I was going to consider aspects of the Royal Harbour this week but there is never a dull moment on our psy-idyllic isle. Following a mood of doom and gloom, justifiably spread by the shattering news of Pfizer’s exit as a Sandwich filler. Two more dramatic events are now on the cards. Firstly the long awaited proposal for a new Margate Tesco superstore has been unveiled. It is an interesting place to build between the Art Deco style Dreamland cinema and the modernistic slab block which is Arlington House. A 21st century superstore approach is really the only appropriate way forward amongst such dominating buildings “very little helps”.
Secondly and of more interest to me, is a planning application to put a solar array on 13Ha of green-field site at Ebbsfleet Farm just north of Richborough ex-Power Station. This one is really a difficult one. The site is green-field and for that reason should be opposed, but the field is surrounded by a derelict power station, a sewage works and the new East Kent road to a “soon to be vacant” R&D facility. It covers green-field land in glass but so then do poly-tunnels and Thanet Earth. It is a green technology but provides no jobs other that of construction and maintenance. It provides “free “ electricity when the sun shines but the whole 13 hectares generates only 4 to 5 Mw, when the sun shines, about a similar amount to one offshore wind turbine, when the wind blows.
I found the “pros and cons” of this one difficult until I remembered the derelict wind turbine at the power station site. Would I like to see 13Ha of arable field covered in solar panels or the old wind turbine rebuilt, taking up no further space. The answer is simple I would go for the rebuilt wind turbine any day, especially as there have been some chilly winds blowing in Sandwich lately but not much sunshine.