A PUBLIC consultation on the proposed construction of a solar farm in Overton was held at the village’s community centre.

Representatives from Luminous Energy and Belectric gave details and a presentation on the planned 17-acre site to locals.

The project, which could be situated at the Lordsfield plantation, has been met with criticism from some residents who believe the solar farm would cause considerable damage to the countryside and to Overton’s character.

It is predicted that the site would generate over 3,000 MWh per year, which could power nearly 1,000 homes while preventing nearly 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide gas.

A spokesman from Luminous Energy said: “We were delighted with the turnout for the consultation, which around 95 people attended.

“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 wildflower mixes in some areas, and also by installing beehives on the site.

“It was helpful to hear locals’ ideas about how the proposed community benefit fund for the project could be used, with most people suggesting it could be contributed towards the costs of operating the outdoor swimming pool at Overton Primary School.

“The main concern raised by residents was to do with the potential visual impact of the solar farm.

“Whilst the site is generally well screened by existing hedgerows and trees, we intend to plant new hedgerows around some of the margins of the solar farm.”

The two companies are expecting to submit a planning application towards the end of February.