Funding approved for solar farm at Westhampnett
Funding for a large solar farm at Westhampnett has been agreed by the leader of West Sussex County Council.
Members of the authority’s planning committee approved the scheme for the former landfill site back in January despite objections from villagers.
Scrutiny of the proposal by two back-bench committees was conducted behind closed doors a day after planning permission was granted for the 14 hectare site.
Last week Louise Goldsmith, leader of the county council, approved capital costs for the installation of a solar farm and energy storage system.
According to the decision notice: “Mounting solar farms on mixed refuse landfills is a tested and proven method of using poor value land, and generating an additional income from it.
“Mounting a solar farm on this land would also fit well within the longer-term plans for the site where significant time is still needed for the land to settle before it can be used for any other purpose.
“This project presents an opportunity to continue to significantly reduce the county council’s energy costs, meet ambitious renewable energy targets, and support the local economy, as outlined in the West Sussex Energy Strategy.”
The former gravel pit opened as a landfill site in 1970, but stopped accepting waste in 1983. It was then reopened between 1988 and 1991 before being closed and restored by 1995.
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