Solar2It has been reported by This is Kent that the UK’s biggest solar energy farm is to be built on farmland in New Romney.


It will occupy a 114-acre site on agricultural land at Sycamore Farm in Millbank Lane.


Ranks of photovoltaic cells – technically known as an array – will harvest sustainable energy from sunlight which will then be fed into the national grid.


Although the site will produce clean energy the plans have angered countryside campaigners because it is being built on prime farmland and because of the environmental impact it will have.


The plans, submitted by BNRG Renewables, were approved by Shepway District Council’s Development Control Committee and will permit the company to occupy the site for 25 years.


Several people posted objections to the solar farm on the council’s website claiming it was contributing to the “industrialisation of the Marsh”.


But the strongest formal objection came from the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) who said it would damage the countryside, take up valuable growing-land and put wildlife at risk.


Reacting to the news that the application had been granted CPRE Protect Kent spokesman Jamie Weir, said:


“This decision is a real shame. As we move into the future food security is going to be a growing concern, so to turn this excellent land over to energy production when it could have been sited elsewhere is disappointing.


We hope that in the future planners and politicians will begin to acknowledge the importance of agricultural land and of food production to support our growing population”.


The site is due to be enclosed by an 8ft high weld mesh security fence, with pole-mounted CCTV cameras placed around the perimeter.


The site will contain a 16-feet transformer/substation occupying a 35ft by 40ft area.


Source: This is Kent 9th January 2013