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Solar farm plans for Abbeyfields in Faversham go before town council

By Bess Browning

The town council will look at a proposal for a 25-acre solar farm in Abbeyfields at tonight's monthly meeting.

In May, the Faversham News exclusively revealed that Farm Renewables hopes to set up a solar park at Abbey Farm.

Last week, developers submitted their plans to go before the town council at this evening's meeting and be decided by Swale Borough Council later this year.

Nigel Goodhew at the site of the proposed solar farm.

The park, covering land similar to the size of 20 football pitches, could generate electricity for about 1,097 homes per year.

Directors of Farm Renewables Nigel Goodhew, Malcolm McAllister and Nick McAllister visited Faversham twice earlier this year to show the public their plans.

They said they would be a “good neighbour” to the people of Faversham.

The land proposed for a solar farm.

Mr Goodhew said: “We have worked very hard on this for a very long time and have made sure that this proposal is a good compromise between being a sufficient size and being a good neighbour.

“We recognise and understand the public’s reaction to the big solar parks but at 25 acres, this is not one of the larger ones.

“Along every step of the way, we have considered the nearby residents so we hope that our plans will be welcomed by the public.”

A solar farm has been proposed for Abbeyfields in Faversham.

Mr Goodhew says that there will be large hedges around the site which will make the panels almost invisible and a reasonable distance from any housing. He says the land is the “worst kind” of agricultural land, in line with government policies.

“Along every step of the way, we have considered the nearby residents so we hope that our plans will be welcomed by the public." - Nigel Goodhew

He added: “There will be very little vehicle movement and the construction period is just 12 weeks. We are really keen to preserve and enhance the footpath which runs around the outside of the site.

“The scrubland just outside of the site is not being used at all at the moment but we would like to encourage wildlife by planting wildflowers there to again enhance the site. We would also like to improve the drainage in the area.”

Tonight's town council meeting takes place at the Guildhall from 7pm and there will be 30 minutes of public questions before the meeting begins.

To see the rest of the agenda, click here for the town council's website

To view the plans and have your say, click here and search for reference 15/505437/FULL

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