Survey shows ‘public support’ for solar farm

An aerial view of the Solent airfield. Picture by Shaun Roster

IFA2 project takes another step as planning approved

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A PROPOSED solar farm has received ‘overwhelming support’ from residents, according to a survey carried out by the firm behind it.

IB Vogts, the energy company behind the plans, held an exhibition at Neville Lovett School last week to educate the public and ask their thoughts on the plan.

The survey was completed by 34 people and revealed that 80 per cent of respondents supported the proposed 123-acre farm, which would be on farmland between HMS Collingwood, Peel Common sewage works and Newlands Farm, off Peak Lane.

Mark Best, assistant planning consultant for IB Vogts, said: ‘We wanted to seek the community’s views as we thought it was important for them to have a say. There was a lot of support from people who live next to it – one even asked if we could extend the site to prevent any further housing development.’

People were asked what they believed would be the main benefit of the proposed solar farm.

The survey showed 51 per cent felt it would produce a clean and safe energy supply and 29 per cent felt that it would put Fareham on the map in terms of green energy. IB Vogts was also seeking the public’s view on what to do with a five-acre section of land that has been set aside for community use.

Ideas included football pitches, an orchard or allotments.

Mr Best said: ‘We thought that allotments were a great idea because of the long waiting list in the area.’

The developers said there had been public support for rights of way across the land.

Mr Best said: ‘We have included them in the plans and have made them wider so that people on horseback, cyclists and walkers can use them at the same time.’

The solar farm has attracted criticism from UKIP and Fareham Borough Council leader, Sean Woodward, who fear for Fareham’s strategic gap and for the safety of planes using Daedalus.