A CONTROVERSIAL scheme to set up a 20,000 solar panel energy farm on the outskirts of a Hampshire town has been scuppered.

Members of Test Valley’s northern planning committee unanimously rejected the plans on 26 acres of arable land off Somborne Park Road, south-east of Stockbridge.

This was despite officers recommending that the scheme be approved.

Officers said the proposals would provide renewable energy which would contribute to reducing climate change and they felt it would “create a less than substantial harm” to nearby Green Place.

However, councillors had serious concerns about the impact the proposed hill-top development would have on the National Trust-owned Stockbridge Down and especially grade two listed Green Place, built in 1906 and designed as a holiday home by renowned architect and artist Mackay Hugh Baille Scott