Plans for a 10MW solar farm on a former landfill site in Hampshire have been approved by Winchester Council.   

The 26-hectare brownfield site at Tichfield Lane in Funtley will see solar panels installed alongside a gas management system, both of which will feed electricity into the national grid.

The gas management system will control the levels of landfill gas at the former site as well as generate electricity. It is estimated that the gas system could generate enough electricity to power 1,500 local homes. Combined with the solar farm, the development will generate enough electricity to power up to 5,000 properties.

Commenting on the plans, Alban Cassidy, chartered town planner and environmental consultant at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “This project will make positive use of a former landfill site and will deliver a valuable source of energy not only for the local area, but for the whole country.

“There are many similar projects across the UK, particularly here in the South of England. As the proposals state, the panels will sit on the land rather than require deep foundations, so there will be minimal disruption to the local community and no disturbance of the landfill site during the installation period which will only take a matter of weeks.

“In many ways this was not a straight forward project to work on, and we were presented with complex challenges that really tested our knowledge and expertise. In particular, the scheme was required to be implemented without disturbing the landfill site or releasing contamination, which we were able to successfully demonstrate.”

The site is expected to be energised later this year.

The government recently issued new planning guidance that called for solar farms to be developed Research undertaken by Kronos Solar and seen by Solar Power Portal, recently claimed that there were fewer than 30 suitable brownfield sites for solar installations