Solar farm plan for Berwick is given green light

Plans for a solar farm in Berwick, which is hoped to be partly community owned, have been given the green light.

The proposals for land at Wick Street were discussed yesterday (Thursday) by Wealden District Council’s Planning Committee South. Last week the Herald reported how plans had been published for a portion of the development to be made available to a community-owned company called Wick Street Community Solar Farm Company, in the first proposal of its kind in the UK.

The company is being set up and run by local people led by Dr Alister Scott. Also involved is the Sussex based community energy company Ovesco.

Developer Susenco had applied for planning permission for the solar farm scheme on behalf of Berwick Solar Park Limited.

Yesterday the proposals to develop a solar farm, which has reaped in comments from more than 100 people, was on the agenda. The application has seen both support and objections from residents, with some saying the visual impact on the countryside would be lost and concerns over potential noise. Others were in favour with one resident saying she believed it would have a positive effect on the village, adding, ‘In an area where most of us are reliant on expensive heating oil to warm our homes I can think of no better way to use our land than to provide renewable energy to more homes’.

The plans include installation of solar panels to generate up to 8MW of electricity with landscaping.

The plans were backed by the committee yesterday subject to conditions, including further information on the number of CCTV cameras and fencing colour.