THE company behind plans for a huge solar farm in the Hampshire countryside has defended its scheme.

Solarcentury says that its plans for the outskirts of Lee, near Romsey, covering 105 acres of farmland on the Broadlands Estate, are environmentally friendly.

The company claims that the project would generate enough electricity to power about 4,400 homes annually, as previously reported in the Daily Echo.

Tom Illsley, project manager of the Grove Solar Park proposals, said: “The site has been carefully chosen for its potential to deliver high levels of solar-powered electricity to the local grid and it is expected to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4,400 homes via an array of solar panels mounted on the ground.”

The company will not disclose how many solar panels are involved until the planning application is submitted to Test Valley Borough Council.

A public exhibition on the plans will be held at Woodley Village Hall on Friday, June 27.

Residents, councillors and community groups have been invited to the information day between 2.30pm and 7pm.

Solarcentury says that the solar panels would be laid out east to west, in rows across the fields, would face south to make the most of daylight hours, and would be fixed to piles driven into the ground.

Each row of panels would have four to six metres between them to prevent overshadowing, and native wildflowers would be planted in between.

Mr Illsley said: “The aim is to create diverse and attractive habitats that are a haven for a wide range of fauna and flora.

“Solarcentury is committed to improving the biodiversity at all the solar farms it develops.”

Test Valley planners are already looking at two other solar farm applications.

These are Kronos Solar Projects’ 225,456-panel scheme at Evelyn Farm in Houghton – which would be one of Britain’s biggest solar farms if approved – and another at Michelmersh, where Solar Planning wants to put about 67,000 panels on farmland on the northern outskirts of the village.