THIS is the first look at a major interconnector project that will revolutionise electricity generation in Hampshire.

Developers have revealed their proposed designs for a new £500m IFA2 Electrical Interconnector project near Fareham which will direct 100 megawatts of power to flow between France and Britain.

A selection of CGI perspectives show what the proposed building would look like along with the surrounding land following extensive planning and public engagement which led to the amendment of the existing plans following approval of the concept in January by Fareham Borough Council.

Under the new plans, the proposed converter site in Fareham would receive electricity from the French grid, as direct current and would convert it into alternating current which is used domestically in the UK and France alongside a 40 acre new community open space around the station.

This energy would be transferred to the proposed replacement substation at Chilling which would connected to the national grid.

But people are concerned that the project will still be devastating on the airfield and the local environment.

Bill Hutchinson, chairman of the Hillhead Residents Association, said: “The development is in the Fareham strategic gap and just 240 metres away from housing not to mention the having 390,000 volts DC under the airfield which will have a serious effect on the navigational equipment of Aircraft.

“We have put an application into the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, to have the planning permission revoked because the correct place for this is Fawley and not here.”

Aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman have expressed concerns that the interconnector will interfere with their operations.

A spokeswoman said: “Britten-Norman operates in the aerospace industry which is both highly regulated and extremely safety conscious.

“The studies undertaken by National Grid are helpful in highlighting some of the potential risks but at present do not in themselves propose solutions to deliver full mitigation of the risks.”

Caroline Dinenage, the MP for Gosport, Hillhead and Stubbington, said: “The reduction in size, height and volume of the building is reassuring to know as it will reduce the visual impact however it is in the wrong location because it will interfere with the operations of the airfield, therefore it should have gone to Chilling or Fawley.”

Cllr Chris Wood, on Fareham Borough Council said: “The revised plans are a vast improvement to what we had before.

“The vastly reduced size of the building is much welcomed as are the superb 40 acres of open space which local residents can enjoy as well as a raised mound which will give views over the airfield.”

The controversial decision to approve an outline application of the building was made by Fareham Borough Council back in January this year despite 1,134 people officially appealing against the decision.

Cllr Séan Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “Residents voices have been listened to, particularly with the volume of the building which has been reduced. If the plans are received, I will hold a Community Action Team meeting at 7pm on July 27, at Holy Rood Church in Gosport Road, Fareham.”

In response, a spokesperson for National Grid said: “We are confident that the interconnector would successfully co-exist with the operation of Solent Airport. Our assessments conclude that, overall, the IFA2 proposals would not conflict with aerodrome safeguarding criteria. This was verified by an independent report that was jointly commissioned by National Grid and Fareham Borough Council in 2016.

“Working jointly with airfield owner Fareham Borough Council, we are conducting further assessments on the potential effect on future airfield operations. National Grid will also be working with cable supplier Prysmian, to conduct a series of laboratory and practical field tests to provide further reassurance to airfield tenants and users that the IFA2 proposals do not impact on the safe and efficient operation of the airport.”

Full plans are expected to be submitted by National Grid to the council in the next few weeks.