A PLOT of land on the Herriard Estate, to the south of Basingstoke, could be transformed into a farm of the future if a scheme is backed by borough planners.

London-based Alectron Investments is seeking to turn the 20-acre site, off Bushywarren Lane, into a solar farm that will generate renewable energy for the regional grid. Each year, it would create enough power for 1,000 to 1,200 homes.

The company plans to place solar photovoltaic panels, which are 3.5metres tall at their highest point, in multiple rows roughly 10metres apart to harness the sun’s rays and convert them into energy.

This week, the company lodged a planning application with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which will decide on the scheme in the coming months.

The land would be leased to Alectron Investments by the Herriard Estate – and bosses have said they would be delighted to add an eco-friendly business to the area.

Peter Walker, director of Alectron Investments, told The Gazette: “First of all, it is a diversification for the landowner. This would provide security and income for the next 25 years which will continue to support the estate.

“The solar panels will be low level and passive. They create no noise and are unobtrusive.”

Alectron Investments held a pre-application exhibition last month in Ellisfield’s Memorial Hall to present its plans to residents.

Mr Walker added: “I think we had very positive feedback from the public meeting. It is a vital part of our consultation to ascertain what people local to the scheme think about it.”

A consultation document presented to residents said the Herriard land is ideal for this type of venture due to its flat, open surroundings and low-visual impact.

Last month, Alectron Investments sought advice from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council as to whether the full application, when submitted, would require an Environmental Impact Assessment. The company was informed this would not be the case.

If the solar farm ever ceases to be used, all the equipment will be removed and the land will be returned to its current form.