Solar park plans welcomed
Plans to transform a piece of farmland into a solar panel park
have been welcomed by Lenham Parish Council.
Farmer Andrew Barr wants to install rows of solar panels on his
A&A Barr Farm in Lenham, in partnership with German-based
energy company Kronos Solar.
Now the parish council has given its support to the solar farm,
off Lenham Heath Road.
Mr Barr was delighted with the council's reaction and believes
the project, if it goes ahead, will benefit the community.
Mr Barr's father, also Andrew, has served as a parish councillor
for more than 25 years but was excluded from voting on the solar
farm because of his family ties.
The plans include solar panels being donated by Kronos for the
roof of Lenham Community Centre. The power generated would be sold
to the national grid, generating an income.
Mr Barr said: "This income would go towards paying off loans
taken out to build the community centre. That would hopefully mean
a lower parish element in residents' council tax, therefore
Cllr Nigel Godfrey, chairman of the parish council, said: "The
proposal has been heard by the parish council and there have been
"The solar park would benefit the farmer, help us reduce our
carbon footprint and hopefully reduce our tax precept."
Mr Barr wants to reassure villagers his motive for the park is
not his own financial gain.
He said: "At most we might be left with Â£16,000 after
businesses overheads and the capital cost of the land has been
deducted, which divided by four partners would give us maybe an
extra Â£4,000 per year - a very welcome extra income but certainly
not enough to make us millionaires."
Kronos Solar has submitted a draft proposal to Maidstone council
to assess whether a full planning application would be
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