15:11 Tuesday 18 February 2014

Proposed solar farm could power 4,300 homes

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

18/02/14 Solar Farm applicationSolar Farm application, Rolleston Park Farm, Lodge Hill 18/02/14 Solar Farm applicationSolar Farm application, Rolleston Park Farm, Lodge Hill

PLANS have been revealed for a new solar farm on the outskirts of Tutbury.

More than 4,300 homes could be powered by the facility at Rolleston Park Farm, off Lodge Hill, if it is given the go-ahead by planners.

The proposals are still in their early stages, but a consultation has been arranged to take place next week, to answer any questions people might have about the farm.

Stuart Bradshaw, chief executive of Push Energy, which is behind the plans, said: “We are pleased to invite residents to come and see first-hand out plans for a solar farm in Tutbury.

“We believe it is important to develop a solar project that Tutbury can be proud of, and we’re committed to working with the local community and raising awareness of solar technology and its benefits.”

The farm will use photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight directly into electricity which can be fed to the National Grid.

The land at Tutbury, which is being leased by Rolleston Park Farm, has been chosen because it receives a good level of sunlight, because it is relatively flat, and because there are few buildings which can cause overshadowing.

Staff at the farm believe the field is also far enough away from homes not to cause problems for people living nearby.

Farm manager Chris Thompstone said: “The land we have selected is reasonably separate from most houses, but it’s quite hard to get land which is secluded from everything.

“I’ve been to see some people who are going to be closes to the land and they have been supportive. There are always going to be some people who don’t want it right in front of their houses, and that’s why we have decided to go to the consultation, so people can voice any concerns and we can try to do out best to keep everybody happy.”

If approved, the farm could save 254,000 tonnes of CO2 over its 25-year lifetime, Push Energy has said. The agricultural value will be retained, a spokesman added.

The consultation will run from 5pm until 7pm next Tuesday, at Tutbury Village Hall, in Monk Street.

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