Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

Renewable energy

15.23 There are a number of options for obtaining energy from renewable sources in new or existing developments. These include:

  • Solar photo-voltaic panels
  • Wind turbines
  • Solar water heating
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Biomass and biofuel

15.24 The Council will encourage new developments to make provision for renewable installations in their master planning and will encourage the retrofitting of such installations to existing buildings, subject to the criteria in policy CC04. The following policy seeks to encourage the use of renewable energy installations in new and existing development whilst mitigating against any detrimental effects.

Policy CC04 - Renewable energy

Major new developments will be expected to make provision for renewable energy or micro-generation equipment a part of their proposals subject to the following criteria:

Applicants will need to demonstrate that:

  1. They have considered the environmental, social and economic benefits of their proposals.
  2. There are no significant adverse impacts on the surrounding area such as visual, noise and amenity.
  3. Visual impacts have been minimised in the design and layout of the scheme;
  4. There is no significant loss of residential amenity of local residents.
  5. There is no adverse impact on heritage assets.
  6. There is no significant impact on the landscape setting, habitats, biodiversity or wildlife assets, particularly protected species and habitats.
  7. They do not have an impact on the best and most versatile agricultural land unless that it can be demonstrated that it is necessary and no alternative lower grade land is available.



District Heating

15.25 District heating schemes supply heat from a central source directly to homes and businesses through a network of pipes carrying hot water. This means that individual homes and business do not need to generate their own heat on site.

15.26 Large energy users, or 'anchor loads' are an essential part of a district heating network to provide a base heat demand that will allow a system to run efficiently. Anchor loads could be large energy users such as industry, schools, hospitals or leisure centres with heated swimming pools. Map 3 is a heat map for Thanet showing potential areas suitable for district heating.

Map 3 - Thanet's Heat Density



Heat map for thanet

15.27 District heating is most suitable where there is a high density of built development, and especially where there is a mix of building types This diversity of energy demand helps to keep combined heat and power (CHP) or boiler plant running in a more steady state for longer - which is more efficient.

15.28 The Renewable Energy for Kent report identifies the following scale and types of district heating networks which may come forward:

Small local networks: Typically between 10 and 50 homes in a street or a block. Gas fired boilers or biomass boilers supplying heat only

Medium size networks: Typically over 200 homes and normally with an 'anchor building' (i.e. a school, hospital or leisure centre)

Large networks: A number of small and medium sized networks linked up and perhaps taking heat from a large biomass or energy from waste power station

15.29 The following policy seeks to encourage district heating schemes where appropriate and feasible.

Policy CC05 - District Heating

Support will be given to the inclusion of district heating schemes in new development. Major development proposals should be supported by an Energy Statement to demonstrate why district heating can or cannot be delivered.



Solar Parks

15.30 There have been a number of developments for renewable energy applications in the district to help reduce emissions. A number of solar parks have been granted permission - these are mainly located in fields, or parts of fields, are temporary (most have a 25 year lifespan), and the land can revert to its original use when the panels are removed.

Map 4 - Solar Parks

Solar Parks Map 900 dpi


15.31 The siting for a solar park will usually be near to a connection to the national grid due to cost implications for connection, and will require the erection of a fence surrounding the site for security reasons.

15.32 Map 4 shows sites where permission has been granted for solar parks at the time of writing. It may be possible that other sites could be considered for further development of solar parks. Further sites should be located on previously developed land or non-agricultural land wherever possible. There are potential negative impacts to the countryside, landscapes, and to best and most versatile agricultural land. For proposals on agricultural land, the developer will be expected to demonstrate how the land can still be used for agricultural purposes.

15.33 The developer will be required to outline a management programme to demonstrate that the areas beneath and around the panels will not become overgrown, and to assist with the eventual restoration of the site, normally to its former use.

Policy CC06 - Solar Parks

Applications for solar parks will only be permitted if there is no significantly detrimental impact on any of the following:

1. Thanet's historic landscapes

2. Visual and local amenity, including cumulative effects

3. Heritage assets and views important to their setting

Proposals on agricultural land must demonstrate that the proposal will comply with all of the following:

5. Cause minimal disturbance to the agricultural land and

6. Be temporary, capable of removal and reversible, and allow for continued use as such on the remaining undeveloped area of the site.

7. Provide biodiversity enhancements.

The need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental considerations.



15.34 The Richborough area, which straddles the district boundary with Dover, has become a focus for waste treatment, renewable and low carbon energy industries. The former Richborough Power Station provides a potential location for such facilities, as well as a connection to the national grid. Thanet and Dover Councils have approved applications for solar parks and anaerobic digesters in the surrounding area, a peaking plant facility and site-wide infrastructure to facilitate the creation of energy from waste site, on the former Richborough Power Station site.

15.35 The Council recognises the potential of the site to help to mitigate against climate change. Therefore in liaison with Dover District Council and Kent County Council (as the Minerals and Waste Authority), the Council will continue to explore, with the promoters of any schemes, how this potential can be realised. Particular regard would need to be had to environmental, transport and wildlife impacts together with visual impact on landscape and on the gateway location to and from Thanet.

15.36 The Kent Minerals and Waste Sites Local Plan 2013-2030 and Waste Sites Plan look to this area as a potential location for energy from waste, green waste treatment and for the treatment/material recycling facilities. Development proposals in this area should also refer to these plans and the relevant National Planning Statements.

15.37 The Secretary Of State for Transport has issued directions under the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 to safeguard the route corridor of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Project. This includes additional land that may be required for associated works/development. (Such direction and works are not proposals of the District Council, and the routes in question will not be determined through the development plan process but through other statutory procedures which will provide appropriate opportunities for any objections by those directly affected by the project).

15.38 Safeguarding directions for development affecting the route corridor for the channel tunnel rail link project apply to land at Richborough. In accordance with the direction, the Council will consult HS1 (south) limited before granting planning permission or resolving to carry out/authorise development within the limit of land subject to consultation.

Policy CC07- Richborough

Proposals for the development of renewable energy facilities at Richborough will be permitted if it can be demonstrated that the development will not be detrimental to nearby sites of nature conservation value or that any potential effects can be fully and suitably mitigated.