Pollution fears raised over Littlehampton solar farm plan

Protesters met with Bognor and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb on Saturday
Protesters met with Bognor and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb on Saturday

POLLUTION fears have been raised by concerned residents opposed to plans to build a solar farm on the outskirts of Littlehampton.

As previously revealed in the Gazette, proposals have been submitted to build 13,200 solar panels on Brookbarn Farm.

However, on Saturday (December 14), residents living in nearby Old Mead Road met up with Bognor and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb to voice their concerns.

They fear that, if the park is given the green light, developers Anesco Limited could inadvertently release dangerous chemicals by drilling into the earth of the former landfill site.

Jane Lamb, 48, said: “It’s a horrible accident waiting to happen.

“There’s an awful lot of people who feel like this. If they’re going to pile drive in and hit a canister they could release an awful lot of gases and do an awful lot of harm. It could cause untold damage.”

Residents were also worried about the impact lorries could have travelling down Old Mead Road during the solar farm’s construction.

Mr Gibb shared all these concerns saying that noise from heavy good vehicle movements and the damage they could cause tied with the possibility of releasing ‘dangerous chemicals’ were the residents’ chief fears.

“Installing a huge solar park in the middle of a residential area I believe would be wrong. Such parks should be constructed away from people’s homes, Mr Gibb added.

Lee Adams, director of solar at Anesco, said the company had conducted a geotechnical survey of the site and that a geocontamination survey would be undertaken prior to any development.

“If there is any indication that gases will be released during construction using the traditional pile driven mounting solution, an alternative ballast system will be used where no ground penetration or drilling work is necessary,” he said.

He added there would be no more than three lorry movements a day during the ten-week construction period and that Anesco would take responsibility for any damage to the road.