KCC Position Statement on Large Scale Solar Arrays

December 06, 2022

Whilst Kent County Council are rightfully supportive in principle of the installation of renewable and low carbon energy generation technologies, they do offer a published Position Statement for where they do and do not support scheme.

There are clear points relevant here to Stakfrat’s proposal to build on Ash Level:


Summary of KCC Position

  • KCC is in principle supportive of the installation of renewable and low carbon energy generation technologies, particularly where it will increase security of supply, provide community and economic benefits and contribute to tackling climate change.

  • Development should be appropriate to the locality and avoid adverse planning and environmental impacts. KCC does not consider that the need for renewables should automatically override environmental protections and an application will only be supported if the impact is or can be made acceptable.

  • As a preference, KCC will support solar arrays mounted on existing roofs or integrated into new roofs/buildings. Developments on previously developed and/or contaminated and industrial land are also preferable. Community owned projects would be particularly welcomed. KCC will not support the development of large scale Solar PV arrays in areas identified for their special character or other importance. KCC will not support large scale solar PV arrays in the Green Belt and landscapes designated for their natural beauty (Kent Downs and High Weald AONBs) and areas

  • which contribute to their setting.

  • KCC will not support large scale solar PV arrays on sites with ecological importance, archaeological or historic interest, or classified as the best and most versatile grades of agricultural land (1, 2, and 3a).

  • For greenfield proposals outside of protected areas, KCC expect proposals to demonstrate the landscape’s suitability to receive such a development. Proposals must show how the design of the scheme has accounted for landscape character. Developments should avoid both landscape and visual impacts, or demonstrate appropriate mitigation. In addition, land management around panels should allow for continued agricultural use and/or encourage biodiversity improvements.

  • In formulating its views on proposals, KCC will have regard to cumulative impacts of multiple solar arrays on landscape character and visual amenity. The impact from a single development may not be significant on its own, but when combined with other impacts from similar developments could become significant.

  • The consultation and involvement of local communities should be an integral part of the development process.

  • Where supportive of development proposals KCC will request planning conditions to be imposed to ensure solar PV arrays are removed at the end of their permitted period and the land restored to its previous use.