THE Open Spaces Society has joined the opposition to plans for a solar farm north of Alresford.

The group says the plans would wreck one of Hampshire's most pristine, unspoiled areas.

Anesco proposes to build a farm at Armsworth capable of generating 10 MW of electricity, enough to power 3,000 homes.

Its agents have asked the city council whether a full environmental impact assessment is needed. A decision was due on October 22 but has has been delayed.

Dave Ramm, local correspondent for the society, said the farm would have a "devastating impact" on the setting of the Three Castles Path.

He has produced a graphic that shows the length of the proposed 40-acre farm and its equivalent distance in Winchester City centre; from the Westgate to the Guildhall, down the length of the High Street a distanced of several hundred yards.

Established 30 years ago, the 60-mile path from Windsor to Winchester is based on the journeys of King John at the time of Magna Carta in the early 13th century. At Winchester the path links with the South Downs Way and the Clarendon Way.

Mr Ramm said: "We consider this completely wide, open countryside is just not a suitable location for development of this nature; the impact upon the visual amenity would be profound."

So far there have been ten objections to the scheme, mainly from people living near the proposed site, as previously reported in the Chronicle.

Winchester Ramblers have also objected with Alan Marlow, its footpaths officer, saying the plan is highly inappropriate.