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About us

Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd is proposing to develop a solar and energy storage park on the north Kent coast. Cleve Hill Solar Park would generate renewable power through photovoltaic panels, providing clean power to UK homes.

Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd is a joint venture formed by two solar industry specialists – Hive Energy Ltd and Wirsol Energy Ltd.

Founded in 2010 by Giles Redpath, Hive Energy has become established as one of the largest and most experienced UK solar developers, responsible for installation in excess of 300 MW of generating capacity across the country.

Wirsol is a highly experienced solar park developer, constructor and operator across the UK, Europe and Australia. In the UK Wirsol have built 24 solar parks, equivalent to 159 MW across the UK to date. Wirsol and its parent Wircon GmbH have extensive experience across Europe, specifically in Germany, Netherlands and Denmark.

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Introducing the proposals

We are proposing to develop Cleve Hill Solar Park on the north Kent coast. The project is expected to provide enough affordable and clean electricity to power over 91,000 homes.

Cleve Hill Solar Park would require electrical connection infrastructure and a substation, which we intend to connect to the existing National Grid substation. Adjoining the site is a large 150/400kV electricity substation, which serves the London Array offshore wind farm beyond the mouth of the Thames Estuary to the north. Eight 400kV pylons and power lines currently cross the site.

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Benefits of the Solar Park

•  Cleve Hill Solar Park has the potential to power over 91,000 homes.

•  This project is non-subsidised so will not receive government funding.

•  Over £1 million of income will be generated per year for local authorities to invest in improving local services.

•  A dedicated Habitat Management Area of 56 ha (138 acres) is proposed for bird species including Lapwing, Brent Goose, Golden Plover and Marsh Harrier.

•  The proposals include energy storage technology.

 

FAQ's

What is Cleve Hill Solar Park?

The proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park is a solar photovoltaic park on the north Kent coast which, if built, could provide enough affordable and clean electricity to power over 91,000 homes. The project will comprise of an array of solar photovoltaic modules, energy storage and associated development infrastructure.

The proposed site is located one mile northeast of Faversham, 3 miles west of Whitstable and situated closes to the village of Graveney.

Due to the capacity of the solar park exceeding 50MW, the project is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

What is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project?

Due to the capacity of the solar and energy storage park exceeding 50MW, the project is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

The development consenting regime for NSIP projects comes under the Planning Act 2008 and the application process is known as the Development Consent Order or ‘DCO’.  DCO applications must be made to the Planning Inspectorate who in the case of energy related development acts on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Any final consent award is granted by the Secretary of State for BEIS, which is currently Greg Clark.

DCO applications cannot be determined by the local authority, although the local authorities are involved throughout the planning process and do maintain an important role during the DCO application process. The local authority is the responsible planning authority post-consent of the project.

What application was submitted?

An application for a Development Consent Order has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, who acts on behalf of BEIS, on 16 November 2018.

When is a decision expected?

The Planning Inspectorate now has 28 days to determine of the application can be accepted for examination. If it is accepted, a final decision by the Secretary of State for BEIS is expected in Winter 2019/2020.

Why do we need Cleve Hill Solar Park?

All coal fired power stations have to close by 2025 meaning over a quarter of the UK’s energy generation needs to be replaced. The UK’s climate change ambitions being amongst the highest in Europe and require a 80% reduction in CO2 by 2050.

By 2050 we could also use 80% more electricity than we do today . For example, the growth in electric vehicle ownership has grown thirty-fold and is set to rise with the abolition of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040.

Currently the UK's electricity price is the 2nd highest in Europe , meaning that we need to find ways of generating more affordable, renewable and clean electricity such as that generated by Cleve Hill Solar Park.

With on-site energy storage, the project will be able to provide clean power to people’s homes when they need it the most. Energy storage helps consumers save money by having more control of their energy use.

How will the local area benefit?

The Cleve Hill Solar Park could bring £27.25 million investment to local authorities over a minimum period of 25 years. As a significant local business, Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd will be contributing substantial business rates on an annual basis to the local councils. Based on current estimates of the potential generation capacity of Cleve Hill Solar Park, the revenue generated for local authorities will be in excess of £1 million.

What will be included in Cleve Hill Solar Park?

Proposals for the Solar Park include a solar array, which will provide electricity to the national grid to power UK homes. The solar panels will have an East West layout in order to maximise the output of the solar farm throughout the day.

There will be electrical connection infrastructure to connect the solar park to the Cleve Hill Substation. This is situated adjacent to the proposed solar park.

It is proposed to include an energy storage solution, so that Cleve Hill Solar Park can store the Sun’s power and distribute it to the grid when it is needed the most.

Land will be provided for ecological mitigation and enhancement, with particular consideration to bird species.

DCO Application

Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd. submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Planning Inspectorate on 16 November 2018.

The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to accept the DCO application for examination. Should the DCO application be accepted, the formal examination process will then be managed by the Planning Inspectorate and individuals wishing to get involved will need to follow the prescribed process described below.

From the date of acceptance, individuals wishing to make a representation to the Planning Inspectorate will have 28 days to do so.

To give people sight of the application ahead of this time, the DCO application documents will be available to view on the Planning Inspectorate’s website via: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/cleve-hill-solar-park/ and also via our project website, as outlined below.

Any representations (giving notice of any interest in, or objection to, the DCO application) must be made on the Planning Inspectorate’s Registration and Relevant Representation Form, which will be accessible on their website at the point of application acceptance.

Details of how we consulted, including how we have responded to feedback, is included in the Consultation Report and its associated Appendices. You can view these documents in 5. Reports and Statements, Document 5.1, and 5.1.1.

A Non-Technical Summary of the Environmental Statement is available in 6. Environmental Statement, 6.5 Other ES Docs, Document 6.5.1.

If you require any guidance on the documents included as part of the DCO application, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Consultation

Cleve Hill Solar Park is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) as it is proposed to have a generating capacity exceeding 50MW. We will be applying for a Development Consent Order (DCO) through the Planning Inspectorate. The application will be determined by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

A DCO application was submitted on 16 November 2018. Prior to this we engaged in an extensive series of public and statutory consultations on our plans for the scheme.

 
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News


Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd. submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Planning Inspectorate on 16 November 2018.

The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to accept the DCO application for examination. Should the DCO application be accepted, the formal examination process will then be managed by the Planning Inspectorate and individuals wishing to get involved will need to follow the prescribed process described below. 

From the date of acceptance, individuals wishing to make a representation to the Planning Inspectorate will have 28 days to do so. 

To give people sight of the application ahead of this time, the DCO application documents will be available to view on the Planning Inspectorate’s website via: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/cleve-hill-solar-park/ and also via our project website.

Any representations (giving notice of any interest in, or objection to, the DCO application) must be made on the Planning Inspectorate’s Registration and Relevant Representation Form, which will be accessible on their website at the point of application acceptance.


Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd has made an application to the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority for an electricity generation licence.

You can view the notice of the application at the following link: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/cleve-hill-solar-park-limited-notice-application-electricity-generation-licence

The closing date for comments on this licence application is 26 October 2018.


Thank you to those who participated in our Phase Two consultation between Thursday 31 May and Friday 13 July 2018. We welcomed over 400 people to our community consultation events and received over 700 pieces of feedback on our proposals for Cleve Hill Solar Park.

We have produced a Phase Two Community Project Update to provide a summary of the feedback we received during our Phase Two consultation, to update you on how we are responding to this feedback and to inform you on what the next steps are for the proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park.

We also would like to inform people that our indicative submission date for the Development Consent Order (DCO) application has moved from August to October 2018. This is to ensure that in our final application we can fully address the feedback that we have received from all consultees.

To download this project update, please click here.


Our Phase Two consultation period is now open. It will end on Friday 13 July 2018

Throughout this period, we will be welcoming your comments and feedback to our latest proposals for Cleve Hill Solar Park.

We invite you to our formal Phase Two community consultation events taking place on:

  • Wednesday 13 June from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, at Ferry House Inn, Harty Ferry Road, Harty, ME12 4BQ

  • Thursday 14 June from 1.30pm to 8pm, at Graveney Village Hall, Graveney, Faversham, ME13 9DN

  • Friday 15 June from 11am to 4pm, at Seasalter Christian Centre, Seasalter, Faversham Road, Whitstable, CT5 4AX

  • Saturday 16 June from 11am to 5.30pm, at Faversham Guildhall, 8 Market Place, Faversham, ME13 7AG

Our consultation events will give you the opportunity to view our full suite of consultation materials on the detailed proposals for Cleve Hill Solar Park. These consultation materials will include:

  • Copies of our Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) on display

  • Copies of our non-technical PEIR to take away

  • Display boards of the latest project information

  • Photomontages showing visualisations of the proposals from various viewpoints

  • Plans for improved local amenities including additional permissive pathways and a community orchard


We have produced a Community Newsletter including the latest project news, and the consultation dates for our Phase Two consultation.

This consultation period will begin on begin on Thursday 31 May and finish on Friday 13 July. Throughout this period, we will be welcoming your comments and feedback via the information lines overleaf.

We welcome you to attend our Phase Two consultation events which will be held in June 2018.

These events will be an opportunity to view how our proposals have developed and provide your views.

  • Wednesday 13 June from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, at Ferry House Inn, Harty Ferry Road, Harty, ME12 4BQ

  • Thursday 14 June from 1.30pm to 8pm, at Graveney Village Hall, Graveney, Faversham, ME13 9DN

  • Friday 15 June from 11am to 4pm, at Seasalter Christian Centre, Seasalter, Faversham Road, Whitstable, CT5 4AX

  • Saturday 16 June from 11am to 5.30pm, at Faversham Guildhall, 8 Market Place, Faversham, ME13 7AG

Please see our downloads section, or click here, to read this newsletter.


In recent weeks we’ve been meeting key stakeholders in the area to update them on what we’ve been doing in response to the feedback which we received on our proposals.

On Thursday 22 February, we held a briefing with local elected representatives at Graveney Village Hall. This meeting was an opportunity to update them on the feedback which we received in December 2017, and to present and discuss the amendments to the project design which are currently being considered as a result.

On Wednesday 21 February, we also held the first meeting of the Habitat Management Steering Group, with representatives from Kent Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Natural England. This forum has been established to help all aspects of ecology and ornithology on site and provides the opportunity to discuss and develop habitat improvement and mitigation proposals.

As a result of these meetings, as well as our ongoing consultation with other key stakeholders, we’ve produced an updated FAQs document to answer some of the questions and concerns which people have raised. Please see our downloads section, or click here, to read these FAQs.


Following our first phase consultation events we have issued a summary report of our first round of consultation, which is available to download here.

We welcomed over 500 people to the events we held between 4 and 8 December across Sheppey, Faversham, Graveney and Seasalter. 

A full report of all comments will be included in the final Consultation Report, which is to be submitted with the final planning application. In order to comply with data protection laws, all feedback forms will be redacted before being submitted with the application. 

Ahead of the next phase of public consultation, to be held in Spring, the project team are working to undertake the environmental and technical assessments required as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process. This includes a residential visual amenity assessment, where members of our team will be meeting with neighbours and undertaking photography in the local area. This is to understand and show the views of the proposed solar park from different residential locations.


Our goal is to make Cleve Hill Solar Park the lowest cost generator of energy in the UK. At over 350MW, Cleve Hill Solar Park could provide enough affordable and clean electricity to power over 110,000 homes. 

This is also at a time when a quarter of the UK's generating capacity is due to close, and more renewable energy generation is needed to achieve the UK's goals of reducing our carbon emissions by 80%.

We also plan to use battery storage to help ensure that energy is fed into the grid at the time when it is most needed.

To find out more visit the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy website and download the Government's Industrial Strategy here.

To learn more about the Government's clean growth ambitions, download the Government's Clean Growth Strategy here.

The final design and scale of our project will have regard to several environmental and technical variables alongside feedback received from consultation and the findings of our environmental impact assessment.


The Phase One consultation period for the Cleve Hill Solar Park is now open.

Please come along to one of our public events in the area to view the plans in more detail, talk to members of the team, and provide us with your comments and feedback on the proposals. 

The events will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 5 December from 5pm to 8pm, at Sheppey Evangelical Church, Warden Bay Road, Leysdown ME12 4NA

  • Wednesday 6 December from 11.30am to 7.30pm, at Faversham Assembly Rooms, 66 Preston St Faversham ME13 8PG

  • Thursday 7 December from 1.30pm to 8pm, at Graveney Villlage Hall, Graveney, Faversham ME13 9DN

  • Friday 8 December from 12.30pm to 4.30pm, at Seasalter Christian Centre, Faversham Road, Whitstable, CT5 4AX

Please note that the deadline for feedback during our first phase of consultation is Friday 22 December 2017. 


The government recently released its Clean Growth Energy Strategy, outlining how it sets out to cut UK emissions while keeping costs to consumers and businesses down. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/clean-growth-strategy


Get in touch

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to find out more information about Cleve Hill Solar Park and our associated consultation programme. You can contact our Community Relations Team and find out more by using the details below. 

Email: info@clevehillsolar.com

Freephone: 0800 328 2850

Freepost: Cleve Hill Solar

Online: www.clevehillsolar.com

Twitter: @clevehillsolar

 

Should you require any documents in large print, audio or braille then please contact us at the details provided.