A new solar farm could be the largest on the Isle of Wight — with the capability to power more than 5,000 homes.

The Sunny Oaks Renewable Energy Park has been proposed for the outskirts of Wootton, by Ridge Clean Energy and it could get the go-ahead next week.

It is anticipated the solar park could generate around 20 MWh of renewable electricity each year, supplying the network via Wootton Common substation.

A battery energy storage system would be built across the road.

The plans have split opinion - there are 19 letters in support but 24 against and campaign group 'Wootton Against Solar Power' has been created.

Those in favour say it would support energy independence, is essential for the future and would make use of poor quality land but others argue its visual impact would be detrimental, and say there would be increased noise, a great flood risk, loss of biodiversity and glint and glare into neighbours' homes.

Isle of Wight County Press: The plans for Sunny Oaks Renewable Energy Park. Picture by Natural Power.The plans for Sunny Oaks Renewable Energy Park. Picture by Natural Power. (Image: Natural Power)

If passed, the park would be built on fields owned by Briddlesford Lodge Farm, which would be used for livestock grazing between July and October.

It would stretch behind Butterfly World and the houses on Park Road, wrapping around Fattingspark Copse and it could have ground-mounted solar panels over 27 hectares, with a plan to run it for 40 years.

Planning officers have recommended councillors approve the application with 16 conditions, including landscaping, drainage and flood measures.

In a report to the planning committee, they say it would make a significant contribution to local renewable energy generation, with positive economic, social and environmental benefits.

The benefits would outweigh the 'minimal to moderate' negative impacts, the officers say, principally the loss of agricultural land, the change from greenfield to solar panels and the solar farm's impact on local homes.

The park's future will be determined on Tuesday (September 5) by the Isle of Wight Council's planning committee.

The proposed development could take six months to build, if it is approved.