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HS/FA/15/00528 | Retention of ground mounted solar panels within the garden | Rocklands Private Caravan Park, Rocklands Lane, Hastings, TN35 5DY
  • Total Consulted: 0
  • Comments Received: 46
  • Objections: 45
  • Supporting: 0
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Mr Andrew Blackman

Comment submitted date: Thu 12 Nov 2015

The Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve object to this application. Whilst the Friends have a presumption in favour of all forms of green energy, in this case the detrimental impact of the solar panels on the High Weald AONB greatly outweighs any potential environmental benefit. The panels can be seen from large areas within the Nature Reserve and constitute a very intrusive visual presence in Ecclesbourne Glen. If and when the unauthorised building adjacent to the panels is removed, the panels will also be prominently visible from the East Hill Scheduled Ancient Monument. As Historic England point out, two or three of the panels have been sited within the Scheduled Area, which they make clear constitutes an offence under the 1979 act. Had this application been made in the correct way before the work went ahead we are in do doubt whatever that it would have been refused. Rocklands Caravan Park have a significant history of using retrospective applications in this way - a way of working which Hastings Borough Council itself argues should not be encouraged. In our view there are other sites within Rocklands caravan park which might be suitable for the installation of solar panels. Be that as it may, we strongly assert that the panels should not be given consent in their current location. Andrew Blackman, Chairman

Comment submitted date: Tue 08 Dec 2015

Please see documents tab.

Mr Don Wise

Comment submitted date: Tue 08 Dec 2015

Please see documents tab.

Mr Chris Hurrell

Comment submitted date: Fri 13 Nov 2015

I object to this application as it has damaged the visual amenity of the AONB amongst other reasons cited by other objectors.

The application breaches local planning policies designed to protect the AONB. National guidelines on the installation of solar panels and AONB advice on installation of solar panels.

The Applicants Landscape and Visual Appraisal (LVA) seriously understates the impact the solar panels have on the AONB and Country Park. It ignores the recent history of the site where the landslip, large scale unauthorised tree removals and other developments have left much of the site fully visible from the Country Park.

The LVA fails to meet the requirements stipulated by the AONB in their comments on this application.

The LVA does not consider that the solar panels are visible from many major viewpoints in the Country Park. It understates the size of the solar panels and understates the reflected glare from the panels. It ignores the fact that the bunker is at appeal and should it be demolished then the panels will be visible from the East Hill conservation area.

The LVA argues that the solar panels have minor incremental impact on visual amenity in comparison with the other built forms in the caravan park. The LVA fails to mention that the site was very well shielded until the large scale unauthorised removal of screening at Rocklands.

The LVA is in effect arguing that the impact of the solar panels should be ignored because large scale unauthorised tree removals at Rocklands have already exposed the rest of the caravan site!

I urge the Planning Committee to refuse this application on the grounds (amongst others) that the visual amenity of the AONB has been damaged. Furthermore it should be made clear that the lower slopes of Rocklands are an unsuitable location for solar panels.

Comment submitted date: Thu 03 Dec 2015

I wish to make a further objection following the submission of consultee comments from the Environment and Natural Resources Manager.The fact that the applicants have submitted an ecology report should not be sufficient grounds for Mr Davidson to approve the application. It seems he has not visited the site or read the statement in detail. It appears that Mr Davidson has spent at least 30 seconds on this matter - sending in a single line email at the last instant. Mr Davidson appears to be satisfied because an ecology report has been submitted and this appears to be sufficient for him to approve. If Mr Davidson had examined the report in detail he might have noticed that the report accepts the need for mitigation measures for Badgers but then fails to describe any. In addition the ecology report is out of date and only considers the location of the solar panels and not the wider redline area. There are many habitats for reptiles in the broader redline area. The ecology report is deeply flawed and this has been completely ignored by Mr Davidson.

Comment submitted date: Sat 05 Dec 2015

I note that key consultees such as conservation, planning policy and Leisure and amenities have not submitted comments prior to the closure period. I understood that since the Bahcheli report HBC would ensure that key commentators would be obliged to comment on sensitive applications. This application is a sensitive application bordering HBC owned land yet it appears that our officers have not considered it important enough to pass comment on.

Mrs Katherine Cosgrove

Comment submitted date: Fri 04 Dec 2015

Yet another retrospective planning application by the Rocklands Caravan Park. What a cynical disregard for all that has gone before with their so-called applications and the public outcry caused by them. Beyond belief!

To reiterate my comments on their previous flagrant disregard for an AONB of both local, national and international importance would take too many words for this space. In summary, therefore, these panels, masquerading as tolerable in their "green' presentation, in reality are no such thing. They are yet another eyesore perpetrated by Rocklands, and a flagrant and probable criminal breach of the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Areas Act of 1979 in their placement on part of an ancient monument. Moreover they are yet another callous demonstration of disrespect for a very special visual amenity in an AONB which exists for the pleasure and enjoyment of natural and unspoilt greenspace by many, many people. ANOTHER ABSOLUTE OUTRAGE! THROW THIS OUT, PLANNING COMMITTEE! PLEASE!

Mr Russell Hall

Comment submitted date: Thu 03 Dec 2015

I object to this planning application as I think it will have a visually detrimental effect on Hastings Country Park that conflicts with AONB advice. The Hastings Country Park is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB), Special Area of Conservation, Site of Special Scientific Interest, and Local Nature Reserve which is incompatible with the proposed application. The proposed deployment of solar panels also may be illegal under the Ancient Monuments and ArchŠological Areas Act 1979.

To approve this application would be a continuation of the Council sanctioned destruction of this ANOB. The solar panels also breach several policies from the Local Plan (adopted 2014) such as EN7 (Conservation and Enhancement of Landscape) and FA5 (Strategic Policy for Eastern Area). They conflict too with AONB advice and other official guidance.

Mr nick shute

Comment submitted date: Mon 30 Nov 2015

I strongly object to the solar panel application on the grounds that not only is this on the sight of a supposedly protected ancient monument and is also in an area of designated outstanding natural beauty but also for the fact that this is a retrospective planning application and no further work should be granted permission until all outstanding issues have been dealt with. In short Rocklands must not be allowed to continually do what they want whilst totally ignoring all legalities and procedure.In other words I'd like to see HBC doing the right thing for once.

Ms Sue Goodhand

Comment submitted date: Sun 29 Nov 2015

Dear Mrs Bahcheli, I wish to object to this retrospective planning application.Our country park here in Hastings in the Ecclesbourne area was beautiful, it has changed dramatically of late . Please lets repair the damage for us ,Hastings and future generations. I dont usually object to solar panels BUT these are visible from all around the park in a place of NATRAL BEAUTY ,couldnt they be placed in the caravan park where they would be out of sight and off of the scheduled ancient monument site.After all the site owners have broken the law .yours sincerly sue goodhand

Ms Carol Houghton

Comment submitted date: Fri 27 Nov 2015

Usually a supporter of green energy, I strongly object to these solar panels as there is nothing subtle or blending in with nature about them. They can be seen from miles away and totally spoil the landscape.

Mrs Sandra Bridger

Comment submitted date: Thu 26 Nov 2015

Please see documents tab.

Mr Bernard McGinley

Comment submitted date: Thu 26 Nov 2015

Please see documents tab.

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