Cleve Hill Solar Park has dodged an attempt to get its development consent overturned by Swale Borough Council.
The 350MW project, lauded as the UK’s largest solar farm and consisting of 880,000 solar panels and battery storage, was granted development consent by the energy secretary in May 2020.
However, the local council - Swale Borough Council – has since sought legal advice to see if a judicial review could overturn this consent.
This advice has now come back to state that there is “no basis upon which the decision can be legally challenged”.
The solar farm has been highly contested since it was first announced, with the council and local residents continually fighting its development. The council has said that it is “extremely disappointed” with the decision, adding it was “a great shock to residents”.
The £450 million solar park – a joint venture between Hive Energy and Wirsol – is the first in the UK to be classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project due to its scale.
The developers will now need to submit proposals to the council on several requirements, including management plans for battery safety, landscape and biodiversity concerns and traffic concerns.
The council, meanwhile, is required to consult official bodies on the proposals, including the Health and Safety Executive, Kent Fire and Rescue, Natural England and Kent County Council.
However, it said it is also planning to consult local community groups such as Graveney Rural Environment Action Team (GREAT), which was formed in opposition to the solar farm.
Solar Power Portal has reached out to Cleve Hill for comment.