SES Water suggests limit on solar panel coverage at Fetcham Springs

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SES Water says the solar panels it wants to install at Fetcham Springs will not cover more than 50% of the land area.

This latest update from SES came at the FRA AGM on April 26th – held for the second year running on Zoom.

SES Energy and Carbon manager Henrietta Stock was answering questions following a presentation (below) about the company’s operations, and its plans to reduce its carbon footprint.

At a meeting with the FRA in February, where SES first revealed its plans to generate solar power, there was no indication of how much of the land area would be covered.

But questioned by FRA Chairman Tim Waller,  Ms Stock said: “I anticipate it could be anything between 10 and 50 per cent of the area, that would be my best guess at the moment.”

She said that the company has not yet looked in detail at where it wishes to locate a proposed visitors and education centre.  The FRA has already voiced concerns on behalf of residents over the prospect of a new building and associated parking on the site.

The question was also raised of creating an alternative footpath across the land to avoid the frequently flooded path alongside the railway embankment.

Fetcham Springs looking east from Raymead Way. SES will consider a new footpath crossing the field. (Photos: FRA)

Ms Stock confirmed that SES was giving active consideration to making a new permissive path from Raymead Way, connecting with the existing Mill Pond path from the Cobham Road.

She added that although the company was keen to progress its plans, she could not yet say when the formal application process for planning permission would begin.

She also stated that SES would be commissioning a Phase 1 Habitat Survey to be carried out by Surrey Wildlife Trust, and followed by a separate survey to look at biodiversity on the site and the presence of any invasive non-native species.  (A Phase 1 survey is effectively an initial mapping of the variety of habitats present on a site.)

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