PLANS to build a massive electricity converter station on green land have been shot down as the council that owns the space refuses to part with it.
Hampshire County Council said it will not sell the coastal site at Chilling in Fareham to the National Grid.
It had been identified as its preferred site for the new station – which would cover an area of land about the size of four football pitches and would be of a similar height to a six or seven-storey building.
Council leader Roy Perry said: ‘We recognise the UK’s low levels of spare capacity and the long-term concerns.
‘We are ready to assist in the search for a suitable site for the converter station.
‘However, the county council acquired its land at Chilling more than 60 years ago in order to protect and preserve a significant area of coastline from development.
‘The construction of any industrial building on a coastal greenfield site, especially a building as large as that proposed, would have a highly detrimental impact on what is a beautiful and unspoilt area of coastline.’
Other potential sites in the county include two brownfield sites at Fawley power station and the Daedalus Enterprize Zone in Gosport.
The council says it will help NGIL, the subsidiary of National Grid that offered to buy the land, help to find a more suitable brownfield site if it is asked.
The proposed converter station would enable a new electricity connection between the UK and France.
Chilling Farm is a working farm and is in a Special Protection Area.
The UK has four interconnectors linking France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Northern Ireland and these represent around five per cent of electricity generation capacity.