I want to lead from the front to make Greenhill a more sustainable community, helping residents enjoy a better environment, less pollution and improved health. As such, I'm delighted to report back on my first two years as Councillor on the great progress we have made, positioning Herne Bay at the forefront of the green economy.
New Solar Power Farm
The energy company Vattenfall has made a planning application for a new 20MW solar array on a plot of farming land near the New Thanet Way. These solar panels will generate enough energy to power 5,000 homes and help encourage other industries to locate in our town, attracted by a carbon-free and low-cost energy source. These new jobs and progress to our net-zero carbon target are very welcome.
March 20201 update: planning has just been granted! I am also finalising a community energy element to the project and will have more details soon.
Green Hydrogen Plant
In June 2020 the Council gave planning permission for the construction of the first green hydrogen plant in the UK, which will use 100% renewable energy from the local wind farm to create hydrogen fuel to power buses and heat our homes.
By using this emission-free fuel, we will improve our local air quality and reduce carbon emissions. This puts Herne Bay at the forefront of the country's efforts to tackle climate change and will bring our community many environmental and economic benefits.
The Greenest Lidl in Britain
A year ago, I supported the approval of the new Lidl supermarket store on Greenhill roundabout. It is now under construction, with an expected opening date in autumn 2020. The store will have a green roof and many other features making it their most environmentally-friendly store in the country.
Alongside the store, Lidl are paying for Kent Wildlife Trust to build a small nature reserve. Another first for Greenhill!
Our First Cycle Route
As part of the new Thornden Wood Village housing development, which went to planning committee in June 2020, I have been able to secure the creation of a cycle route running north-south through our ward, up to Herne Bay train station and town centre.
This will help reduce the number of extra car journeys which the new housing brings, as well help existing residents do more short journeys on bike, with all of the health and environmental benefits that brings.