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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Minster residents have their say about Solarcentury plans for solar farm at South Lees Farm

07 January 2014
by Emma Grove
A Solarcentury van at South Lees Farm, Minster

A Solarcentury van at South Lees Farm, Minster

More than 20 people went along to air their views about a solar farm which could be built in Minster.

Members of Swale council’s planning committee were joined by residents and other interested parties for a visit to South Lees Farm on Monday morning.

Solarcentury put in plans for the 55-acre development off Lower Road in October, but councillors deferred making a decision so they could go and see the area.

There were also representatives from the company at the site visit.

South Lees Farm, Lower Road, Minster

South Lees Farm, Lower Road, Minster

The 10.5MW park could supply enough to power the equivalent of 3,000 homes and would include panels and associated works, including small inverter cabins, access tracks, 2m security fencing and cameras.

South Lees Farm, Lower Road, Minster

South Lees Farm, Lower Road, Minster

Residents and Minster Parish Council have raised concerns about the plans, which have been revised and moved within the proposed location, because of the impact it is felt it will have on the view.

The application will be discussed again at a planning committee meeting next Thursday, although parish council vice chairman, John Stanford, is hopeful committee members will listen to a request for it to be deferred so there can be further clarification given about the location and proximity to boundaries.

Mr Stanford said people who live nearby spoke at the meeting about their fears of how it will affect their views and potentially the value of their homes.

“The meeting was very well attended – there were about two dozen people there,” he said.

“I think the case put forward by ourselves for deferment was quite strong and the case by the people most affected was very strong and well argued.”

The committee also went to nearby Poors Farm, where Christine Naden lives, as she has raised serious concerns about the affect it will have on her and her family’s lives.

Resident Sue Fayers puts her point across at the site visit

Resident Sue Fayers puts her point across at the site visit

A spokesman for Solarcentury said: “It’s really helpful to have a site meeting so people can see what the plans are.

“We like to engage with residents and the parish and we are now waiting to see what the final decision will be.”

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