Horndean has recently seen the addition of a Solar Farm to the West of Lovedean (Behind the Bird in Hand) and proposals are emerging for a second site just to the south of Hazleton Farm on the marshy land where the ‘Horndean Race Track’ is currently based. This fits in around the perimeter of the proposed ‘Land East Of Horndean’ development. The screening application advises it will be 60,000 panels on 50 Hectares supplying 23Mw of power at peak times, enough for 5,000 homes (about the size of Horndean as it is now).
I have to say I am not thrilled about it as it is very large, and it will build on open space and wildlife habitat. The only redeeming factors are that the land is not visible from anywhere, the panels will not reflect into the proposed development, and the land has minimal use as farmland. The energy companies plans will no doubt explain how they will ensure the ecology is not harmed, but perhaps improved as a result. On balance it will provide clean energy for a large number of local homes which is very important.
The company has submitted an EIA Screening application (which is to determine the amount of environmental assessment work that is required to submit a full application) and no doubt a formal application will follow.
Sadly, the community gets very little in the way of Section 106 funds (developers contributions) from these schemes.
Here is a link to the EIA Screening application
And here is a map showing the location of the proposals.