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Revised plans for solar farm will go on public show

Lovedean Solar Park

Published in the Portsmouth News on 6th June 2013

by Emma Judd
[email protected]

A NEW proposal to build a solar farm on land near Stubbington has been unveiled.

German renewable energy firm IB Vogts first proposed building on a 123-acre site at Newlands Farm, last year.

But due to local opposition over the scale of the site – it would have become Europe’s largest solar farm – the firm has reduced the proposed size to just over 69 acres.

IB Vogts’ Sue Sutcliffe said: ‘We had a consultation on the site and the point of that was to listen to what was said, and because of the feedback we have come back with this.

‘This is also now open to consultation before any planning application is made.’

The firm is inviting members of the public to see the revised plans on Tuesday at the Holy Rood Church Centre, Gosport Road, Stubbington, from 3.15pm until 8pm.

The revised plans would see the solar farm generating enough energy to power 5,500 homes, and a reduction in emissions of harmful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by more than 7,000 tonnes a year.

The company only plans to have the farm in place for 25 years, and then it would be returned to arable land, but residents have previously expressed concern that this development could pave the way for future building on the site.

Newlands Farm is in a dedicated green belt, known as a gap, which keeps Fareham town and Stubbington village from merging with each other.

The fear is that by allowing one development, a precedent would be created that could be exploited by house-building firms in the future.

Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council and executive member for economy, transport and environment for Hampshire County Council, said there were other hurdles to consider, too.

He said: ‘I’m considering a report on 11th June which is about the potential Stubbington bypass.

‘If land is required for that, there will be issued with the solar farm.

‘It also looks likely there will be a second runway built on the Solent Enterprise Zone, formerly HMS Daedalus, but if this development happens there will be no area for forced landings.

‘This all has to be balanced with the need for sustainable energy, and the importance of that.’

To find out more about the proposals, contact [email protected] or call 01223 872211.

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