Plans for 400 solar panels at Kingstanding police centre

Plans have been submitted to install about 400 solar panels on buildings and ground at Kingstanding police training centre, on the Ashdown Forest.


Full planning permission is sought because the proposed works would be within the curtilage of a Grade II listed building on the site known as The Cinema.

The Cinema comprised a former transmitter hall and was influenced by Art Deco era architecture, according to a statement with the planning application.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill approved plans for the station transmitter site in 1941 and it was developed in 1941-42 under the control of the Political Warfare Executive.

The transmitter was the biggest and most powerful in the world at that time and was used to transmit ‘black propaganda’ to Germany.

The Cinema is described as a “remarkable and unaltered building, through which one can understand its function as an early transmitter hall.

National security

“A building which combines historic and architectural interest as an exemplar of the nationally important work of the former Kingstanding radio communications and transmitter station to national security.”

The planning statement says no changes are proposed to the external or internal fabric of the listed building.

The solar panels will be installed on two other buildings, numbers 002 (140 panels) and 020 (84 panels), located to the east of the listed building.

Carefully considered

Ground-mounted solar panels (180 of them) will be installed 40m north-west of the listed building.

The statement says: “The design, layout and orientation of the solar panels have been carefully considered by our specialist contractors and would result in no change to the fabric of the building, and only very limited, non-harmful views in the wider landscape.”


It continues: “The development proposals are considered to have a ‘Minor/Negligible’ impact on the setting of the listed building.”

The works form part of on-going modernisation of the training centre which have included works to preserve the listed building. Read more about those works and Kingstanding here in a previous Uckfield News story: Police plan to upgrade training facilities at historic Kingstanding site.

The installation of solar panels at the site is said to form part of Sussex Police’s on-going sustainability programme, and ability to deliver long-term savings for the force.

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