TWO controversial solar farms planned for the Hampshire countryside will go ahead - despite Government subsidy cuts.

Permission was granted for a site at Warren Farm in North Baddesley after the scheme was approved by Test Valley councillors this week.

A final decision is still to be made on a solar farm at Eveley Farm in Houghton - which if it gets the green light will be one of the biggest in the UK with 185,472 panels on land owned by Test Valley councillor Danny Busk.

Borough councillors approved the scheme in April, but in a shock-move, the then, communities and local government minister, Eric Pickles called it in within hours of the scheme getting the go-ahead. The decision is now with his replacement Greg Clark and an announcement is expected at any time.

Both will still go ahead despite the governemnts announcement on subsidy cuts this week as only plans submitted after March next year year will be afected by the proposed changes.

Department of Energy and Climate Change minister Amber Rudd confirmed that many subsidy schemes will be axed from April 2016.

Romsey Advertiser: Village solar farm installed and powering more than 1,000 homes

Bosses at the Solar Trade Association say the Government's announcement is a blow to the industry and it will hit both large and small-scale renewable energy schemes.

Large commercial solar roof schemes will too following the Department of Energy and Climate Change's review on support for renewable energy. Homeowners with solar panels on their roofs with not be affected by the changes.

The latest move comes a year after solar farms of more than 5MW in size – about 25 acres – were excluded from receiving Government funding support.

Hitting out at the Government's latest cut the Solar Trade Association’s head of external affairs Leonie Greene said: “This is damaging for big solar rooftops as well as solar farms, both very cost-effective ways of generating solar power.

"This contrasts with repeated commitments from Government to boost the commercial solar rooftop market.”

“The possible removal going forwards of the guarantee on a set level of support throughout a project’s lifetime once built is a real blow to investor confidence.”

“There is no pledge in the Conservative manifesto about cutting support for solar, so we are disappointed by this move. Solar is the nation’s most popular form of energy, as the government’s own opinion polls have shown."

Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes said Britain cannot rely on countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia for its energy needs.

"I would prefer to see a culture within the energy sector where small-scale solar power generation is seen as cost-effective without the need for Government subsidies," said Ms Nokes.

But Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes believes the Government should be doing more to help tackle climate change and green energy is the right path to take.

Ms Nokes said: “I have always believed in the need for a suite of renewable alternatives to the current, carbon-heavy, coal and gas plants powering the country. The subsidy regime however, has been very expensive and we have seen little in the way of benefits to our carbon reduction targets - for me this is a serious problem.”

The Conservative MP added: “ Last year I voted in favour of an amendment by Tim Yeo which would have effectively banned electricity generators from using coal and gas-fired power stations by 2030, unless they put in place carbon capture technology.

"We simply cannot continue to rely on countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia for our energy needs.

"I would prefer to see a culture within the energy sector where small-scale solar power generation is seen as cost-effective without the need for Government subsidies.

"Homes, schools and hospitals can be built with their own power generation capabilities with no cost to the taxpayer. Companies such as micro-breweries are already using anaerobic digestion to power their businesses, using their own waste.”

Currently there are a number of companies waiting for the green light to build solar farms in the Test Valley. This includes sites at Ampfield, Houghton and the Broadlands Estate near Romsey.

Bosses at the Solar Trade Association say the Government’s announcement that subsidies are being cut from April 2016 is a blow to the industry and it will hit both large and small-scale renewable energy schemes.

And it is not only solar farms that will feel the funding pinch - large commercial solar roof schemes are also set to be hit by the reductions in cash available from the Government in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s review on support for renewable energy.

The move comes a year after solar farms of more than 5MW in size – about 25 acres – were excluded from receiving Government funding support.

Hitting out at the Government’s latest cut the Solar Trade Association’s head of external affairs Leonie Greene said: “This is damaging for big solar rooftops as well as solar farms, both very cost-effective ways of generating solar power.

"This contrasts with repeated commitments from Government to boost the commercial solar rooftop market.

“The possible removal going forwards of the guarantee on a set level of support throughout a project’s lifetime once built is a real blow to investor confidence.

“There is no pledge in the Conservative manifesto about cutting support for solar, so we are disappointed by this move.

"Solar is the nation’s most popular form of energy, as the government’s own opinion polls have shown.

“We recognise that Government wants to shift the emphasis to larger solar rooftops, but we have explained to the Department that these are just five per cent of the UK market.

"More work is needed urgently to unlock larger solar roofs.

"There is a danger if Government pulls the rug on solar farms too early, the market will have nowhere to go.”

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd also came under fire from Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England.

He said: “Amber Rudd’s incoherence in blindly supporting nuclear subsidies whilst cutting renewable funding is breathtaking.

"Nuclear has an expensive history the government seems incapable of learning lessons from, while renewables offer sustainable cleaner energy with thousands of jobs.

In the face of our commitments to reduce carbon emissions and the forthcoming UN climate talks in Paris, these cuts are environmental vandalism of the first order.”