Broadlands Estate, where The Queen and Prince Philip spent their honeymoon back in 1947, is set to become a solar farm likely to exceed the size of 80 football pitches. The estate near Romsey in Hampshire was also the setting for the honeymoon of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales.
The decision to turn the estate into a solar farm marks the end of a lengthy planning battle over the plans for the farm on the Broadlands Estate after they were initially rejected by planning chiefs. The country house, which is owned by Lord and Lady Brabourne, will be the new home to 57,000 solar panels, enough to power over 4000 homes. Energy company SolarCentury came forward with the original bid to build the panels.
Following their marriage in November 1947, the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip spent their honeymoon at Broadlands whilst Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales spent the first three days of their honeymoon on the estate back in 1981.
At first, plans for the solar farm proved controversial, with some residents branding them an eyesore and even the local council’s planning office recommending refusal on impact grounds. Nonetheless, 47 letters were received by the council supporting the bid, with only one letter condemning the move.
Estate Manager of Broadlands, Richard Jordon Barker, insisted that the proposal was ‘vital’ to the estate and would not cause any significant traffic or noise issues in the surrounding area.
Sukie Tamplin, planning inspector, had to make the final decision, “In terms of the landscape, I have found that there would be some harm, but this would reduce over time as the landscaping and biodiversity measures mature.” Ms Tamplin also added that the solar farm would create a considerable amount of energy, equivalent to providing power to all of the homes in Romsey.
The original manor and area around Broadlands dates back to around the time of the English-Norman Conquest in the 11th century. When The Queen and Prince Philip spent their honeymoon at the estate in 1947, Broadlands was also the home of Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s uncle.
Photo Credit: “Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visiting NASA, May 8, 2007” Licenced under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.