Planning permission is being sought for a solar panel farm at Catfield, north of Bexhill (writes Kenneth Bird). The site at St Francis Farm is currently used for horse riding, hay production and occasional sheep-farming. Lightsource Renewable Energy, which claims to be the UK’s leading solar energy generator, defends the use of prime agricultural land at the farm. It says that only 30 per cent of it would be occupied by solar panels, the rest would be available for small livestock grazing as well as other cultivation uses, such as wildflower seed production. Dominic Manning, chairman of Rother Environmental Group, has given a cautious welcome to the scheme, with the proviso that the community benefit element needs to be strengthened.