Shining a light on solar plan

Andover Advertiser: The location of the proposed Grove Solar Park on Broadlands Estate land near Lee The location of the proposed Grove Solar Park on Broadlands Estate land near Lee

MORE details have been released about plans to build a solar farm on the outskirts of Lee, near Romsey.

Solarcentury’s scheme will cover 105 acres of farmland on the Broadlands Estate, stretching from Lee Lane in the west, to the A3057 in the east and the solar farm provider says the project will generate enough electricity to power around 4,400 homes annually.

Project manager of the Grove Solar Park proposals, Tom Illsley, said: “The site has been carefully chosen for its potential to deliver high levels of solar-powered electricity to the local grid and it is expected to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4,400 homes via an array of solar panels mounted on the ground.”

The company said it would not be disclosing how many solar panels were involved until a planning application was submitted to Test Valley Borough Council.

Solarcentury say the panels will be laid out east to west, in rows across the fields and will face south.

Each row of panels will have 4m-6m between them to prevent overshadowing and native wildflowers will be planted in between.

Mr Illsley said: “The aim is to create diverse and attractive habitats at the site that are a haven for a wide range of fauna and flora. As a responsible developer, Solarcentury is committed to improving the biodiversity at all the solar farms it develops.”

A public exhibition on the plans will be held at Woodley Village Hall on Friday, June 27, from 2.30pm to 7pm.

Residents, councillors and community groups have been invited to the information day.

Solarcentury staff will be available to answer questions.

“Talking to residents and councillors is a key part of the planning process for our projects and our approach to being a responsible developer. If people cannot make the event, they can still comment via our website, or by writing to us,” added Mr Illsley.

Test Valley planners are already looking at two other solar farm applications. These are Kronos Solar Projects 225,456-panel scheme at Evelyn Farm, in Houghton, which will be one of Britain’s biggest solar farms if approved, and another at Michelmersh, where Solar Planning wants to put about 67,000 panels on farmland on the northern outskirts of the village.

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