Hastings and Rye MP's petition against plans for solar panels in country park
A petition has been launched in protest at plans to place solar panels in Hastings Country Park.
Hastings and Rye MP, Amber Rudd, is calling for the borough council to withdraw its proposals.
At a meeting on Monday (January 7), councillors will be asked to consider whether to move ahead with the project to build solar farms at three sites in Crowhurst and Fairlight.
But Ms Rudd is urging the council to reconsider the plans.
She said: “I do not believe that the country park is the best location.
“As a former Climate Change Secretary I understand the huge importance of encouraging the production of renewable energy through resources like solar panels is an important part of the solution for our future energy needs.
“But solar panels would detract from the natural beauty of this lovely green space we are lucky to have.
“Hastings Country Park is ‘the jewel in the crown of Hastings’ and a very special area.
“It is therefore vital that our residents have the chance to voice their opinions on these proposals. I encourage residents to sign my petition to make their voice heard.”
According to a council officer’s report, the project would be expected to cost the council around £2.1m to build but would generate between £165,000 to £430,000 extra income each year.
It would also remove around 1,433 tons of carbon emissions annually, the report said.
If given the go-ahead by cabinet, the council would commission a number of studies looking at the details of the proposals.
If approved, this would be expected to cost up to £80,400.
As part of this process, the council would begin pre-planning application consultations on the three potential sites.
According to the officer’s report, one of the sites being considered is on council-owned land at Upper Wilting Farm in Crowhurst.
The other two would be located on land close to The Milking Parlour in Fairlight.
Once this process is completed, further details of the proposals would be expected to considered by council leaders later this year.
Anyone wanting to sign Ms Rudd’s petition should click here.