Land will be rented out by Fareham council to National Grid to create power centre

What the interconnector IFA2 site at Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent would look like
What the interconnector IFA2 site at Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent would look like

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LAND owned by a council will be leased to the National Grid so that it can build an energy interconnector station.

And it is hoped that the money generated from the plan will help to develop aviation at Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Last night Fareham Borough Council agreed to allow 10 acres of land at former Royal Navy airfield to be rented out for 125 years.

Council leader Sean Woodward said the project, which is expected to cost £500m and would create the second electricity link from France to the UK, was important both nationally and locally.

He said: ‘Without a doubt, if this project goes ahead it will enable this council to realise its vision and to make sure in the long term that there is aviation at Daedalus.’

He also said that money paid to the council would be put back into regenerating the Daedalus site – such as revamping the runway and creating a cafe – which he hoped would eventually be known as Solent Airport.

The interconnector project will enable electricity to be imported from Europe, via 120 miles of undersea cables, meaning the price of energy in the UK could drop.

It would also allow energy to be exported should the need arise.

Electricity would be converted at the northern end of the Daedalus site, in Stubbington, in a 20m-tall building and then transported to the existing network at Chilling, in Warsash, again by undersea cables and a short distance underground.

Councillor Keith Evans, on last night’s executive committee, said: ‘This is a national infrastructure project and Fareham is a far more preferable location than using land at Chilling.

‘It is a very reasonable use of the land and it will help us financially to achieve our vision at Daedalus.’

Two other councillors – Chris Wood and Tim Knight – spoke at the meeting and urged the council to take into consideration the size of the building and the impact it will have on residents and on people using the runway.

Cllr Woodward said that agreeing in principle to lease the land would not influence further public consultations.

The first of these was due to take place today at Lockswood Community Centre, Locks Heath, from 1.30pm until 5.30pm.

There will be also be a consultation event tomorrow at St Faith’s Parish Centre, Lee-on-the-Solent, 4pm until 8pm, and on Thursday at Stubbington Baptist Church, from 3pm until 7pm.

Residents will be able to have their say on the plans at a Community Action Team meeting at Stubbington Baptist Church, in Cuckoo Lane, on Thursday at 7pm. To book a place email cats@fareham.gov.uk or call 01329 236 100.

Further consultations will be held on Friday, from 4pm until 8pm, at Warsash Victory Hall, on Saturday from 10am until 4pm at Crofton Community Centre, and on Sunday at Peel Common Junior School, from 11am until 3pm.

A further consultation will be held early next year to inform a planning application, which is intended to be submitted in spring 2016.

Once agreed, the National Grid would aim to begin construction in 2018, with the aim of it being completed and online in 2020.