Plans for big solar farm give us a look at the future

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It’s fair to say that solar farms might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

But they’re getting more and more familiar to anyone driving on motorways up and down the country as landowners make the decision to sell or rent out unprofitable or unusable land to the power companies.

They cover them with thousands of solar panels and, in the end, we all benefit with greener, cleaner energy.

Often these are in places where views are not spoiled and interference with people living nearby is kept to a minimum.

And so it seems to be with the 200-acre site planned for the Southwick Estate, between Denmead and Fareham.

Yes, it would be (at the moment) one of the biggest sites of its kind in the UK.

But it would only hold that unfortunate title for a short while.

And in many ways it would be something to boast about.

Evidence from a consultation was largely positive, which makes a change, and just goes to show the firm behind the plan has pitched it just about right.

And it would be a positive step away from coal-fired power stations towards the holy grail of green energy that this corner of Hampshire was at the heart of.

Yes, it’s not perfect and, yes, it has its critics.

One resident quoted in the story on page four questions why it has to be so big – a valid question, of course.

For sure, the panels’ appearance is not to everyone’s taste but the end results are hard to argue with.

So whether Winchester City Council approves the scheme or not when it makes a decision later this month, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s a sign of things to come, so we may as well all get used to it – sooner rather than later.