PLANS have been submitted to build a solar park in Basingstoke that could generate enough energy to power 7,000 family homes proposed for North Hampshire.

British Solar Renewables (BSR Energy) has submitted plans to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to build the solar park on land at Preston Farm on Church Lane in Preston Candover.

The plans submitted to the council propose an erection of a 28 MW Solar PV Array, comprising ground mounted solar PV panels, vehicular access from Preston Farm with internal access tracks, landscaping and associated infrastructure including security fencing, CCTV cameras, and grid connection infrastructure including transformers, substation compound buildings and cabling route to the point of connection.

Colin Ramsay, head of development at BSR Energy, said: “Our application follows Basingstoke and Deane [Borough] Council’s declaration of a climate emergency, and the emergence of national climate change targets that are enshrined in law.

“The pursuit of a reduction of carbon emissions is shared by both BSR and Basingstoke and [Deane Borough] Council. The local community’s opinions are critical for us in understanding how we can reduce the impact of our application. We have, as a result, interacted and listened closely to the feedback from the local community and have made amendments to our proposals in accordance with this feedback.”

They estimated that the station would have an export capacity of up to 28MW for distribution to the National Grid, the equivalent to the annual electrical needs of approximately 7,000 family homes.

The news comes after Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council declared a climate emergency in 2019.

At a council meeting held on July 18, 2019 councillors unanimously called for a climate emergency to be declared, recognising the urgent need to take action to tackle the issue. As a result, later that year a cabinet meeting was held on September 10 where a climate emergency was declared.

The UK Government has also set an ambitious target of reducing emissions by 78 per cent by 2035. Renewable electricity generation, including solar, is likely to play a key role in meeting this target.

BSR said that the proposed solar park at Preston Farm offers the opportunity for ecological enhancements including wildflower and wild bird seed grasslands. A range of breeding boxes for bats and birds are also being considered as part of the application.

Residents were invited to a public consultation event that was held in July 2021, where BSR Energy’s project team presented plans and took questions regarding the draft proposal.

In response to several issues raised during the public consultation process, recent amendments to the scheme design have included the removal and setting back of parts of the solar array in consideration of local viewpoints.

New hedgerow planting is also proposed to contain and screen the solar arrays and no public rights of way will be closed during or after construction.

To learn more about the proposal, visit: