Villagers back solar farm plans

PUBLISHED: 16:40 19 November 2010

Proposed Solar Wind Farm exhibition, at Wilburton.

Joint Managing Director Nick Sutton talks to the public

Proposed Solar Wind Farm exhibition, at Wilburton. Joint Managing Director Nick Sutton talks to the public

Archant

RESIDENTS in Wilburton have come out in support of plans to build a £13million solar farm in the village.

RESIDENTS in Wilburton have come out in support of plans to build a £13million solar farm in the village.

More than 96 per cent of residents who attended a public exhibition last week said they welcomed the plans that could see 35 acres of agricultural land converted into one of the UK’S largest energy producing solar farms

Nick Sutton, managing director of Abbey Renewables, the company behind the plans, said: “We were really pleased with how it went and the feedback from residents.

“We distributed about 2,000 leaflets on the day and between 130-150 people attended the exhibition. We think it is important that local people are happy with what we are doing.”

The exhibition was staged at St Peter’s Hall on Thursday.

A total of 71 questionnaires were completed at the event, with only one objection registered to the plans.

Mr Sutton said he hoped a planning application would be ready in the next few weeks and that building work on the site on Twenty Pence Road would begin by May.

As well as the production of green power, more than 55,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved over the 25-year lifespan of the farm.

Wilburton councillor Bill Hunt, who attended the exhibition, said: “I think that unless there are any hidden aspects to the plans that I don’t know about then I am quite satisfied. I think the positive elements outweigh the negative ones.

“With all the things we have got to face in the future it may be one of the more acceptable things for us to have in the village. A few people will worry about development on agricultural land but I think we will need renewable energy in the future.”

When fully operational the solar farm could produce enough ­electricity to power a village the size of nearby ­Haddenham – about 1,200 homes.

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