Update 29 May 2020
The application for Cleve Hill Solar Park has been granted development consent by the Secretary of State.
The decision letter can be read here.
In response to the decision, Cllr Stewart, Chair of the Parish Council, made the following statement:
Please see below the statement which has been issued by GREAT following the Secretary of State’s decision to approve the Development Consent Order for the Solar Park and battery storage compound. Having read through the lengthy decision letter what I find so disappointing is that the Examiners in their recommendations decided that the real and valid concerns expressed throughout the Enquiry on so many different aspects of the development were either largely unfounded , of minor significance , or could be accommodated within the final Management Plans for Construction Traffic and Battery Storage. I am very proud of the efforts which so many people have made in mounting a very credible opposition campaign against the scheme having regard to the significant resources which Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd had at their disposal throughout the process.
GREAT and the umbrella group which includes The Faversham Society and CPRE formed after the Enquiry have a virtual meeting this evening to review the decision in more detail and consider the options which may now be open to them to challenge this.’
Statement from GREAT (Graveney Rural Environment Action Group):
‘GREAT are incredibly disappointed to confirm that the Secretary of State has yesterday, 28th May 2020, decided under section 114 of the 2008 Act to make, with modifications, an Order granting development consent for the proposal by Cleve Hill Solar Park Limited to build a vast industrial Solar Power Station on Graveney Marshes.
The Secretary of State’s summary is as follows:
The Secretary of State considers that there is a strong case for granting development consent for the Cleve Hill Solar Park. Given the national need for renewable energy infrastructure and the substantial weight the Secretary of State attaches to the contribution of this development to meeting that need the Secretary of State does not believe that this is outweighed by the Development’s potential adverse impacts, as mitigated by the proposed terms of the Order.
Concerns about this development have certainly not gone away. GREAT will be taking stock, studying the modifications requested by the Secretary of State to the proposal and considering next steps with the fantastic team of supporters and experts that have formed this two year campaign. Please keep checking back for further news.’