Large solar farm near Twineham approved

A solar farm elsewhere in West Sussex
A solar farm elsewhere in West Sussex

Plans for a large solar farm near Twineham have been approved following a decision by Historic England.

The plan was approved by Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee at a meeting at the Council Chamber, in Haywards Heath, on Thursday (February 16).

Planning permission for the installation of 13.04MW solar arrays on 17.1 hectares of land north of Bob Lane was previously approved by the same committee in August 2015.

However residents successfully challenged the decision via a judicial review under the Listed Buildings Consent Act which resulted in the planning permission being quashed.

The council heard another application for the same site in October and decided to defer to await a decision from Historic England regarding the impact on nearby listed buildings.

These included Coombes House, which owners were awaiting Historic England’s decision on whether to upgrade from grade II to grade II* listed status.

Historic England decided to keep Coombes House as grade II listed status allowing councillors to move ahead with the application.

Case Officer Joanne Fisher said the public benefits for the development would include a ‘reduction in the use of fossil fuels and contribute to the country’s effort to address climate change’.

Speaking at the meeting on Thursday, she said: “The development itself would result in the production of 13.04MW of energy which is sufficient to meet the annual needs of 3,309 households and save around 5,730 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

“There would be the creation of approximately 50-80 jobs during the construction period.”

Six councillors voted in favour of the application with four against and no abstentions.

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