A massive solar farm project has been proposed for Houghton, near Stockbridge, which will see photovoltaics cover the equivalent of the area of 200 football pitches.
The Daily Echo reports that the project, located at Eveley Farm, will see an array of 225,456 panels. If agreed, the solar site will be the largest in the UK.
It has been estimated that the electricity generated would deliver enough to power 31,500 homes. However, manager of the project Makan Yarandi has said that all electricity will be fed back into the National Grid.
Large-scale projects like this often face the wrath of the local public, but it has been suggested that the project will remain hidden from public view.
Not only will the farm help to create a clean, renewable source of energy, which the landowner and local community will benefit from, but it will also make use of poor quality agricultural land in the area.
Land owner Danny Busk – member of the Test Valley Council – said that the land is “arable field” and the worst on the farm for cropping.
“The proposed site is extremely well hidden and is basically unproductive land and a former air strip,” he added.
If residents do hold any objections to the scheme, they will able to have their voices heard at an upcoming public meeting at Houghton Village Hall. They will also be able to ask questions to the development team, who will answer any concerns raised.
Planning has yet to go to full application, but councillors from Test Valley will be on hand at the meeting to review the proposals.
Furthermore, the site may be held back due to archaeological commitments, with Hampshire leader Roy Perry claiming that the local authority will keep this in mind when making their judgement.
“Test Valley Borough Council is the local planning authority for the solar farm and will make any planning decision.” he told the Daily Echo.
“I am confident Test Valley will take into account all environmental implications of the solar panels, as it does other sources of energy.”