The newly-elected leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, has told Portsmouth News that ib vogt’s planned 47MW solar park is ‘Britain’s future’ during a recent site visit.
The proposed solar park would be the second largest solar park in Europe and the UK’s largest by some measure.
Talking about the plans Bennett said: “This solar farm will put Fareham at the forefront of the green energy revolution that is needed to curb climate change and secure this country’s energy supply.”
In the video embedded above, Bennett speaks about the role that large-scale solar can play in the UK’s energy mix. The leader of the Green Party believes that solar farm developments are ‘low-impact’, especially when compared to fracking for shale gas.
Bennett explained: “We are talking about having wild flowers growing, sheep grazing and the rights of way maintained, not a large-scale housing development.
‘The fact is that we do need more energy and we need to do a lot of work on energy conservation. Even if we do all we can, we still need low and zero carbon energy sources.’
‘The alternative to this is fracking – an extreme form of energy harvesting – basically blowing up the ground under your feet. Faced with destroying the earth or planting wild flowers and allowing sheep to graze, I think the choice is pretty obvious.’
However, the proposals have been greeted with a mixed reception from locals. Local councilor, Sean Woodward, told Portsmouth News: “This is a shocking proposal that I am sure will be of great interest and concern to residents of Stubbington and south Fareham.
“It would represent the loss of a significant area of countryside which forms a strategic gap between South Fareham and Stubbington. There are many issues that the council as the local planning authority will need to take into account if a planning application is submitted next month including, but not limited to, the environmental impact – positive in terms of power generation and negative in terms of the presence of thousands of solar panels, public views across the site and agricultural land that would be lost from cultivation to name just a few.”