COUNCILLORS have backed plans for a new solar farm in Bournemouth Airport's flight path.

As reported in the Daily Echo, questions were initially raised over air passengers' safety when the proposals were revealed.

However, it was later deemed that the project would not cause issues for planes.

The site at Woodtown Farm, which is to the south of Christchurch Road in West Parley, were discussed by councillors sitting on East Dorset District Council's planning committee.

The plans have now been given the green light, meaning that the solar farm, proposed by developers Woodtown Solar Ltd, will soon be under construction.

The solar farm will cover a 7.46 hectare site for a temporary duration of 35 years, after which the land could be returned to its existing use of turf cultivation or agriculture.

Safety bosses at Bournemouth Airport initially strongly objected to the proposals, claiming such panels would cause "unacceptable levels of solar glare to aircraft".

However, their complaints were then conditionally withdrawn.

A safeguarding officer from the airport wrote in a reply to the council during consultation: "The development has been examined against the aerodrome safeguarding criteria and due to the location of the array calculations show that the development would cause unacceptable levels of solar glare to aircraft operating in and out of Bournemouth Airport.

"The effect on operations is pronounced and severe throughout the year, making aircraft operations unsafe if the development was to go ahead.

"As a result Bournemouth Airport objects to the proposal on the grounds of air safety."

But during the summer, a spokesperson from the airport confirmed that the objection would be withdrawn if a series of conditions could be met.

A 'glint and glare' study was undertaken that showed there would be no risk to planes from the solar farm.

Councillors from West Parley Parish Council had strongly objected to the plans.

The airport is based 720 metres to the east of the planned solar farm site.

The 'low impact' farm will be built in green belt land.