AN ELECTRICITY substation that Test Valley residents fear will "severely impact a heritage site" could be given the green light by planning chiefs.

An application was submitted to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) to create a new electricity substation at Woodington Solar Farm in East Wellow.

If approved, a substation, ground mounted solar panels, and security equipment including fencing and CCTV would be installed on land that is currently used for agricultural purposes.

The site would span just over 16 acres and would be accessed by Woodington Road if given the nod by TVBC's Southern Area Planning Committee on Tuesday, April 27.

However, hundreds of residents have already objected to the plans, tabled by Woodington Solar Limited, with some people believing the countryside will become industrialised, there will be more noise and radiation.

Roger and Kasumi Price, who live in Tanners Lane, East Wellow, claim the plans have angered some residents who are determined to protect the land surrounding Florence Nightingale's grave at St Margaret's Church, Hackleys Lane.

The couple wrote: "The proposed development will severely impact the heritage site of St Margaret's Church.

"This emotional connection with this site is why the application has generated such an unprecedented number of objections from Wellow residents, who are determined to protect their heritage and rural surroundings.

"Once constructed, the rural idyll that surrounds Florence Nightingale's resting place will be gone forever."

Karen Stride, who lives in Dandys Ford Lane, Sherfield English, vented her frustration at the plans and said she is "appalled" the land she "worked so hard to protect" could be impacted by the development.

She said: "I am the owner of Bushymoor Copse. I purchased this property as I have a strong passion for forestry and conservation.

"I have worked for 30 years protecting and managing woodland, not only have I done this in my workplace, but also do this in my spare time.

"I am appalled to see that this land I bought 16 years ago, and have worked so hard to protect, will be greatly impacted negatively by this industrial complex."

Katie Goodall, who lives in Romsey Road, East Wellow, believes the plans would ruin a "peaceful rural countryside".

She explained: "This is planned for an area of peaceful rural countryside near the River Blackwater, it is excessively noisy and produces radiation on which a report has not yet been commissioned. We need that report.

"The noise report shows that it is in excess of acceptable levels. It would involve excessive traffic down one of our quietest lanes.

"It is also very close to St Margaret's Church, an important historic site."

However, a spokesperson from Woodington Solar Limited previously claimed the scheme will result in "less permanent impacts than most other forms of development, including some alternative methods of renewable energy production".

"Almost all of the plant buildings on site will be at or below single storey level ensuring that it will not be readily visible from most viewpoints outside of the site.

"The DNO Substation, Solar Farm and associated development proposed are compliant with relevant material planning considerations and will not have an adverse effect on landscape character or residential amenity."