Plans to generate hydro electricity in Isfield

Plans have been submitted to generate hydro electricity via a weir on the River Ouse on land owned by Isfield Place, at Isfield, near Uckfield.

An application for a ‘small scale’ hydro site has been submitted by Mrs Joanna Adams of Isfield Place.

The project would involve installing a hydro electric generating station on the eastern, left hand side (facing downriver) of the weir.

Archimedean Screw Turbine

Silt that has built up above that side of the weir would be removed and an Archimedean Screw Turbine installed on the angle of the weir.

The flow of water into the turbine would be controlled by an automatic sluice gate, controlled by level sensors which would be tied into a ‘Hands-Off-Level’ agreed with the Environment Agency.

A design and access statement accompanying the planning application says the amount of electricity generated is a function of the height of the weir and the volume of water passing through the screw turbine.

Energy

“The weight of water flowing through the turbine screw will cause the screw to turn, thereby harnessing the energy in the water.

“The energy will be converted into electricity by the generator, which in turn will be distributed via a buried cable to Isfield Place. Any surplus electricity will be exported to the National Grid.”

The statement says the hydro scheme has a Total Installed Capacity of 35kW, generating approximately 140MWh/Yr of renewable energy, saving 80 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Lifespan

The scheme has an anticipated 60 year plus lifespan.

Full planning permission and listed building consent are being sought because East Sussex County Council Archaeology said there were areas and sites of archaeological interest between the proposed hydro site and Isfield Place which could be affected by trenches and pipelines required to carry electrical cables.

Of particular interest is a Roman Road which traverses the land owned by Isfield Place.

History of the site

The design and access statement says Grade II* listed Isfield Place has great historical provenance as witnessed by the Roman road over its land, and a motte and bailey castle next to the point where the Roman road forded the River Ouse.

“It is thought King Harold spent the night before the Battle of Hastings at Isfield Place.

“Subsequently, Isfield Place was owned by the De La Warr family until 1507 when it was sold to John Shurley, Cofferer to King Henry VII and King Henry VIII.

Grandeur

“Isfield Place was down-sized during the early 18th century but still maintains a grandeur befitting a comfortable gentry residence.

“The estate was tenanted during the middle years of the 18th centre. In the middle of the 19th century Henry King converted Isfield Place for his own occupation.

“King made a number of changes including the construction and restoration of the outbuildings, garden walls and substantial internal alterations.”

The planning application is before Wealden Council for consideration.

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