Wroughton solar farm gets green light
9:32am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in Latest News
THE UK’S biggest solar farm is set to be built on the edge of Wroughton after being given the green light by planners last night.
Swindon Council’s planning team approved the proposals at a meeting last night. The application, for 160,000 panels to be built on 170 acres, will now be referred to the National Planning Casework Unit, and Secretary of State Eric Pickles will have 21 days to review it.
If that all goes well then work for the scheme, which would lies within West Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, could begin early next year.
The development is a joint project between Swindon Commercial Services Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, and the Science Museum Group, which owns the site and uses it to store 30,000 objects from the reserve national collections.
Matt Moore, Head of Wroughton Site, Science Museum Group, said: “Solar farms should be sited appropriately and sensitively – this is a great location, it’s semi-industrial land, close to a major town. It will provide a secure and reliable income to help the Science Museum continue our work conserving the national collections and improving conditions on site.”
Residents will also have the opportunity to invest directly in the solar farm, with a planned minimum investment of just £50, giving them an ownership stake in the project.
James Owen, Commercial Director at Swindon Commercial Services Ltd, said: “This project has had outstanding support from the local community throughout, so we are extremely pleased that Swindon Council has authorised its approval. Residents of Wroughton will benefit from a community fund of £40,000 a year, and it will help put Swindon on the map as a greener place to live and work.”
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