Residents urged to have their say on controversial solar farm plans

Daily Echo: The site for the proposed solar farm near Romsey. The site for the proposed solar farm near Romsey.

RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on proposals for a controversial solar farm after the plans were put on display for the first time.

Energy company Solarcentury wants to create the facility on the outskirts of Lee, near Romsey, covering 86 acres of farmland on the Broadlands Estate.

The company says that the 57,000 panels could power more than 4,400 homes.

Plans for the Grove Solar Farm went on display at Woodley Village Hall.

Among the 20 residents who had a look at the plans was Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes.

She said: “I think it is really important that we look at alternative sources of energy and solar is part of that. It is an interesting proposal and it is quite large.

“It is of critical importance that if schemes like this are to get planning permission they have to be in the right location and unobtrusive, and it is really important that they look at how it impacts the landscape.”

Victor Hemmings, 65, of School Road, Romsey, said: “I think on the whole it is a good idea. We should be looking at other methods of electricity.

"It is better than having it on people’s houses. It is outside of Romsey and so I do not think it is going to affect the town.”

The Broadlands Estate is owned by Lord and Lady Brabourne. It is the former home of Lord Mountbatten, covers more than 4,000 acres and is said to date back to the 10th century.

Broadlands Estate previously upset residents after announcing plans for a Tesco store on the grounds.

The planned solar farm would be among the biggest in Hampshire.

The largest one in the county may be built at Eveley Farm in Houghton, near Stockbridge, and would cover 200 acres, providing power to more than 31,000 homes.

Solarcentury has not yet submitted a planning application, but this is set to follow after a public consultation.

A company spokesman said: “The feedback received will be evaluated by the project team ahead of any planning submission.

“We were pleased with how the event went. It was nice to meet local people and hear the supportive and constructive comments about the scheme.”

Those who could not make the event still have time to comment on solarcentury.com/uk/solar-parks /grove-solar-park.

Comments (6)

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6:20pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Richard 51 says...

Yeah go for it just build it
Yeah go for it just build it Richard 51
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Thu 3 Jul 14

KSO16R says...

After reading a comment on the wind farm article nuclear energy sounds pretty good
After reading a comment on the wind farm article nuclear energy sounds pretty good KSO16R
  • Score: 0

9:23pm Thu 3 Jul 14

befriendly says...

Would they still want to build it if there was no subsidy paid for it through our bills and what are the people in those four thousand houses going to do when it's dark.
Would they still want to build it if there was no subsidy paid for it through our bills and what are the people in those four thousand houses going to do when it's dark. befriendly
  • Score: -3

8:50am Fri 4 Jul 14

WotMeWorry says...

befriendly wrote:
Would they still want to build it if there was no subsidy paid for it through our bills and what are the people in those four thousand houses going to do when it's dark.
You are joking, right? You have heard of storage devices such as batteries?
[quote][p][bold]befriendly[/bold] wrote: Would they still want to build it if there was no subsidy paid for it through our bills and what are the people in those four thousand houses going to do when it's dark.[/p][/quote]You are joking, right? You have heard of storage devices such as batteries? WotMeWorry
  • Score: 0

11:31am Fri 4 Jul 14

Torchie1 says...

WotMeWorry wrote:
befriendly wrote:
Would they still want to build it if there was no subsidy paid for it through our bills and what are the people in those four thousand houses going to do when it's dark.
You are joking, right? You have heard of storage devices such as batteries?
The only available storage batteries with the capacity to store sensible amounts of solar energy are very expensive and quite big, but the ongoing research will produce something which will one day free the householder from the energy companies. Cost will make it unavailable to some people but in the meantime anyone who bought panels in the early days is laughing all the way to the bank with the over-generous tariffs that were available at the time.
[quote][p][bold]WotMeWorry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]befriendly[/bold] wrote: Would they still want to build it if there was no subsidy paid for it through our bills and what are the people in those four thousand houses going to do when it's dark.[/p][/quote]You are joking, right? You have heard of storage devices such as batteries?[/p][/quote]The only available storage batteries with the capacity to store sensible amounts of solar energy are very expensive and quite big, but the ongoing research will produce something which will one day free the householder from the energy companies. Cost will make it unavailable to some people but in the meantime anyone who bought panels in the early days is laughing all the way to the bank with the over-generous tariffs that were available at the time. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Fri 4 Jul 14

WotMeWorry says...

Torchie1 wrote:
WotMeWorry wrote:
befriendly wrote: Would they still want to build it if there was no subsidy paid for it through our bills and what are the people in those four thousand houses going to do when it's dark.
You are joking, right? You have heard of storage devices such as batteries?
The only available storage batteries with the capacity to store sensible amounts of solar energy are very expensive and quite big, but the ongoing research will produce something which will one day free the householder from the energy companies. Cost will make it unavailable to some people but in the meantime anyone who bought panels in the early days is laughing all the way to the bank with the over-generous tariffs that were available at the time.
Thanks, I guess I was being slightly flippant as I am not particularly technical. Just a question, when you talk about large capacity batteries, do you mean in order to store the ouput from the whole solar farm? Would you still need a signifcantly sized one if the energy was transferred to the houses and stored there? In the meantime I'm sure research will come up with something in the next couple of years; if we continue to move towards alternative energy sources (which we must do) it will have to.
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WotMeWorry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]befriendly[/bold] wrote: Would they still want to build it if there was no subsidy paid for it through our bills and what are the people in those four thousand houses going to do when it's dark.[/p][/quote]You are joking, right? You have heard of storage devices such as batteries?[/p][/quote]The only available storage batteries with the capacity to store sensible amounts of solar energy are very expensive and quite big, but the ongoing research will produce something which will one day free the householder from the energy companies. Cost will make it unavailable to some people but in the meantime anyone who bought panels in the early days is laughing all the way to the bank with the over-generous tariffs that were available at the time.[/p][/quote]Thanks, I guess I was being slightly flippant as I am not particularly technical. Just a question, when you talk about large capacity batteries, do you mean in order to store the ouput from the whole solar farm? Would you still need a signifcantly sized one if the energy was transferred to the houses and stored there? In the meantime I'm sure research will come up with something in the next couple of years; if we continue to move towards alternative energy sources (which we must do) it will have to. WotMeWorry
  • Score: 0
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