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Solar farm planned for Winchfield
A SOLAR farm is planned for a field near Winchfield which was once considered as a venue for a motocross complex.
Fleet-based firm Britsolar is looking to build the 33,000 solar panel farm on 18 hectares of land in Totters Lane, mainly situated between the Basing-stoke to London Waterloo railway line and the M3 motorway.
In 2009 and 2010, members of the planning committee at Hart District Council refused a plan by Michael McLeod, a taxi driver from Fleet, to build two dirt tracks on the site for young motocross riders – a plan opposed by Winchfield Parish council.
A meeting of the parish council heard that Britsolar will submit the latest plan for the site to the district council in the next few weeks. Parish councillors have not yet discussed the scheme.
Councillor Andrew Renshaw, chairman of Winchfield Parish Council, told The Gazette: “My own view is that this is a suitable site, not least because it would put an end to all the previous applications we have had there.
“I am not a fan of solar farms but I believe that if you have got to have them, they should be in the right place on poor agricultural land, certainly without using good agricultural land.”
Cllr Renshaw said earth on the site was previously used to build the A287 Odiham Bypass, before the site was used as a landfill site.
Rob Titherley, electrical engineer at Britsolar, told The Gazette the solar farm project would cost £10million and would be able to power around 2,500 homes.
He added: “Being between the motorway and the railway, it is isolated and its topology renders it relatively invisible to most residents within five kilometres.
“In social terms, it is an ideal location for 33,000 solar panels to sit quietly and generate what in environmental terms will be cheap electricity to the benefit of the community for the next 30 years.”
The application would not be the first to involve a solar farm in Winchfield. TGC Renewables wants to build one on a site between Winchfield and Hartley Wintney.
The district council is also looking at a plan by Aspire Planning to convert a private airfield into a solar farm in Holt Lane, near the Hook/Winchfield parish boundary.
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