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Plans for solar farm released
PLANS for a new solar park have been revealed.
The proposed solar photovoltaic park, which could generate enough electricity to power 3,300 homes, could be built on 18 hectares of agricultural land at Catsfield, near Battle, East Sussex.
The land is currently used for grazing and also for growing Christmas trees.
Alejandro Vázquez, of OPDE, which is responsible for the development of the solar park, said: “We have selected this site as it is so secluded – direct visual impact is restricted to around three properties to the north-east side of the site and people using the footpath to the south.
“Like all solar parks, there will be negligible noise, no light incursion on the countryside and no traffic impact apart from during the construction period.”
The park will be built by Iota Solar Limited, part of OPDE, if it goes ahead.
OPDE specialises in the planning, development and maintenance of solar farms and has recently finalised work on a solar farm in Alresford, Hampshire, as well as projects across Europe.
However, although OPDE’s Alresford development was ultimately approved by Winchester City Council last November, concerns were raised by local residents about the impact of solar farms on countryside.
Mr Vasquez said creating the park, near Catsfield Stream, will help wildlife.
He said: “The site also offers opportunities for increased biodiversity on the site such as sowing wild grasses and seed-rich flowers, making it a potential haven for insects, birds and small mammals.
“Putting a deer fence up around the site can also exclude large mammals such as foxes and badgers, so making the site more likely to support ground-nesting birds such as skylarks.”
An exhibition and discussion of the plans will be held in Catsfield Village Hall on June 18 between 1.30pm and 5.30pm, at which residents will be able to pose questions to OPDE’s representatives.
Gregory Barker, MP for Bexhill and Battle, and Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change declined to comment as he did not wish to influence the outcome of any potential future planning committee decisions.
Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm, which is situated on the site, is currently operating as normal.
Residents have been invited to give their views in a questionnaire, make general comments and suggestions and to register to be automatically advised of future updates via email.
For full details of the proposals and more information, visit the website planningconsultation.net
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