MORE solar power could be heading for Hampshire – and the company behind the latest scheme claims nearby communities will benefit from the project.
Wiltshire-based Solstice Renewables Ltd has announced plans for what it describes as a “medium size” solar farm just east of Romsey.
Around 32,000 solar panels will be installed on land at Warren Farm between North Baddesley, Ampfield, Crampmoor and Halterworth if the scheme gets the green light.
Baddesley Common, an internationally recognised haven for wildlife lies on the eastern edge of the proposed development.
Solstice Renewables says the farm will produce enough energy annually to power 2,400 homes.
Director Giovanni Maruca said: “Warren Farm is a great site for a solar park as it will be well screened from the surrounding areas. The site is low-grade land which offers exciting opportunities for biodiversity improvement and it will remain in agricultural usage for the lifetime of the project.”
Hampshire County Council leader Roy Perry, whose division covers some of the area affected, said: “Clearly there is a need for energy and sustainable energy such as solar power is good in principle. However, much depends on the details of the scheme and its visible impact.
“Also, the area between Romsey and North Baddesley is an important rural gap that needs to be retained and that is a factor that needs to be taken into consideration.”
The company will consult residents in the area during an exhibition at North Baddesley Sports Pavilion on July 14 between 4.30pm and 8pm.
The proposed site is 14 hectares and is currently used for grazing livestock.
A planning application is likely to be submitted to Test Valley Borough Council later this summer Other proposed green energy farms yet to get approval include a scheme to build a 57,000-panel solar park at Lee, near Romsey, and a 224,000-panel scheme – one of the UK’s largest – at Houghton near Stockbridge.
Another scheme includes 67,000 panels on farmland at Michelmersh.