UP TO 35,000 ground mounted solar panels could be put up in Codford, after the parish council gave its backing to the scheme.

A planning application has been submitted for the panels and associated works at East Farm in Codford St Mary.

The site was identified by Solar Power South as an ideal location, due to being well screened to the south by woodland and distant to key viewpoints.

The application is for a temporary facility – for 25 years – after which the site would be returned to its current condition.

As well as up to 35,000 solar panels, there would be a small inverter building and landscaping.

The parish council considered the application at a meeting towards the end of January and offered its full support.

Codford Parish Council chairman Rosemary Wyeth said: “We discussed the application at our last meeting, but we had no objections.

“It is going to be out of the way and the solar panels cover a lot less space than you would expect.

“Solar Power South also held an exhibition in the East Codford Village Hall, to show everyone what the site would look like and allow villagers to ask questions, so the application wasn’t out of the blue.

“Farmers have to diversify and, as the site will not be seen from the village, there were no real issues with the application.

“When I first heard about the plans, it sounded like an awful lot of solar panels, but now I’ve seen the pictures and read through the documents, they are actually quite small and it’s going to be a minimal use of space.”

The installation is expected to create several short-term construction jobs, with an estimated two part-timers required for cleaning the panels and for security.

The application is due to be determined by Wiltshire Council.