Nearly 10,000 panels being built at Hill End Farm

Basingstoke Gazette: Thousands of solar panels being installed in Monk Sherborne Thousands of solar panels being installed in Monk Sherborne

NEARLY 10,000 solar panels are being installed on farmland in Monk Sherborne.

The solar farm is being built by Lightsource Renewable Energy at Hill End Farm, in Aldermaston Road, after Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council approved the company’s plans in December.

The 6.37-hectare site was an arable field of crops but is now being transformed into a 2.8megawatt solar farm, which will generate enough power for 806 homes.

The site, which can be seen from the A340 – the main road from Basingstoke to Tadley – will generate enough renewable energy to save around 1,375,220kg of CO2 emissions per year – the equivalent of removing 305 cars from the road each year.

Lightsource, which has installed solar panels on the roofs of over 100 schools in the UK, has been granted permission for a temporary solar farm.

At the end of its operational life, of between 30 and 35 years, all equipment associated with the farm will be removed, including associated infrastructure such as a storage shed, transformer units and substations.

A total of 9,450 photovoltaic panels are being installed at the site. They are 1.650m high and attached to mounted frames at an angle of 20 degrees, with a maximum height of 2.5m above ground level.

A two-metre-high security fence and CCTV cameras will also be installed to prevent theft and vandalism, and stop unauthorised access.

The electricity generated from the site will be entered into the local grid network and will be used at the closest points of demand, meaning that more of the electricity used by Monk Sherborne will be from a clean renewable source.

The plans were approved by the borough council despite objections from Sherborne St John ward councillor John Leek.

He told The Gazette: “I objected to it because I’m totally against ruining the countryside in the way that these schemes will. But I’m afraid everyone on the committee was in favour of it.”

He pointed out that the solar panels can be seen by visitors to The Vyne, who pass by the site as they turn into Morgaston Road, which is the main access road to the National Trust property. Cllr Leek added: “It’s not very attractive.”

Comments (5)

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1:34pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Sam_Walker123456 says...

'He pointed out that the solar panels can be seen by visitors to The Vyne, who pass by the site as they turn into Morgaston Road, which is the main access road to the National Trust property. Cllr Leek added: “It’s not very attractive.”'
I agree we must protect NT visitors from seeing anything unattractive. Please will John Leek send me directions to The Vyne which not only avoid passing Solar Farm but also any other sight which might be offend my eyes.
'He pointed out that the solar panels can be seen by visitors to The Vyne, who pass by the site as they turn into Morgaston Road, which is the main access road to the National Trust property. Cllr Leek added: “It’s not very attractive.”' I agree we must protect NT visitors from seeing anything unattractive. Please will John Leek send me directions to The Vyne which not only avoid passing Solar Farm but also any other sight which might be offend my eyes. Sam_Walker123456
  • Score: 7

9:28am Wed 2 Apr 14

JJ38JJ says...

Unless a visitor takes a very circuitous, cross-country route they will be driving north via the hospital or south via AWE. Ground-level solar panels behind a simple hedge-like device really should be seen (or not seen!) in context Cllr Leek.
Unless a visitor takes a very circuitous, cross-country route they will be driving north via the hospital or south via AWE. Ground-level solar panels behind a simple hedge-like device really should be seen (or not seen!) in context Cllr Leek. JJ38JJ
  • Score: 4

3:20pm Wed 2 Apr 14

poi000 says...

I wonder if he'll be so critical when the lights go out becuase of uninformed opposition to renewables.
I wonder if he'll be so critical when the lights go out becuase of uninformed opposition to renewables. poi000
  • Score: 4

2:49pm Thu 3 Apr 14

jonone says...

Sam_Walker123456 wrote:
'He pointed out that the solar panels can be seen by visitors to The Vyne, who pass by the site as they turn into Morgaston Road, which is the main access road to the National Trust property. Cllr Leek added: “It’s not very attractive.”' I agree we must protect NT visitors from seeing anything unattractive. Please will John Leek send me directions to The Vyne which not only avoid passing Solar Farm but also any other sight which might be offend my eyes.
"He pointed out that the solar panels can be seen by visitors to The Vyne, who pass by the site as they turn into Morgaston Road, which is the main access road to the National Trust property."

Unless they are coming from the other direction!

What a total and utter idiot this councillor must be!
[quote][p][bold]Sam_Walker123456[/bold] wrote: 'He pointed out that the solar panels can be seen by visitors to The Vyne, who pass by the site as they turn into Morgaston Road, which is the main access road to the National Trust property. Cllr Leek added: “It’s not very attractive.”' I agree we must protect NT visitors from seeing anything unattractive. Please will John Leek send me directions to The Vyne which not only avoid passing Solar Farm but also any other sight which might be offend my eyes.[/p][/quote]"He pointed out that the solar panels can be seen by visitors to The Vyne, who pass by the site as they turn into Morgaston Road, which is the main access road to the National Trust property." Unless they are coming from the other direction! What a total and utter idiot this councillor must be! jonone
  • Score: 0

11:05am Thu 17 Apr 14

mikep007 says...

What a narrow minded chap John Leek is.
Seeing the solar panels on the approach to the Vyne is an advantage not a disadvantage.
Visitors are wowed by current up-to-date technology supplying power and are then immediately transported to a different time in history where modern technology meant something completely different.

If the panels were atop the roof of the Vyne, I might have had some sympathy, but these panels and the progress they represent are to be welcomed as they symbolise a move away from 'dirty' coal and gas fired stations that pump out co2. I would much rather see these panels than plumes of smoke from the chimneys of power stations.

Perhaps he would have rather the field be used for housing. I wonder if similar solar schemes will be used to prevent over development of land around Basingstoke?

The biggest issue is that the lease is only for 35 years. Where will the energy be supplied from thereafter? That is where John Leek should be focusing his efforts.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I happen to think that solar panels harmlessly putting out electricity is a thing of beauty. Shame they didn't put a couple of wind turbines in alongside to work at night time.
What a narrow minded chap John Leek is. Seeing the solar panels on the approach to the Vyne is an advantage not a disadvantage. Visitors are wowed by current up-to-date technology supplying power and are then immediately transported to a different time in history where modern technology meant something completely different. If the panels were atop the roof of the Vyne, I might have had some sympathy, but these panels and the progress they represent are to be welcomed as they symbolise a move away from 'dirty' coal and gas fired stations that pump out co2. I would much rather see these panels than plumes of smoke from the chimneys of power stations. Perhaps he would have rather the field be used for housing. I wonder if similar solar schemes will be used to prevent over development of land around Basingstoke? The biggest issue is that the lease is only for 35 years. Where will the energy be supplied from thereafter? That is where John Leek should be focusing his efforts. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I happen to think that solar panels harmlessly putting out electricity is a thing of beauty. Shame they didn't put a couple of wind turbines in alongside to work at night time. mikep007
  • Score: 0

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