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Support for bid to create solar farm between Rowlands Castle and Horndean

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RESIDENTS have welcomed plans to create a solar farm in acres of countryside.

They believe the bid to set up 60,000 panels in fields between Rowlands Castle and Horndean won’t be intrusive or have an impact on wildlife.

And they say it’s far better than a proposal to start fracking or building more homes on green land.

Two exhibitions were held for people who wanted to have their say by applicants Resource Parks Limited at the weekend.

The company, which aims to pour £20m into the project, has already pledged that the panels would not be a blot on the landscape.

Robert Winnicott, 75, attended an exhibition at the Church on the Green, in Rowlands Castle, with his wife Jackie, 79.

Mr Winnicott said: ‘The plans look positive. It’s important we make use of our natural resources. It’s certainly not a blot on the landscape.’

Mrs Winnicott said: ‘If this was housing or fracking then people would be worried about it.’

Pam Winn, 73, said she backed the plans so long as wildlife is protected.

‘I don’t think this farm will be harmful because the panels will be raised above the ground,’ she said.

‘It’s not too intrusive either.’

The farm would be set in 123 acres of land north of Blendworth Common.

Keith Riley, RPL director, said an extensive survey had been carried out to determine the level of wildlife there.

‘The wildlife survey is probably the most intensive thing we have done,’ he said.

‘We have had an ecologist make assessments since the winter.

‘They have been looking at birds, reptiles and a rare bat species but they mostly live in the trees.’

A planning application is due to be submitted to East Hampshire District Council soon.

Mr Riley said people wouldn’t see the development from the Waterlooville side and the council has therefore advised the company that it doesn’t need to consult with residents there.

The Highways Agency has warned there is a small risk of the motorway picking up reflections. If approved, work would take between three to four months.

 

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