual impact. 3. Effect on ecology and wildlife 4. Cultural Heritage 5. Alternatives"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rachel Gould
"I am extremely concerned about the impact of the solar farm on the landscape and wildlife."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Raphael Sibille
"I do not support the application on the grounds of the proposal's scale and therefore its significant landscape and visual impact. In particular, PROW through and around the site (including the internationally popular Saxon Shore Way) will involve long periods of walking through significantly degraded landscape. The applicants assessment of suitable alternatives uses circular logic to arrive at a preconceived end and should be reconsidered. The capacity requirement of 350MW that is the starting point for the assessment is clearly arrived at by the available grid capacity at Cleve Hill, and is not representative of the capacity needed to make the proposal deliverable. No previous application in the UK has ever used a figure so high. The basis for assessing the environmental impacts of the proposal is rightly the sites current environmental value. However the Graveney Marshes site is surrounding by areas of high conservation value and is therefore indicative of the environmental potential of the site that would be realised by managed coastal re-alignment. I also want to make you aware of a potential impact on the surrounding reserves from the application. Solar farms sometimes install bird deterrents including laser systems, as at the Knight & Bessborough Reservoirs SSSI and Molesey Heath LNR in Surrey. "An Agrilaser Autonomic was installed at the world’s third-largest floating solar array, on the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir in Surry, UK, to keep a population of more than 10,000 black-headed gulls from using the plant as a roosting site. It ...scares birds around the clock by moving a harmless laser beam over an area of up to 500 acres. The laser works as a deterrent for most marine and water-based bird species [REDACTED] While I hope this proposal isnt approved, any consent should include conditions on the management of the solar farm, not just its design. This should specify how the land is managed and that bird deterrents cannot be used. The wildlife trust and/or the RSPB should have an on—going role to guarantee that as the planning authority will not be able to enforce it alone. Regards Raphael"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rebecca Frier
"The scheme should not be permitted and other more appropriate sites should be encouraged for the following reasons: - Inappropriate scale (size of site) - Inappropriate height of panels - Health and safety concerns of untested battery technology - Impact on coastal floodplain - Noise and disruption - Destruction of possible archeology - Increased traffic, access roads are narrow and not suitable for weight, size or frequency of traffic - Negative impact on wildlife, the Swale Special Protection Area and the Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest, the South Swale Nature Reserve and the Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Area and, on the opposite side of Faversham Creek, the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust. - Impact on floodplain - Loss of Landscape, Amenity and Economic Value "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Fleury
"I object to the plans for the Cleve Hill solar plant on the grounds that its size and proximity to sensitive environmental sites make it unsuitable. This is clearly the wrong location for any industrial energy plant, let alone one bigger than the nearest town. It should be built on an industrial or brownfield site. It would destroy a landscape important to wildlife and enjoyed by thousands of people a year. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Saunders
"I back renewable energy, it is imperative for our future. This is a beautiful part of our coastline which will be lost for ever if this Solar Power Station is to go ahead. This will be detrimental to our wildlife and to our physical and mental state as humans. If it is so important that we have these solar panels, why does it have to be on this or any part of the natural beauty of the countryside of the United Kingdom and not on the roofs of all newbuild houses, all supermarkets and out of town shopping centres which are springing up all over the country? This is a short sighted proposal which I wouldn't be surprised is lining someones pockets somewhere rather than taking into account the good of the people and wildlife of the area. I am against this Solar Power Station on land which is the natural flood plain of Faversham and Whitstable and which we might require in the future for livestock or farming as we are potentially about to leave the EU. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Lancefield
"Concern over the effect on wildlife in a valued protected area. We have some solar farms in the Whitstable/Herne Bay area which have little visual impact, this project has significantly taller structures with a negative visual effect and links to wildlife concerns."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ros Humphries
"I oppose to the planned Cleve Hill solar panels as the sight is not a brownfield site and this is an area of natural beauty and is absolutely full of wildlife including endangered bird species. This would ruin this beautiful and wild space that is used by hundreds of walkers, dog walkers and local families. I will be horrified if this intended solar power station goes ahead here. I am not against solar power and the importance of protecting fossil fuels but there will be other, less wildlife rich places this could go. Faversham is already undergoing a huge amount of housing development and this historic are is at threat of irreversible damage. Please do not go ahead and damage the fragile wildlife and ecosystem I see daily with my own eyes in this area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rosa Bond
"I am concerned about the size of the proposed site and the environmental impact it will have particularly for migrating and nesting birds."
Non-Statutory Organisations
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB))
"The RSPB objects to the proposed solar farm at Cleve Hill. Our primary areas of concern are: • The loss of a key coastal site upon which birds from the adjacent European and national protected Swale estuary depend, and which should be considered for inclusion in future extensions of those protected areas; • The lost opportunity for long-term sustainable management of this section of coast to address threats posed by sea-level rise; • The need for a full understanding of the impacts of the development on those nature conservation interests; • The need for a package of measures designed to avoid damage to the protected areas and their interest features, with all necessary legal, financial and planning guarantees in place. Nature conservation value of the area The Cleve Hill site is relied upon by birds from The Swale Estuary Special Protection Area and Ramsar site (the SPA/Ramsar site), especially for feeding and roosting by important populations of non-breeding waterbirds. The SPA/Ramsar site is integral to the Greater Thames Estuary, one of the most important places for wildlife in Europe, providing crucial feeding and roosting habitat for the second largest aggregation of wintering ducks, geese and waders in the UK and breeding habitat for 75% of South East England’s breeding wader population. Even though most of this area is protected as an SPA and/or Ramsar site, it remains vulnerable to threats from disturbance, sea level rise and incremental development. The Cleve Hill site is particularly important for at least three SPA species (dark-bellied brent goose, golden plover, lapwing). As such, the RSPB believes it should be in the area of search for any future SPA extension for these species when Natural England reviews its boundary. This would be consistent with the conclusions of JNCC’s 2001 and 2016 reviews of the UK SPA network. The RSPB respectfully disagrees with the applicant’s characterisation of these reviews as having no legal standing. The 2001 Review was approved by Government: any changes identified in it should be treated as potential SPAs. The 2016 Review assumes the 2001 Review has and will be properly implemented. It also identifies the Swale Estuary as an SPA whose boundary should be reviewed to determine which areas should be added to protect important feeding and roosting areas for these species. Development of Cleve Hill would represent a lost opportunity to secure the long-term sustainability of the SPA/Ramsar site. Cleve Hill is located within the Graveney Marshes area, one of the very best options for wetland and intertidal habitat creation on the North Kent Marshes. This would enable the adjacent estuarine habitat to adapt over time, providing sustainable, long-term solutions for the breeding and non-breeding bird populations dependent on them. This would also align with the Government’s aspirations in DEFRA’s A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment to create a ‘Nature Recovery Network’, consisting of new habitat outside designated areas. The proposed development would deny this opportunity at a critical point for a vulnerable landscape – the RSPB considers action is needed now, not in 40 years’ time Our involvement with Cleve Hill Solar Farm Notwithstanding our objection, we recognise that a decision may be made to consent the proposed scheme. On that basis, the RSPB has engaged constructively in discussions with the applicant as a member of its Habitat Management Steering Group, alongside other nature conservation groups (Kent Wildlife Trust and Natural England), to ensure that any proposed package of mitigation and compensation measures is fit for purpose. Despite welcome constructive pre-application consultation and discussions, serious concerns with the application remain. As it stands, we do not agree that the current impact assessment enables a conclusion of no adverse effect on integrity of the SPA/Ramsar site to be reached. Below we set out the key issues that remain to be negotiated and agreed: • Nature and magnitude of the impacts of the development on the SPA/Ramsar site, including temporal impacts associated with delays in the provision of fully functioning mitigation habitat e.g. habitat maturation, construction noise; • The total area of functionally available habitat that is required for each impacted species versus that which is proposed, with particular reference to brent goose (e.g. carrying capacity, avoidance distances, preferences for land in proximity to sea walls); • Detailed design, prescription, management and monitoring for the habitat area; and • Appropriate legal, financial and planning guarantees securing the mitigation and compensation measures, to be tied in to the Development Consent Order. The RSPB will continue to engage constructively to agree a package of measures that address these concerns. Such a package of measures would ensure the Examining Authority and, subsequently, the Secretary of State can be satisfied that the measures will be implemented in full. In its absence, the RSPB does not consider it safe to conclude there would be no adverse effect on the integrity of the SPA/Ramsar site. We are also aware that the Kent Wildlife Trust will be raising concerns relating to, among other things, breeding marsh harrier and defer to them on that species which has also been identified as requiring addition to the SPA’s features. Finally, in line with DEFRA’s 25-year plan, we expect the development to demonstrate a clear net-gain for biodiversity. Please note that the RSPB reserves the right to add to and/or amend its position in light of any new information and/or analysis submitted to the Examination. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sally Edge
"I feel that the proposal is too vast and too overwhelming to the landscape and wildlife. A much smaller site, would make it more likely that the environmental value of the marshes can be preserved."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sam Tittensor
"Whilst renewable energy is a requirement for the future, I believe this should not be at the expense of a fragile ecosystem. There must be other, less environmentally-significant areas (abandoned areas, roof spaces etc) where such a project could be engineered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sandra Holmes
"I am very concerned about the environmental impact that the solar farm will. I agree that we must look at sustainable energy sources but don’t agree that the solar farm is the right thing to do. The destruction of the natural habitats for animals and the land will not be replaced. Will the land withstand the impact of such a large volume of heavy infrastructure being put in? In addition will the local roads and infrastructure will be impacted negatively by the arrival of the solar panels and the ongoing maintenance. Please reconsider. Thank you."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sandra Ludgate
"The proposed site is located on the north Kent coast, roughly 1 mile northeast of Faversham, 3 miles west of Whitstable and situated closest to the village of Graveney. The proposed development is surrounded by habitats designated for their wildlife value at a National and International level. ‘The Swale’ has three levels of designation: Site of Special Scientific Interest, a national designation; Special Protection Area, a European designation; and Ramsar (a wetland of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention). The Swale Estuary is also a Marine Conservation Zone (a national designation), though at present it seems unlikely the solar farm will impact on this. I agree with all the representations and objections submitted by the Kent Green Party and the Kent Wildlife Trust. The scale of this development is completely inappropriate and would breach law designed to protect endangered species and habitat. I am in favour of renewable energy and renewable energy at scale. Solar energy is best suited for small scale community level development. This proposal does not meet the government's own criteria and should therefore not be approved. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Jefferys
"• Environmental impact including ecology and wildlife o Densely packed with panels in east west formation like rooftops smothering the land o Protected and important area o Effect on birds, both local and over-wintering, many protected species • Unprecedented size and scale of the project o A solar power station the size of Faversham town o Panels up to 4m high o Effect on tourism o Cultural heritage o Ancient walking routes o National cycle network • Noise and pollution • Access and traffic, especially during the build o School children o Two villages not linked by pathways o Unsuitability of local roads • Nothing being offered to the local community in return for having the solar power station on their doorstep – where is the community spirit, not just profit making. Nothing was explored in this area except an orchard which has now been removed. o Should be a footway to link the two villages for safety both during build and going forward o One footpath has been taken away and another offered which overall does not improve the access across nor utilises links to the national cycle network o Villagers could be made shareholders o Link up with the local schools to teach children about the technology "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Lewis
"I object to the planned development of Graveney Marshes for the Cleve Hill Solar Power initiative for the following reasons; 1) SCALE - The scale of the solar farm exceeds the scale of anything in the vicintity including the nearest town, Faversham 2) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - (people and wildlife) The village of Graveney was severely impacted by the development of the off shore wind farm and the substation run by London Array. Roads and verges have not recovered, however, the wind farm is now part of the landscape - the visible environmental impact whilst noticeable it is predominantly offshore. 3)WILDLIFE - Green energy is a good thing, but not at the expense of such a unique habitat. 4) ECONOMICS - Phase II of the wind farm appears to have been dropped in favour of economics of the solar option. There is another kind of economics than £, that of investment in sustainable energy production whilst preserving the landscape, wildlife and communities that will be here for generations. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Wren
"I object to the development of Graveney Marshes as a solar park. I object to the fact it is already being called Cleve Hill Solar Park, as if it is already a real thing. It isn't. It is an industrial proposal for a place called Graveney Marshes, a site of environmental significance. I object the industrial development of Graveney Marshes: 1. It is totally inappropriate, will damage an area of outstanding natural beauty and rare habitat. It is a point of landing and departure for migrating birds - a safe haven. It is an open space that serves the local community - a place to reconnect, reframe the world, find peace. It is a place of appropriate work: a place that has captured the elements - the wind - to power boats that have supported industry and leisure for centuries, with remarkably little damage to the environment, and significant economic benefit. 2. There are other places, nearby places, that are better suited. They are brownfield, already damaged. Already polluted. So, the set up costs will be greater. But this isn't about money, solar power isn't about money, it's about saving the world. Isn't It? "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sharon Wigley
"Whilst solar energy is a good thing, the wilful destruction of a vast area of marshland which provides natural habitat for our wildlife is unthinkable. We have already lost so much. This private company could surely find other suitable places. Since there is no guarantee the energy would be used in Britain, there are other, larger countries where it could be sited."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Simon Stirling
"The reasons this solar power farm should not be built on this site include: Significant environmental impact Significant destruction of important wildlife/bird habitat No consideration of suitable alternatives [further inland for example] Turning an area of historic and outstanding beauty into something resembling a factory Ongoing access and traffic - during and after construction Ruining the enjoyment of walkers, dog walkers and bird watchers using the Saxon Shore Way "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sioux Peto
"Seasalter is a natural haven for wildlife and people the landscape is of environmental significance. and a buffer of green space between urban areas. I believe that the. Demand and the destruction that such a large scale solar power station here in England is uncalled for. Please rethink once we have lost this important landscape it will not be bought back. Why are the views of the local people not listened too and acted on? I strongly oppose this development "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sophie Kemsley
"The Solar Station will devastate the local area and wildlife. Quality of life will be significantly diminished. A lot of people are very unhappy about this... is it worth that?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephen Laskey
"I object very strongly to the proposed solar park on Graveney Marshes. The impact would be catistrophic to this beautiful area and the disruption to the wildlife would be extremely detrimental. As an owner of a property on Seasalter Beach for 60 years, I am very concerned about the increased flood risk to my property if this proposal was to go ahead. Why ruin such a beautiful area where thousands of people walk and enjoy this outstanding area ?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sue Dudman Westergaard
" I am an absolute supporter of increasing the UKs ability to generate renewable energy, but it is essential to think holistically and do it in the right way. This solar farm will impact so negatively that it, in effect, counteracts the other benefits it may bring because . . . It is too big. A smaller solar farm would have much less negative impact, both visually and environmentally. It turns this swathe of countryside into an industrial environment. In theory Solar farms are not terribly visible, nor environmentally dreadful. These panels will be tall. They will be very visible and dominate the environment around them. They may not pollute, but will ruin the whole area, resembling a giant low-lying factory of black bin liners it will become uninviting to both people and wildlife. Green Lungs - The proposed site is a place where you feel you can breathe and get back in touch with the important things in life; things that get lost in the hubbub of modern life. An extraordinary place it is only an hour from London, yet still has a feeling of wildness that is rapidly disappearing in the UK. We have very few places like that left, especially in the south. It is essential to preserve them. Tourism is one of the major economic drivers here. It may be being comparatively sparsely populated but it has many visitors, from London, the whole of the UK, and abroad. The site sits by a national cycle path, the Saxon Shore way, and on top of the first accessible beach coming out of London. A short walk from Whitstable, these things are integral to the local economy and are integral to why this area is thriving. This all stands to be decimated. Nature, birds and wildlife - There are huge numbers of birds and animals that use this place. Despite the proposals for SSIs etc. it is not realistic to imagine that a landscape covered in black glass will be attractive and welcoming to them. Brexit and Farming - None of us know what is going to happen over the next few years. It may well be that we have to increase our food production. Being able to use this land for that may well prove essential over the next few years. It would be stupid to throw that potential away. It’s a flood zone. Flood zones flood. It’s not a good place to put masses of structures like this. The panels will channel flooding, rather than allowing it to dissipate. In an era of global warning and increased flood risk that’s not a good idea. Alternatives - Calculated on current building forecasts, including solar panels in every new build and putting them on every commercial building would cost less than Hinkley B, and provide much more power. Economies of scale would lessen the cost of doing it. That way we would preserve the things we stand to loose through solar farms like this and still get the power we need. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sue Leadbeater
"Dear Sirs I wish to make representations against the proposed development of the Cleve Hill Solar Park. The proposed development will, I believe, have a damaging impact on the environment, with the loss of habitat for many birds and untold numbers of other creatures. The ecology of the site will be changed by the installation of the large solar panels, in an area that is currently a delight to explore, and I wonder if full consideration has been given to the impact that the building work and the installed panels will have on the both the site and the surrounding area...for example, will there still be sufficient sheep grazing? In addition the size and number of the panels will have a huge visual impact on a site that is widely accessed by the public; I regularly walk in the area as do large numbers of others and enjoy the current views, which allow you to see across the marshes. Whilst solar energy is undeniably a positive way forward, has real consideration been given to alternatives sites which would not wipe out a vast amount of farming land? Thank you for your consideration. Sue"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susanna Sait
"The proposed development will ruin this area of rural beauty and cultural heritage currently enjoyed by so many local residents and visitors. This is a unique landscape that adds to the diversity that is north Kent. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Swale Footpaths Group
" As a Registered Charity (No. 261252) we must confine our comments to matters relevant to the objectives stated in our Constitution, i.e. the protection of public rights of way in Swale. The public footpath that follows the coast from the "Sportsman" to Nagden is currently part of the Saxon Shore Way and will soon also be part of the England Coast Path. For those who would find it too long or who would like a circular walk, another public footpath crosses the site of the proposed development and cuts off the large "loop" at its west end. As I saw last Saturday afternoon, the coastal path is popular with walkers and bird watchers for the extensive views, both across the Swale to Sheppey and inland across low, open countryside as far as the wooded hills to the south and east as far as the Dunkirk Pylon and Perry Woods. The proposed development would replace these with a lengthy (albeit reduced from the original plan), repetitive and far less interesting array of solar panels and fences as I invite whoever is to make the decision to see for themselves. This is about the only part of the coastal path from Nagden to Herne Bay that is not already developed. At the meeting of our Committee which authorised me to send this representation some members expressed the view that it would be better for solar panels to go on the roofs of buildings rather than in open countryside."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Teresa Bowles
"1. Scale The sit of this Solar Farm complex is larger than it's nearest town. The Solar panels will vary in height and extend over a large area. 2. Access Access will be along narrow country lanes, these roads are not suitable for the type of lorries or the amount of lorry movements . 3. Other sites There are alternative brownfield sites available across the UK, as Kingsnorth, Isle of Grain, all of which are attached to the National Grid"
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Snewin Family
"• Industrialising a beautiful landscape which is an important social amenity to the residents of the expanding towns of North Kent between Faversham, Canterbury and Herne Bay. • The North Kent area already generates its share of renewable energy from the Kentish Flats Wind Farm and local small scale solar panel installations situated in fields around the area • Solar panels are better located on rooftops, serving the local community and using brown field sites such as decommissioned power stations. • Environmental impact of covering over such a large area of marshland which as lightly grazed pasture is an important carbon sink and the implications for disruption of drainage. The effects of the reflective glare from such a large area of continuous are of panels. • Implications in terms of profits, not shared by affected community, of the ability to import electricity from the grid to a giant array of storage batteries to be sold back at times of low capacity on the grid "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Theo Lee Ray
"I believe the solar power farms should not be built on the site because of the environmental impact, no consideration for other alternatives inland, impact it will have on local wildlife and ruining an area of natural beauty for all the people that use it for walking, running and bird watching. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Thomas Johnson
"I live right on the edge of the proposed development. My property is grade 2 listed and the solar development will be visible from the front view of the property which we are restricted on changing the frontage. This includes the backdrop. The development will be in contravention ofthe listed buildings act. This I believe is a similar situation for other listed property in the area. As a local farmer I believe it is an awful way to utilise the land which is home to many wildlife species which won’t be able to live amongst the proposed panels as they do the traditional style in the uk. The amount of light that will reach the ground will be minimal. For life to exist amongst the panels some light must reach the ground. The proposed traffic to build the system is just not suitable for the small lanes leading to the property. The traffic to build the substation caused unrepaired damage to the road and that is insignificant compared to the proposed traffic in the plans. With no guarantee of repairing the road after completion. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tom Trenchard
"I would rather solar than nuclear, but already some of the land next to the site for the proposed Cleve Hill project has been changed to create storage for the off shore wind turbines. It seems the turbine storage unit were constructed without much local discussion, so I appreciate this opportunity to a voice on this project. It is a very noticeable site, it can be seen from along way: a view that is and has been uplifting when seen from many different directions: up on the hill where I live at present and from the Swale estuary. I have settled in this part of the country, because of some of the balance between the industrial and rural, but this project clearly doesn't consider this balance and comes with little discussion on alternatives to providing energy, or without assessing the way we all use the energy in the first place. In the light of Sir David Attenborough's speach on climate, and then our changing relationship with the rest of the world, considering Brexit, we need to recognise the national saxon shore footpath with the balance of it's surroundings, and the different aspects that draw people to this area very carefully: at present it inspires visitors and provides for the tourist industry. Can Kent afford to be a county that is only a corridor to other prettier counties in it's attempt to find a solution to producing natural energy? Natural energy is commendable and welcome but not at the expense of other natural resources. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Trevor Webb
"The devastation to wildlife and the ugliness of the whole idea will turn a massive part of Kent an huge eyesore , it is an u believable idea which surely could be constructed in somewhere other than an area of natural beauty. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
Victoria Dickenson
"i object strongly against the proposed solar park. The other day I watched over 350 Brent geese take off from the area, which if the Billionaire promotor of the solar park is successful, will prevent happening ever again. How will the many generations of migratory birds that have fed, sheltered and bred on this precious land survive? Where will they and all the natural world that inhabit this unique landscape, go to? How many will be killed in this process? Does anyone care other than those who know this important area? Look at the recorded flight maps of the Marsh Harriers, this is vital land for their survival, mankind is greedily pushing our balance to the edge, many creatures will not survive this intrusion, nor will 400 acres of proposed batteries once the sea walls go, which could be any time, imagine that pollution. It's a known fact that this site is precious for the developers as it is virginal, with no added cost of clearing a brown field site. Finally, with 7,500 houses to be built in and around this small market town, not one has a solar panel to be fitted on their roofs. The United Kingdom should be ashamed to even consider this proposal, the natural world relies on us as Humans, we just destroy them and any chance they have of survival. "
Members of the Public/Businesses
William Gabbett
"I have a beach hut at [REDACTED] which will be more vulnerable to flooding should this development go ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Yasmin Goater
"The reasons this solar power farm should not be built on this site include: A big environmental impact Sad destruction of important wildlife/bird habitat A lack of thought for suitable alternatives [further inland for example] Ruining a beautiful landscape, into something resembling a ugly factory Ongoing access and traffic - during and after construction Ruining the enjoyment of walkers, dog walkers and bird watchers using the Saxon Shore Way"