Protesters say 'largest solar farm in England' would 'destroy' Hampshire countryside

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Sally Simmonds

Campaigners against a planned solar farm in north Hampshire, the size of 114 football pitches, say it would destroy valuable agricultural land.

Dozens of residents marched on Saturday, April 16, against the proposed site between Bramley and Silchester.

Mike Coppen-Gardner, local resident, said: "We completely support solar, but what we don't support is putting it in one place to the scale that they're talking about.

"As we walk around our beautiful countryside, why are we not putting panels on roofs, on housing developments and on industrial units, why are we not putting solar panels there?"

The council says the solar farm will power 17,000 homes. Credit: Bramley Solar Farm Residents Group

Leigh Harrison, local resident, said: "It's just massive, I mean 210 acres, it's just going to devastate the countryside.

"We've got landmarks here, heritage sites, public rights of way and it just will be so big, the solar panels themselves are enormous and the green screening that's being proposed to surround them just won't work."

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council says that any impact on the local landscape would be mitigated by new landscaping and that the farm addresses the reliance on fossil fuels.

The authority added that the solar panels would power 17,000 homes.

The council is expected to decide whether to approve the plans at a meeting on Wednesday, April 20.