** Press Release **
LABOUR MP, ROSIE DUFFIELD, HOLDS MEETING TO DISCUSS CONSTITUENT’S CONCERNS OVER PROPOSED SOLAR PARK
Tuesday 5th February 2019
On 25th January, Rosie Duffield MP met with members of Graveney Rural Environment Action Team (GREAT) and Labour candidates for Seasalter Ward Clare Connerton and Helen Kirk, to hear their concerns about the development of Cleve Hill Solar Park, which is currently going through a series of consultation phases.
Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd. proposes to build a Solar Park on the outskirts of the Kent village of Graveney – situated 3 miles west of Whitstable. According to Cleve Hill’s website, the aim of the development is to “generate renewable power through [photovoltaic] panels, providing clean power to UK homes.”
Local activists and environmental groups such as GREAT, Campaign for Rural England, and Kent Wildlife Trust have been vocal about their concerns for the development. Members are particularly concerned about the scale of the solar park and the impact it will have on the environment and wildlife.
During Friday’s meeting, GREAT expressed concerns to Rosie that the site would result in a loss of habitat especially for bird species such as the Skylark and Marsh Harrier, that rely on the open land surrounding the solar park site. The vastness of the proposed solar park has also resulted in concerns for the visual impact on the rural landscape and the ‘industrialization’ of the countryside.
Some Whitstable residents have written to Rosie expressing their worries about the impact of the Solar Park on tourism. In particular, they fear the Solar Park will impose on the Saxon Shore Way, a popular and unique long-distance footpath that incorporates marsh, sea, and town.
Rosie Duffield MP, commenting on the solar park proposals, said:
“I was very happy to meet with members of GREAT to hear their concerns regarding the development of Cleve Hill Solar Park. Only a very small part of this development falls within my constituency, but naturally there are those who are concerned about the possible impact on our area. I will be writing to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, to urge him to listen to the issues raised during this meeting, particularly the impact on local wildlife, tourism and pollution increase for the local area during the installation stage.”
**NOTES FOR EDITORS**
If approved, the site would cover approximately 890 acres of land and will be sandwiched between three designated wildlife habitats in the ‘The Swale’.
More information on the development is available here:https://www.clevehillsolar.com