The Tonge Corner Solar Farm is located near Sittingbourne, on the Kentish coast overlooking the Isle of Sheppey. The main considerations from a landscape planning point of view were the potential effects upon the adjacent Area of High Landscape Value Landscape and the setting of the Special Landscape Area. Furthermore, the LVIA assessed effects on the scenic quality and recreational opportunities of the undeveloped coast. The assessment included an analysis of sequential visibility from the promoted long-distance Saxon Shore Way.
The site is also adjacent to the Swale Special Protection Area, and lies in close proximity to a range of nature conservation designations including the Swale Ramsar Site, the Swale SSSI, the Elmley National Nature Reserve, Milton Creek Local Wildlife Site, and Little Murston Nature Reserve. This sensitive location was taken as an opportunity to provide a robust ecological enhancement outlined in Pegasus Group’s Landscape and Ecology Management Plan.
As part of the iterative design process Pegasus Group proposed a number of mitigation measures, which aimed to strengthen the field pattern and hedgerow vegetation whilst controlling views from the nearby Public Rights of Ways. This, in combination with the reduced scheme enabled Pegasus to secure the planning approval in 2015.
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