Council's Solar Plans Face Criticism

Published on by Richmond Merrett (author)

Nature Reserve Map  (photo: )
Nature Reserve Map

It has been announced by Hastings borough council that they are considering investing £2.1 million into building solar energy farms.

If the plans go ahead, they will build the 10 acres worth solar panels in the Hastings country park nature reserve.

The area was identified as a possible location back in the summer of 2017, when an energy option study was conducted and energy generation opportunity measures were identified, one of which being ground mounted solar panels.

The fields around Place Farm is the area under consideration. These potentially suitable fields currently provide an income to the Council of just under £3000 per year under the Basic Payment Scheme, but if the solar panels are installed, the council are predicting they could generate up to £400,000 a year in income

These plans have not to come without opposition though, with Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd starting a petition against the plans, and in a video, she posted on social media saying:

“We all like solar in the right place, for instance on roofs, but not in our country park”

Another key opposition to these plans is the friends of Hastings country park and nature reserve. Michael Moore, chair of the organisation, has said:

“Our fight to keep the Country Park as an area where the natural environment is of paramount importance has to continue.”

The council have voted in favour of investing £80,000 to further investigate the proposal along with the additional recommendation that Natural England should be consulted.

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