Solar farm of 30k panels is put to public in exhibition

Director of Solafields Mark Candlish at the public exhibition in Felpham
Director of Solafields Mark Candlish at the public exhibition in Felpham

A 10MW solar farm is being proposed for a field near Oldlands Farm.

Mark Candlish, director of Solafields, wants to build an array of around 30,000 panels on agricultural land at Lidsey Farm.

At a public exhibition of the proposals on Monday evening at Felpham Memorial Village Hall, he said he thought the site was a good location as it should not impact significantly on views from nearby walking routes.

He said: “Another great strength in the site is we have the main power line for the area goes right on the site so we don’t need to dig up any roads.

“Up until a few years ago the way into accessing this site would be through Sack Lane, which is narrow with degrees of residential development and so on but now the relief road’s been built the site now has it’s own road, direct access onto the A259.”

The idea, still at the pre-application stage, would bring the total output from solar farms in the nearby area to 51MW, along with Bilsham, Barnham Court, Oving, Decoy Farm, Park Farm in Pagham and Merston Farm.

Mr Candlish said it was not too many solar farms, given Sussex was the sunniest part in England.

He said: “If you put a [renewable energy] design for this area, solar would be it.”

He said the actual area for development would likely be a little smaller than the field outlined due to shade and layout constraints.

Graham Matthews, who attended the exhibition, said it gave sufficient detail.

He said: “As a resident who has had a solar hot water system for 30 plus years and pays to send garden waste to composting, I believe that schemes to take advantage of wind or sun are to be encouraged.

“This scheme as presented appears to make good use of low grade land and will encourage small wildlife.”

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