Solar farm plan on the horizon near Berwick

Plans for a solar farm on a 75-acre site in Berwick have been put forward.

The application has been submitted to Wealden District Council and has so far received mixed reactions from residents. Exhibitions have been held to gain feedback with some concerns being raised over climate change and energy security.

The planned development is on land at Wick Street and includes installation of solar panels to generate up to 12mw of electricity. The applicant is Berwick Solar Park Limited.

Doreen Birks, who lives in the village, wrote a letter of objection, stating, “It is a gross misuse of prime agricultural land in an area of known and appreciated beauty.

“While I am in no way averse to searching for means of biofuels this placement of solar panel is unacceptable.”

But Dr Alistair Scott lent his support to the proposal, adding, “The developers are going a long way to address local concerns – they are open and flexible, and willing to listen.

“In addition, the community stands to benefit from a substantial income, with which it would be possible to do good things locally, such as helping households to become more energy efficient and possibly to bulk purchase solar energy systems for their own homes.”

A design and access statement document prepared by Pegasus Group Ltd on behalf of the applicant states the farm would not have an unacceptable adverse effect on the visual or amenity value of the wider countryside.

The site is located 2.6km from the South Downs National Park and 4.5km west of Hailsham.

For more information visit: www.wealden.gov.uk and search the application number: WD/2013/1664/MEA