Fw: solar farm

david bangs dave.bangs at virgin.net
Wed Apr 24 13:24:52 BST 2013

A German owned company, Vogt Solar UK, working with a local landowner/farmer, have applied for planning permission for a 24ha / 60acre solar farm on arable land between Lewes and Ringmer, within the new South Downs National Park.

A local activist and parish councillor describes this as a strategic attempt by the German company to gain permission somewhere in Europe for such a scheme, and thus to gain a precedent for such projects generally in European National Parks (though how it compares to the huge outrages being prepared in Greek protected landscapes I am not sure).

The site is also on grade two agricultural land - a scarce resource, particularly  in weald and down landscapes.

The site lies only a mile from the new giant wind turbine at Glyndebourne, which now dominates the landscape all around the Caburn downland block, erstwhile one of the most intact sub-landscapes of the South Downs National Park. That whim of the rich landowner is being used to power the energy needs of the Opera House...another plaything of the rich.

A further turbine scheme looks set for approval just north of Eastbourne in the buffer zone of the National Park. 

Additionally, the Rampion wind farm (named after an iconic wildlfower of the Downs) will be visible from the National Park Heritage Coast along the Beachy Head Downs...and from all the high points of the central Downs behind the Brighton conurbation. 

Thus is one wing of the environmental 'movement' (corporate alternative energy firms and landowners, together with their 'green' allies...mostly urban and deeply alienated from nature) set against another wing (mostly middle and owning class 'greens' defending their 'positional goods' and lifstyles in the countryside).

The ecosocialist position (of defence of nature and natural systems against ALL attacks, both full-frontal and tangential...and gains for all working people in static and down-sized metropolitan economies) is ground between these two millstones...

Dave Bangs 

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