Cllr Colin Fitzgerald, the Chair of the Hastings Country Park Management Forum, has, in response to my request, emailed an update on the Council’s proposals for ground mounted solar arrays in the Country Park. The information below is from his email.
New site proposed
The Council is proposing a new site for industrial scale solar arrays close to North’s Seat. It’s bounded by Mill Lane and Fairlight Road close to homes in Mill Lane, Fairstone Close, The Heights and Tilekiln Lane. The site is within the Nature Reserve and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is at the beginning of the Country Park as you come up the hill from Ore.
In June this year the Council was investigating four sites in Hastings Country Park, two above Fairlight Glen and two above Warren Glen for solar arrays. The sites above Warren Glen are no longer mentioned by Cllr Fitzgerald.
The Council has been working with their contractor, Public Power Solutions, to obtain four studies of the proposed sites: Heritage Impact Assessment, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and Agricultural Land Classification Assessment. Consultants were appointed in early September, work on the studies of the Council’s preferred sites had started by the start of October and Cllr Fitzgerald says they should be completed by early November.
Involving Natural England
Cllr Fitzgerald tells us that the Council has not as yet actively engaged Natural England through their Discretionary Advice Service. He says that once the studies listed above have been reviewed by Public Power Solutions and the Council a Discretionary Advice Service request will be submitted to Natural England by the end of November.
The Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve remains committed to our aim: “to protect, promote and enhance the natural environment of the Reserve”.
What you can do:
- let me know if you want to be involved in our campaign to protect the country park by replying to this email
- write to your local Councillor, Cllr Colin Fitzgerald or Cllr Peter Chowney the leader of Hastings Council
- let me know if you have not seen and would like a copy of our June 2019 letter to Natural England
- become a supporter, as I am, of organisations, such as Energise Sussex Coast that help owners of buildings put solar panels where they belong, for example, on the roofs of buildings and not in locations that damage the environment
With best wishes,
The Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve