Plans to install more than 1,000 solar panels across five buildings of the Utilita Bowl venue have been given the green light - despite Southampton Airport’s initial fears reflections could dazzle pilots.

The application, submitted in February, said that as part of the new partnership with Utilita, the company aimed to install solar panels to create the “greenest” international cricket venue.

Eastleigh Borough Council has now given approval for the changes for the home of Hampshire Cricket in West End.

Formerly the Ageas Bowl and Rose Bowl, it was renamed in January 2024 after a sponsorship deal with Utilita Energy.

Indicative solar layout stadium. Utilita Bowl planning application

Indicative solar layout stadium. Utilita Bowl planning application

With the approval, 1,044 solar panels can now be installed at the five buildings at the venue.

Local resident Rod Murchie objected to the proposal and said the panels would “destabilise the national grid, requiring backup from fossil fuel generators whenever the sun doesn’t shine”.

Airside Operations, which is in charge of daily inspections at Southampton Airport to ensure safety, said the panels could have created glare which may have dazzled pilots.

However, after receiving the glint and glare hazard assessment and “examining” it from an “aerodrome safeguarding perspective”, it said the plans “do not conflict with safeguarding criteria” and, therefore, did not object.

Solar layout. Utilita Bowl planning application

Solar layout. Utilita Bowl planning application

According to the planning application, the Utilita Bowl Hotel will accommodate the largest number of panels with a proposal of 624 panels.

The East and West stands are identical, and the proposed number of panels will fit on both. Each stand is set to have 186 panels.

Similarly, the Arthur Holt Pavilion and the Hampshire Wellbeing Centre have similar footprints, so each will have 24 panels.

The solar panels will be installed on the buildings’ roofs, generating 433.26kW of electricity.

A crane may be necessary for the construction process so the applicant will need to consult with the airport authority before going ahead.