A PUBLIC consultation has been launched to engage residents in plans for a new solar park on land at Cowdown Farm, near Andover.

If developed, the solar park would have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 9,180 average UK households and save up to 16,850 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

A drop-in public exhibition will be held at the sports pavilion in Upper Clatford on Thursday, 19 September, from 3pm-8pm.

Sophie Buttress, of AGRenewables, said: “We would like to invite the local community to come and view our initial proposals for the solar park and ask us questions.

“It’s also a really good opportunity for us to gather feedback and find out how we might be able to improve the plans. We’re keen to get comments from residents and feed these into our proposals where we can before they are finalised.”

Dual use The solar park would see a dual use of the land, with agricultural use continuing while energy is being generated.

Sheep would graze around and beneath the solar panels and the site would be managed as a nectar-rich grassland meadow, attracting birds and insects. The solar park site is the lowest yielding area of land on the farm.

The site, to the south-east of Andover, is within Cowdown Farm, with the A303 to the north and Cowdown Lane to the east and south.

Along with initial plans and details about the solar park, the exhibition will display photos, showing what the solar park would look like after one year and five years.

The solar park would be a temporary development and would be decommissioned after 25 years.

A website has been launched at cowdownsolar.co.uk, where feedback can be submitted.

Comments and questions can be sent to the project team via info@cowdownsolar.co.uk or FREEPOST AGR.