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PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PLANNING APPLICATION IS NOW WITH TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL. REF 21/02181/FUL
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The Preservation Society wanted to document their reasons for their concern relating to the proposed ECO HUB between the villages of Kirby le Soken and Kirby Cross. This is likely to be a heated subject and split the community in two, therefore we believe it is important that people understand the implications. The following is the committees understanding, and can take no responsibility for accuracy, we feel that the ten points below need to be addressed and understood by everyone.
As a society we have little or no money to get experts in to help us, recently permission has been granted for an even larger Eco Hub at Cleve Hill by the Secretary of State it is worth looking at the website of the Faversham Society who had more resources than us but it clearly states their concerns and makes interesting reading. https://favershamsociety.org/cleve-hill/
1. Greenfield Site - it is understood that should the Solar Array be built that at the end of it's life (approx 20 - 40 years) the site would have become "Brownfield" and therefore it is extremley likely that an application for housing would be granted. Previously applications to build in this area have been rejected because it would join the two villages together and the area should be preserved for that purpose as a greenfield area. Do we get a guarantee that the land will remain Greenfield.
2. Increase of Traffic - Both villages are already suffering from an increase of traffic, and travel time has increased considerably. But more importantly it is the impact that noise and pollution have on the residents that live along both the upper and lower roads through the villages, this impact is not only on the owners but also on the properties themselves and can cause the value to drop. What action is to be taken to mitigate this, an additional car park is not really the answer.
4. Value of Houses - it is understood that the value of properties close or adjancent to the site could drop - some calculations indicate 3%. What reassurances are there for homeowners.
5. Environmental Credentials - as a committee and individuals we are all for increasing green energy. But there are many ways this can be done, we have seen huge numbers of windmills built offshore, some may say they cause a blot on the landscape but they do not cause any direct impact to individuals. There are other technologies available, ground source heat pumps will produce energy, but are hidden underground. This technology is already well used and whilst would not produce electricity it can be used to heat homes. There are vast areas of roof that could be used for Solar Panels, what about all the industrial areas and industrial buildings around us that could be used. Some of the committee have tried to install Environmental Systems on their existing houses already, but have been unable to because of cost, feasiability and lack of return. We cannot understand why take valuable land when there are other options.
6. Provision of Charging Points - would people really want to leave their cars charging in the middle of nowhere even if there was a cafe, surely you would charge your car when you are shopping, therefore charging points on parking areas would be far more use. Why would charging points at the site benefit us?
7. Visual Impact - The Panels are to be 2.8 metres high, and this could be higher to accommodate different levels of land. It is understood that there will be a 2 metre high chain link fencing around the site, some pictures viewed indicate that it would look like a prison boundary. Surely there are places tucked away or industrial areas where these type of installations could be where there is less impact to individuals.
8. Heath Impacts - If you explore the internet there is reference to the potential health impacts of Solar Panels, from EMF Radiation and dirty Electricity. Whilst there are various views, these panels are going to be sited and the end of many back gardens. Do we fully understand the risks of putting them close to housing. We need to understand the risks.
9. Explosion Risk - There are to be battery storage on site, if these are lithium then there is a risk of fire and explosion, as well as toxicity of hydrogen fluoxide. What are the mitigations when the site is very close to houses.
10. Why this bit of Land - surely there are far better sites with better access more area. This site is already controversial and has seen a number of applications dismissed.