Energy firm boss will discuss solar farm plan

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THE man behind what will be the biggest solar farm in the UK will discuss the project.

Giles Redpath is the chief executive of Hive Energy, which has just been given planning permission to turn 200 acres of agricultural land at the historic Southwick Estate into a solar farm.

It was farmed by the Cutler family for three generations.

They are believed to be being compensated for the loss of the land.

The thousands of panels will generate enough electricity – 40 mw – to power 12,000 homes across the area. It is expected that the installation will save 17,000 tons of carbon annually. Winchester Council granted full planning permission in December last year despite objections from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, who objected to the loss of farmland and the scale of the site.

Work is expected to start off Belney Lane within the next few months.

The current largest solar farm in the UK is at Wymeswold Airfield in Leicestershire, at 150 acres.

Mr Redpath was invited to give a talk by Hampshire Friends of the Earth. It will take place at The Crown Hotel, Emworth, at 6.30pm on January 29.