Published: 15:23, 23 August 2019
| Updated: 15:56, 23 August 2019
Action to stop the building of Britain’s biggest solar park on stunning countryside will be stepping up a notch next month as the campaign is taken to Parliament.
Faversham’s MP, Helen Whately, will lead a debate in the House of Commons in a bid to highlight the environmental impact the proposed 890-acre Cleve Hill Solar Park development could impose.
If given the green light, it would see solar panels the height of double decker buses erected across an area in Graveney matching the size of 700 football pitches.
Mrs Whately has met with ministers to highlight the damage the project - which is being scrutinised in a six month government-appointed inquiry - could do to habitat and wildlife.
She will now raise these concerns in an adjournment debate she has secured on Monday, September 9.
The Conservative MP has been campaigning against the project since plans were announced and submitted evidence to one of the public hearings.
Three more dates for public hearings have been added after protesters asked to share new evidence with inspectors. These will take place early next month.
Now, Mrs Whately is calling on people to share their stories of the marshes with her ahead of the debate to ensure local voices are heard in Westminster.
She said: “I have already spoken to Minsters, but the debate will give me the chance to explain local concerns and get a formal response from the government.
“I’m seriously worried that this enormous solar power station will industrialise swathes of open countryside. Rather than being good for the environment it could actually do a lot of harm.
“This beautiful stretch of the Kent coast could be turned into restored wetland, where it could support so many species, and form part of a nature recovery network.
“Surely that would have greater environmental benefits than an industrial power plant.”
Tireless campaigners from the Graveney Rural Environment Action Team have organised a coach to transport people to the debate.
The exact time of the debate will depend on when the House of Commons adjourns for the day, which is unlikely to be before 7pm. Environment minister Dr Therese Coffey will respond on behalf of the Government.
To share your views and stories of the marshes with Mrs Whately before the debate, click here.
Those interested will be able to watch the debate here.
More by this authorKatie Davis