Campaigners were celebrating last night after Lewes District Council’s planning committee rejected plans to install 20,000 solar panels at Tomkins Farm.
At the County Hall meeting on July 29, after discussions that lasted nearly an hour and a half, councillors voted six to four against the proposal by Hadstone Energy that would have seen 24 acres of historic farmland turned into an industrial site.
Campaigner Sally Varlow said: “Obviously we feel that in the end they came to the right decision that, however much we need renewable energy, it doesn’t have to be solar energy.
“There are other more efficient forms and it doesn’t have to be produced by putting solar panels on green fields and agricultural land.
“We are all in favour of renewable energy initiatives that benefit the local community, such as the solar power station on the roof of Harveys Brewery, but the proposal for Tomkins Farm would have had no such benefits.
“Yes, it would have produced energy for the National Grid on sunny days, but the cost to the countryside was simply too high.
“We are very grateful to the support of our MP, Maria Caulfield, who agreed with us that the granting of this proposal would risk setting a precedent for the continued loss of green space in the county.”
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