German company Kronos Solar have put forward plans for a solar farm on fields located near Folly Hill Farm in Itchen Stoke.
A different company working in the same area proposed something similar in early 2012 but withdrew their plans before a planning application was lodged.
The current scheme - for the development of a Solar Photovoltaic Farm to give it its proper name - is in the early stages of public consultation. An open event with representatives of Kronos Solar was held in Itchen Abbas on Monday 6th May 2013 but no formal plans have yet been filed with Winchester City Council. Download the flyer for this event.
Local MP Steve Brine attended the event to meet Kronos team members and chat with residents and representatives of Itchen Stoke & Ovington Parish Council who were attending.
Steve says; "It was probably no surprise when revised plans for a solar farm in this area emerged and we should hear them out in my view. That said, the event on 6th May shed very little light on these specific plans because there was very little by way of formal plans to view. It was more general information about climate change and solar energy generation.
"Personally, I like the idea of clean, renewable energy - who would not - but ultimately, we as residents have to decide whether we wish to accept this development in our community, and if so, what can we look forward to by way of community benefits if Kronos come forward with firm plans and get permission."
The proposed site in Itchen Stoke sits (just) outside the South Downs National Park area but Steve Brine has already made clear to Kronos Solar he would expect the company to consult closely with SDNP on any future application because there is an obvious visual impact from any solar farm on this site.
This page will keep residents updated on these proposals and provide information as and when it is obtained from Kronos Solar. In the meantime you can download the 'Key Facts about Folly Hill' document provided to Steve following the event in May.
Do you have a view?
Email Steve Brine today - email@example.com to let him know and we will keep you updated on the subject.
Pictured (top); a solar farm in situ and (below) the proposed area in Itchen Stoke, nr Alresford.
National Policy Perspective
Download 'UK Solar PV Strategy Part 1: Roadmap to a Brighter Future' (opens as a PDF)
Download 'UK Solar PV Strategy: Part 2' (published 4 April 2014)
The Minister at DECC has made it clear he does not want to an uncontrolled expansion of solar on the countryside; "the main focus for future growth must be onsite generation. Ideally that should mean rooftop deployment on industrial, commercial and retail rooftops - even car parks and other brownfield sites, as well as domestic roofs". In April 2014 he wrote to every planning authority, making clear the Government's concerns about large, innapropriately sited green field solar farms. Read the letter here.
More information ...
Kronos Solar - company website
Key Facts document from Kronos Solar based on 6 May open meeting - download here as a PDF
Winchester City Councillor for the Itchen Valley Ward , Cllr Kim Gottlieb - firstname.lastname@example.org
Itchen Stoke & Ovington Parish Council - PC website (coming soon)
Report from Hampshire Chronicle newspaper (May 2013) - view article
Do you have a local issue you would like to campaign on alongside Steve Brine? Get in touch today - see here.