East Hanney solar farm: First panels arrive

Sheep under solar panels Sheep will graze between the solar panels when installation is complete

Construction has begun on a solar farm in Oxfordshire, which developers claim will be the largest in the UK.

The 41 MW facility at Landmead Farm, East Hanney, is being built on 230 acres (93 hectares) of agricultural land by INRG Solar.

Work is expected to be completed by April.

The area between the solar panels will continue to be grazed by sheep and managed as natural pasture.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Oxford



Min. Night 15 °C

BBC Local Live

    Good evening 18:00:

    That's all from BBC Local Live for today, thanks for all the great comments.

    We'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Oxfordshire.

    In the meantime, be sure to let us know what you think of the service.

    'Rain will spread' 17:58: Alexis Green Weather presenter, BBC South Today

    This evening there will be a pleasant end to the day.

    It's tonight that the cloud will increase from the west and outbreaks of patchy rain will spread, though there will be some dry periods a well.

    Temperatures will drop to a mild 14 to 15C (57 to 59F).

    Tonight's television 17:52: Geraldine Peers Presenter, BBC South Today

    The Duke of York has attended a ceremony at RAF Benson as the base begins to say goodbye to half of its frontline helicopter force.

    Hundreds of personnel will leave the base in the the next two years, and we'll have a full report on tonight's South Today.

    And people affected by the burst water man in Oxford that caused £1m worth of damage complain that little has been done since to get them back in their homes.

    Watch the full programme from 18:30 on BBC One.

    Oxford to Bristol on the cards? 17:49: Linda Serck BBC News, Berkshire

    Ten MPs have written to Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin calling for a direct train service between Oxford and Bristol.

    Electric train - artist's impression

    Tory and Lib Dem MPs from Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Bristol and Somerset want the service to be included in the next Great Western franchise.

    The proposed route would connect Bristol, Bath, Chippenham and Swindon to Oxford and Bedford.

    Makeover for Headington road 17:42:

    The A420 London Road in Oxford is set to get a new surface as part of a £2.1m makeover.

    London Road in Oxford

    Oxfordshire County Council has admitted the route is in poor condition, and is also planning public transport and cycle improvements.

    David Nimmo Smith, cabinet member for transport, said: "People have been calling for these improvements for a long time and it has taken a great deal of effort and planning to pull everything together."

    Emergency works 17:36: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    There are temporary lights from 21:00 to 06:00 for the next three nights on Botley Road, Oxford.

    It's for emergency water works, though the road will remain open.

    Final flight 17:25: via Facebook

    Andrew Jacklin has been enjoying Martin Eastaugh's video of the Merlin helicopter flypast at RAF Benson.

    "Just need the Flight of the Valkyries soundtrack now. Excellent footage."

    End of Lewis 17:20: Michael Osborn Entertainment reporter, BBC News

    Kevin Whately, star of Inspector Morse spin off Lewis, has been giving his reasons for tying up the long-running drama.

    Kevin Whatley as Lewis

    The 63-year-old, who started playing the Oxford detective in 1987, said he is now older than Morse actor John Thaw when he died in 2002.

    He added: "There were 33 Inspector Morse stories and we've now done 30 Lewis... I suppose it's a sentimental thing but I wouldn't want to do more Lewis than we did Morse because I do still think of it as an offshoot.

    "It's a long time to play one character, but sometimes it only feels like yesterday that we started."

    Ring road latest 17:15: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    We have the usual heavy traffic on the Oxford ring road clockwise from Cowley to the A34 at the Hinskey Hill Interchange.

    And in Bicester, the London Road's closed for Network Rail electrification works every day this week between 15:00 and 11:00.

    Power returns 17:05:

    We have been informed that all the properties affected by a power cut in Freeland this morning have now had their power restored.

    News on the hour 16:58: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    People in north Oxfordshire are to get the right to build their own homes.

    It's been announced that Cherwell District Council is getting £90,000 of government money to pilot "Right to Build".

    It means those who want to do it register their interest and the council is obliged to offer them suitable plots. More headlines at 17:00.

    Firestorm coming? 16:46:

    Jamie Anderson, son of late Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson, has been telling us about a new TV programme he wants to make called Firestorm.

    The Faringdon-based producer has launched an appeal and is hoping fans will pay for it, rather than going through the big TV channels.

    Gerry Anderson's Firestorm characters

    He said: "It's an all or nothing campaign, so we have to raise £49,280 minimum to make sure we're able to make a pilot mini-episode… and we've got about 32 days to do it.

    "There's just something really engaging watching tangibly made effects and puppets performing on the screen."

    Catty remarks 16:36: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    I'm not usually one to wade into one side or the other of a Local Live debate, but as the owner of two cats I cannot idly stand by on this occasion.

    McCartney and Harrison

    Experts say keeping more than one cat per household may be "cruel" as they have to compete for territory, but my two furballs Harrison and McCartney (pictured) have spent the last 11 years happily sharing!

    Thanks also to Daniel Emlyn-Jones who tells us: If they are distressed why do they purr loudly and sleep on top of one another?

    Judith Dunn says: It does seem to be that one cat will often 'bully' another by stealing food and intimidating them over prime sleeping places!

    And Sharon Mannall says: They are usually fine with other cats living in the same house, it's outsiders encroaching on their territory that they don't like.

    Chewing it over 16:27: via Facebook

    Earlier we told you that more than one in 10 three-year-olds have tooth decay, and we asked you who was to blame.

    Sof Strang says: As the dentist said to me at my child's first visit when she was 6 months old 'the children might put the sugary things in the trolley, but it's the parents/carers who ultimately buy them'

    Amanda Adamz says: Parents! they choose what to feed their kids... and they are in charge of making sure they brush their teeth!

    Katherine Newman-Warren says: Getting them to brush their teeth is a battle, getting them to eat and drink the right stuff is a battle, in fact being a parent is pretty much a battle all the way, it seems to me. It doesn't help that chocolate is put at every till and counter.

    Flypast at RAF Benson 16:17:

    BBC Radio Oxford's Martin Eastaugh tweets: Flypast @RAFBenson as the Merlin helicopters are ceremonially handed over to the @RoyalNavy

    Merlin flypast

    Watch Martin's video on Facebook.

    Impurrfect pairs? 16:06: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    According to leading animal expert Dr Sarah Ellis, we're being cruel by keeping more than one cat as a pet due to territorial issues.


    But what do you think? Whether you're a cat owner or not, should a one-cat-per-household policy be introduced? Would you adhere to it? Let me know.

    News on the hour 15:57: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    An event for people affected by a burst water main in Oxford is taking place today.

    Up to £1m worth of damage was caused when the pipe burst in Normandy Crescent last week and dozens of people's homes were flooded.

    Normandy Crescent near Cowley

    The drop-in session is currently being held by Thames Water at St Francis Primary School. More headlines at 16:00.

    Coming up 15:46: Paul Kiernan Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

    Howard Bentham is sitting in for David Prever on today's drive time show from 16:00.

    Listen in as we look back on a historic day for RAF Benson, where the fleet of Merlin helicopters have been handed over to the Royal Navy at a special ceremony.

    And we find out all about the tame crow that went missing in Oxford for three days, but which has turned up safe and well after his adventures.

    Poetry box 15:36: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Robert Seatter has turned a village phonebox in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell into a tiny art space for his poems.

    Robert, the BBC's head of history, has won major awards for his poetry collections in the past.

    Robert Seatter  with phone box

    Here's one of his haikus:

    Always broken orout of order: that danglingphone, a soundless O!

    Henley Life 15:22:

    The October edition of Henley Life magazine is out and features interviews with TV presenter Dawn O'Porter and crime writer Simon Kernick.

    You can read the whole issue here.

    'Perfect retreat' 15:07:

    A place of massage and relaxation for people with learning disabilities has opened at Howbery Business Park.

    The centre is run by Wallingford-based charity Style Acre, and supported by Samantha Cameron. Kidlington building contractor Kingerlee donated a Portakabin to the centre, and the park has agreed free ground rent too.

    Style Acre team

    Kate Liddle, chief executive of the charity, said: "They have made it possible for us to create a calming area that will be the perfect retreat for many of the people we help on a daily basis."

    News on the hour 14:55: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    More than 250 homes in Oxfordshire have been reconnected after a power cut early this morning.

    But 47 properties are still without electricity - they're expected to be back on the grid by about 16:00. More headlines at 15:00.

    'More GPs please' 14:47: via Facebook

    Earlier we asked if you thought there was a need for seven-day surgeries. David Cameron has pledged to make them a reality if the Conservatives stay in power.

    Simon Tavener says: It is surely right that healthcare is available at the time of need - not at the convenience of the medical profession. People can't always take time off work to attend a GP appointment - so why not restructure things so that GPs are providing appointments at a much wider range of hours?

    Spencer Hughes-Morris asks: How is this at all possible? They don't have the money to keep A&E open let alone have a doctor on call 7 days a week 12 hours a day. Another bird brain idea from the people in power.

    Kev Humphries says: I haven't seen the quack in years as I'm usually better by the time I get my 2 week appointment! Yet another vote spinner b4 election. More GPs please.

    Pipe organ appeal 14:35: Oxford Mail

    An Oxford church is hoping to raise funds to make sure that it never has to pipe down.

    Merlin magic 14:22:

    Radio Oxford reporter Martin Eastaugh tweets: 3 Merlins practicing for this afternoon's ceremony @RAFBenson. They were hovering like that for about 10 minutes

    Merlin helicopters
    Whole Lotta Live 14:10: Thame Gazette

    Award-winning tribute act Hats Off to Led Zeppelin are playing in Thame for one night only.

    News on the hour 13:57: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    A biker has been seriously injured after a crash on the A4074 at Dorchester last night.

    The 46-year-old was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital after his bike collided with a silver BMW at about 18:30.

    More headlines at 14:00.

    A423 congestion 13:51:

    The A423 Southern Bypass in Oxford is busy but moving between Hinksey Hill Interchange and Kennington roundabout.

    Teething trouble 13:39: Jamie Ryan Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

    Nearly 12% of three-year-olds in the Thames Valley have visibly decaying teeth.

    Dentist inspecting child's mouth

    That's not a bit of tooth ache - it means you can obviously see the decay in their mouths.

    But whose fault is this? The parents? The food companies? A lack of education? Let us know what you think.

    'Fabulous' literary festival 13:29:

    BBC film critic Mark Kermode tweets about his new book: Thanks to everyone who came to see HATCHET JOB talk at @HenleyLitFest yesterday. Fabulous venue, ace questions, and a fine pint in The Bell.

    Lunchtime TV 13:19: Laura Trant Reporter, BBC South Today

    Coming up on South Today at 13:30, we'll look at the ceremony at RAF Benson marking the final days of the Merlin helicopter force serving in south Oxfordshire.

    Merlin helicopter
    Unexpected item in bagging area 13:04: via Facebook

    Jon Cloke, who works on self-service checkouts, has joined in our debate on the 21st Century phenomenon.

    He says: I would say that they are fine, if the person using them has the patience to do so.

    Unfortunately, many people do not understand that EVERY item that is placed in the "bagging area" weighs, and... the area CANNOT be used for items such as handbags, keys and wallets.

    News on the hour 12:57: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Engineers are working to fix a cable that's come down - cutting off power to 300 homes in Freeland near Witney.

    Southern Electric says they expect electricity to be off until 16:00 - they believe there may also be a secondary fault that means another 30 homes lose power. More with me at 13:00.

    Coming Up 12:47: Cristina Parry Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

    The special guest on today's afternoon is Michael Rosen.

    Michael Rosen

    His multimillion selling We're Going On A Bear Hunt was published 25 years ago, and the author, former children's laureate, dad of five and all round national treasure has been entertaining and inspiring children ever since. Click here to watch him perform the classic tale.

    Now his landmark new book shows us all how to do the same - we'll explain all from 13:00.

    World class art at Blenheim 12:37: Witney Gazette

    The work of celebrated Chinese artist and social activist Ai Weiwei is turning heads at Blenheim Palace.

    Power cut: Latest 12:27:

    Sam O'Connor from Southern Electric has said engineers battling to restore power in Freeland may have discovered a secondary fault, meaning a further 30 properties in the Barnard Gate and Eynsham area could be affected.

    She said a "welfare vehicle" was on the way to the area: "This is a van that's got plug sockets, kettles, microwaves, seating, mobile charges... it's all free.

    "The estimate is power will be back at 16:00 if we don't find any further damage."

    Seven-day surgeries? 12:17: Andy Gordon Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

    David Cameron will pledge later that everyone in England will be able to see their GP seven days a week by 2020, if the Conservatives remain in power.

    GP with prescription

    Do we need seven-day surgeries? Get in touch.

    Not your bag? 12:05:

    Today David Prever is asking how you would improve self-service tills. Apparently four in 10 of us now prefer them.

    Nikki tweets: stop telling me there's an unexpected item in the bagging area!!!!!!! #grrrr

    Mark tweets: put a member of staff on each one to scan your goods for you..oh no wait that's a till! The way it's supposed to be

    You can join in the discussion on Twitter and Facebook.

    News on the hour 11:58: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Fans of classic children's TV shows like Thunderbirds and Joe 90 are being asked to bring a new show by the same producers to our screens.

    Faringdon-based Jamie Anderson, the son of creator Gerry Anderson, is looking for fans to pay to make a new version of his show Firestorm through a Kickstarter campaign.

    Jamie Anderson

    Jamie Anderson has told BBC Radio Oxford that the big TV companies only seem to be interested in CGI effects, but he wants to use real models like those used by his father. More with me at 12:00.

    Your views needed 11:44: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    BBC Local Live is a new service and we want to know what you think of it.

    Please share your feedback here.

    Serious accident 11:34:

    The A40 is blocked and there is stationary traffic in both directions between Witney Town Centre and the Eynsham roundabout because of a serious accident.

    Improving self-service 11:23: via Facebook

    Earlier David Prever asked how you would improve self-service checkouts. You got in touch on Facebook:

    Lisa Brooks says: By not giving me all my change in small coins? Every. Single. Time!

    Paul Cox says: They don't work in speeding up the flow of customers. They are slow to use and need the help of a shop assistant most times. They are only a cost saving exercise. Nothing to do with customer convenience.

    Crosscountry 'worst timekeeper' 11:06: Bicester Advertiser

    Only four in ten trains operated by Crosscountry, which run through Oxfordshire, were on time last year, making them the worst in the country.

    News on the hour 10:56: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    The Oxford-based hit TV crime drama Lewis could be coming to an end.

    Kevin Whately

    Star Kevin Whately said he was only prepared to film one more season.

    He has played the character on and off for nearly 30 years and said he thought it was the right time for the Inspector Morse spin off to end. More headlines at 11:00.

    Warmest September? 10:46: BBC Weather

    The Met Office says this September is currently ranked as the joint fourth warmest on record.

    The warmest September was in 2006.

    The last interview 10:36: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    You can still catch this weekend's BBC Introducing in Oxford, if you download the podcast.

    Spring Offensive

    The latest edition of the unsigned music show includes an emotional interview with Lucas Whitworth, who explains why his band Spring Offensive decided to call it a day. Be sure to subscribe here.

    Bun-throwing 10:26: Oxford Times

    Bun-throwing marks Abingdon fire station's 50th year of saving lives.

    Getting our heads together 10:20:

    It's time for our morning team leaders to look ahead at today's news prospects.

    Will Wilkin (Mid-am producer), Ali Dawes (Radio news editor) and Charlotte Westgate (TV news producer)

    Pictured are Will Wilkin (Mid-am producer), Ali Dawes (Radio news editor) and Charlotte Westgate (TV news producer).

    Do it yourself? 10:06: David Prever Drivetime presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    About four in 10 of us now prefer to use self-service checkouts when we go shopping, when given the choice.

    Supermarket checkout

    We're stuck with them now, so how would you improve self-service checkouts? Let me know.

    News on the hour 09:57: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    RAF Benson will mark the formal departure of its Merlin helicopters today.

    Over the next two years, all 25 of the aircraft will move from South Oxfordshire to join the Navy in Somerset.

    A training base for Chinook helicopters could move into Benson, but this hasn't yet been confirmed. More with me at 10:00.

    Coming up 09:48: Malcolm Boyden Mid-morning presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    On today's show I'll be speaking to writer, lobbyist and political commentator Owen Jones.

    His new book The Establishment tackles how elitism continues to infiltrate our political classes and media.

    My other guest will be Sgt Kev Harris, who has been flying the Merlins in 78 squadron at RAF Benson for 10 years.

    He'll tell me what the day of the helicopters' formal handover will mean to him, about his time in active service, and how he tried to join the RAF at a young age. Tune in from 10:00.

    Power cut in Freeland 09:40: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Southern Electric has told me that 300 homes in Freeland, near Witney, have been without power since 07:00, after a power cable came down.

    Engineers are on site. They will need to switch the power off to even more homes in the area later, but at the moment they're not sure when, or how many.

    It's likely to be off until 16:00.

    Noisy pub? 09:31: Oxford Mail

    A village pub "belongs on the Cowley Road" a councillor has said following concerns about antisocial behaviour and a new beer garden.

    As it happened
    • News, sport, travel, weather for Tues 30 Sept
    • More updates from 08:00 on Wednesday
    • Listen to BBC Radio Oxford
    Bus delays 09:16:

    Stagecoach Oxford tweets: Temp traffic lights on the A338 at The Volunteer causing delays to routes 31/X30.

    Smoking whilst pregnant 09:05: BBC Radio Oxford

    BBC Radio Oxford has learnt that almost one in 10 babies born in Oxfordshire had a mother who smoked whilst pregnant.

    The most recent figures from the Department of Health show that of the 1,800 women who gave birth from April to June this year, almost 150 were still smokers. This is around 8% of mothers in Oxfordshire - the national average is 11.5%.

    Pregnant smoker

    Rosie Dodds, from the National Childbirth Trust, said she was disappointed with the number: "It's very hard on the baby... but it's also hard on the mum. Mum's are more likely to have morning sickness, or complications whilst they're pregnant."

    News on the hour 08:58: Charles Nove Presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Children as young as 13 have reported being victims of "revenge pornography" in our region, according to new figures.

    A total of 60 incidents have been reported to Thames Valley Police since 2012 and 17 of them were teenagers.

    Campaigners are calling for tougher laws to be introduced to prosecute those who share naked images and videos online without people's consent.

    More headlines with me at 09:00.

    Temporary lights 08:45: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    There's delays on the A338 at the Grove rail bridge. Temporary lights have appeared there this morning as part of the electrification works, causing heavy queues both sides on the bridge.

    The B480 is solid from Grenoble Road up to the Garsington roundabout.

    Banbury child sex exploitation 08:37: Alex Therrien BBC News Online

    Six men and a 17-year-old boy have denied sexually abusing girls in Oxfordshire over a five-year period.

    The alleged offences involved seven girls, aged between 13 and 15, and took place in Banbury and the surrounding areas between 2009 and 2014.

    The group, who are all from Banbury and aged between 17 and 21, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

    Merlins no more 08:26: David Prever Drivetime presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    I'm sitting in for Phil Gayle this morning, on the day a major chapter in the history of RAF Benson in south Oxfordshire draws to a close.

    Merlin helicopter

    The Merlin helicopters, which have seen action in Bosnia and Afghanistan, are to be handed over to the Navy as part of defence cuts. It means the base will be left with just two Puma helicopter squadrons.

    Heavy traffic 08:15: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    There are reports of a broken down vehicle on the A420 towards Oxford at the Tubney Bypass.

    It's heavy on the M40 southbound from junction 10 for Brackley to 9 at the Wendlebury Interchange.

    And the A34's struggling approaching the Oxford Ring Road contraflow. Southbound's queued from Peartree to Hinskey, northbound from Abingdon North to Hinskey.

    Plenty of sunshine 08:07: Bee Tucker BBC Weather

    It's a fairly misty, murky start to the day. There is a lot of low cloud about and hill fog as well.

    We should start to see that gradually breaking and lifting as we go through the morning and see some decent spells of sunshine.

    There's a warm and a bright afternoon to come, with temperatures doing well today - we could well hit 21C (70F).

    Good morning 08:00: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire on Tuesday.

    I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across the county.

    Be sure to get in touch and tell us what you're up to today via email, Facebook or Twitter.



  • signClean and tidy

    Things that could only happen in a Hong Kong protest

  • Child eating ice creamTooth top tips

    Experts on ways to encourage children to look after their teeth

  • Theresa MayBoris v Theresa

    They are both often named as future leaders. Who did best?

  • Almaz cleaning floorAlmaz's prison

    Beaten and raped - the story of an African servant in Saudi Arabia

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.