Overton solar farm 'supported' by villagers

David Bryson, from Luminous Energy, chats to Alan Stevens right, at a public exhibition of plans for a solar farm in Overon

David Bryson, from Luminous Energy, chats to Alan Stevens right, at a public exhibition of plans for a solar farm in Overon

First published in News

PLANS to build a solar farm in Overton have been largely supported by villagers.

A public consultation was held by Luminous Energy and Belectric, the two companies behind the proposals, at Overton Community Centre.

The companies want to build a 6.2-hectare 3.34 megawatt-peak solar farm at land adjoining Lordsfield Plantation, to generate approximately 3,284MWh per year – enough renewable electricity for 995 homes.

A group of villagers opposed to the plans gave their views at the consultation in a separate room.

But Jolyon Orchard, director of Luminous Energy, said the “vast majority” of those who attended the consultation, supported the project.

He said around 95 people attended, and of the 46 feedback forms completely, only six were opposed to the solar farm.

He added: “The consultation was a useful exercise in terms of meeting members of the community and answering their questions.

“People acknowledged that solar farms are a relatively unobtrusive way of generating renewable energy and were happy to learn about the biodiversity benefits the project will also bring, such as the introduction of species rich native grasses and wildlife mixes in some areas, and also by installing beehives on the site.”

Mr Orchard said the main concern raised by residents was the visual impact of the solar farm.

He added: “We intend to plant new hedgerows around some of the margins of the solar farm and also bulk up gaps in existing hedgerows.”

The companies intend to submit a planning application to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council this month.

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