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Plan for solar panels in field
9:00am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Andover
A FIELD in Andover could be turned into a solar farm if Test Valley Borough councillors give permission next week.
A 27-acre field at a 1,200-acre farm in Goodworth Clatford could be used to provide electricity for more than 2,000 homes if councillors agree to give the owners approval.
Somerset-based company British Renewables is behind the scheme and hopes to start work on the project imminently.
British Renewables’ managing director, Angus Macdonald, said: “We are very proud to be instigating this project. As farmers ourselves we believe in all the conservation objectives of the scheme and we see renewable energy as a way to contribute to the energy needs of the country.
“Lowering our reliance on fossil fuels is a vital endeavour.
British Renewables intends to be in its vanguard.”
A number of conditions have been laid down for this to happen but neighbours have written letters of objection voicing their disapproval of the plans.
Conditions Annie Synnott said she agreed with the need for sustainable energy but wondered whether it could be constructed on existing buildings.
“It would take up 30 acres of agricultural land at a time when we should be looking towards food security. They said sheep would graze there. They do anyway at certain times of the year. I believe there can be problems with sheep going onto solar panels,”
Another neighbour, Richard Green, objected on the grounds that “the applicant has failed to demonstrate that there is an overriding need for a development such as this to be located in the countryside”.
Several organisations were consulted about the plans and none of them had any problems with the proposals but all said conditions should be placed upon the application.
The highways department asked for cash from the developer for construction traffic for lorries to enter and leave the site via the A303/A343 and Fullerton Road only.
Planning officers have recommended that councillors give approval at next Thursday’s meeting at Weyhill Road, subject to a series of conditions.