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To: Ashford Borough Council

Protect the Stour Valley, North Downs Way and Kent Downs AONB

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) should refuse the development of 114 acres of Industrial Solar on the best, most versatile agricultural land at North Court FRUIT farm, Old Wives Lees.

Solar panels should be on all previously developed and non-agricultural land - rooftops, brownfield and industrial sites.
This proposal is against ABC’s Local Plan, the National Planning Policy Framework and the forthcoming Land Use Framework 2023.

Why is this important?

We need our land to produce food

Agricultural land is a finite resource. We believe that we need to protect the best land to be productive. Over 80% of our food is imported (including ingredients for products processed in this country) according to a recent report by the HSBC bank – is this environmentally sustainable? The 114 acres of land at North Court FRUIT farm is mostly Grade 2 and could potentially produce other crops to contribute considerably towards food self-sufficiency in this country over 40 years – which is how long the developers are suggesting that the ‘temporary’ solar installation will be in situ.

Risk to food security

The war in Ukraine highlights the need for strengthened food security policies – We need sustainable farming practices to produce our food locally.

Solar 'farms' are not efficient

Renewable energy is the way forward but solar is hugely inefficient compared to offshore wind. In terms of efficiency rating i.e., the amount of power exported to the grid, solar’s rating is between 11 and 15% whereas off-shore wind the figure is 50%+

If this project gets approval, it sets a precedent for more solar arrays in the whole area. Kent already has it its fair share of solar installations.

We must preserve our ‘Green Spaces’ for our health and wellbeing.

The proposed land is in the Protected Landscape of the North Kent Downs AONB. The North Downs Way would run directly through 2.4m high fencing with danger of death signs! Post Covid everyone deserves green spaces for rest and recreation. We should celebrate this internationally famous trackway and the local and wider tourist economy that benefits from it.

NO to solar on Old Wives Lees farmland – yes to solar on ALL previously developed and non-agricultural land!

Old Wives Lees, Canterbury CT4, UK

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2022-11-21 13:43:18 +0000

500 signatures reached

2022-07-15 21:06:33 +0100

100 signatures reached

2022-07-15 18:02:18 +0100

50 signatures reached

2022-07-15 16:52:33 +0100

25 signatures reached

2022-07-15 16:20:34 +0100

10 signatures reached