In a democracy you can have a voice by voting, but you have to register. It’s the same with the National Infrastructure Planning process – you can have a voice, but you have to register.
During the summer of 2019 there will be an ‘Examination’ held by the government’s Planning Inspectorate. It’s like a public enquiry, so as a member of the public you can have a say, but only if you register now. Registration closes on 28th January 2019.
Registering is simple. You just provide your name, address, email and a brief outline of your point of view – this is called a ‘representation’.
After you register you will become an ‘Interested Party’ and you will have an opportunity to make a more detailed Written Representation about the application when the actual Examination begins.
What points might you include in your ‘representation’?
Firstly, remember what this application is about. It’s not a small solar farm, it is a solar and battery power station at an unprecedented scale. The 880,000 panels would be as high as a double-decker bus and densely-packed in a factory roof-like design. It would smother the green fields just outside Faversham and it would be the same size as Faversham town itself. Imagine a town-sized factory… Europe has no other photovoltaic power stations of this scale, and certainly not this far north. Graveney Marshes were going to be returned to nature (via managed re-alignment) but instead, if given the go-ahead it will be destined to become a desolate brownfield site. And there’s a mega-lithium battery which by itself would be bigger than Faversham Rec and would be used for solar and non-solar energy.
This list of points comes from the structure of their Environmental Statement – one of the important aspects of the application. You might have a view on some or all of these. We can’t guarantee that these points will all be considered, so it’s worth including a few of them.
- Environmental Impact
- Site selection and lack of consideration of suitable alternatives
- Inadequate description of the proposed development
- Legislative and planning policy context
- Landscape and visual impact assessment
- Effect on ecology and wildlife
- Birds – both local and over-wintering
- Hydrology, hydrogeology, flood risk
- Soil and ground conditions
- Cultural heritage and archaeology
- Noise – lots of electrical equipment, especially with the battery
- Socio-economics, effects on tourism
- Recreation and land-use
- Access and traffic, especially during the build
- Climate change – is an area that is at risk of flooding the right place?
- Air quality, both during the build and the operation
- Glint and glare, human health, waste products
- Interaction and accumulation of effects
Our website has lots of information and can provide you with useful ideas and pointers.
Have a think about what matters to you about this proposal, and include a few of these in your submission. It’s best if you use your own words.
Together we can show the true depth of feeling about this proposal.