Greens are ‘more concerned than ever’ about Country Park solar panel plan

Around 20 Hastings residents took part in a walk organised by Hastings Green Party on Sunday to see for themselves the sites being considered by Hastings Borough Council (HBC) for a solar farm in Hastings Country Park.

HBC is proposing installing solar panels on three sites in the country park and has committed £80,000 to feasibility studies. The Friends of Hastings Country Park oppose the plan, citing a number of concerns including visual impact and the lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Michael Moor, Chair of the Friends of Hastings Country Park, was present to guide walkers to the three proposed sites and to answer questions raised about the proposal and its likely impact.

Julia Hilton, spokesperson for Hastings Green Party, said: “Having seen the proposed sites for the solar farms, Hastings Green Party is more concerned than ever that this is completely the wrong place for such a development. The panels would be very visible, not least because they would require a high fence to protect them.

“One of the proposed sites is very close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and all would have major impacts on the country park, a designated Local Nature Reserve and part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“Obviously we are in favour of increasing local renewable energy generation but not at the expense of our local green spaces. We need a town-wide conversation about how Hastings moves to a zero-carbon future, rather than contentious infrastructure projects such as this being imposed from above.”

Read more about Hastings Borough Councils plans for a solar farm on Hastings Country Park

Hear Labour’s Maya Evan talk about how solar panels can help create biodiversity on Hastings Country Park

3 thoughts on “Greens are ‘more concerned than ever’ about Country Park solar panel plan

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  1. This needs to get into the national press – whilst our local online papers do a wonderful job bringing important local news out into the open….this solar panel nonsense needs to get wider publicity…and our new environmental spokesperson Councillor Maya Evans needs to think before she speaks….she appears to have little idea about environmental issues…how can she possibly suggest that the siting of these panels is a good idea??

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  2. While I see there is an understandable growing concern about this idea of a solar panel farm in the Country Park, you have consider who you are up against. HBC and the Cllr Chowney’s nod on approving £80K of public money for a feasibility study to say yes to it. Despite this location.
    Any “town-wide conversation” about this, if this suggests public consultation, will no doubt go along a similar route as others – nowhere.
    Take the controversial Bathing Pool development issue as an example of the public consultation wtiht HBC as these councillors promised. The goal posts have changed. There is now going to be a consultation set up for the public with the developer. And just how much is a developer going to listen to what the public want on that site.

    When the solar panel project ( not if ) gets approved, I can only foresee a way to stop it will be a Judicial Review application. Country Park Friends and the Green Party need to be considering the next step – funding raising for the legal costs

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  3. It is of great concern that whilst the leader of this council (and his colleagues) purport to be in favour of halting climate change his planning department appear quite happy to grant consent to residents who apply to have ancient woodland trees crowned or felled simply because they have purchased properties on the edge of ancient woodland.It is was only due to residents outrage that ancient oaks were not felled fairly reecently.
    Only a couple of weeks ago a perfectly healthy ancient oak was drastically crowned because the owners of the property which backs on to the woodland did not like the shade cast by this healthy ancient oak. Another application has been submitted less than a mile away to crown another healthy ancient oak because of the shade and ‘encroachment’.
    It is not acceptable for this council to give consent on these grounds. People ought not to buy properties alongside ancient woodland if they do not like shade or falling leaves….and maybe the council should make it very clear to prospective purchasers AND estate agents that like it or not…ancient woodland is not for felling or hacking….BTW I thought we employed an arboriculturist who knew the importance of trees for the environment..???

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