Village solar farm is one step closer

An example of a solar development. Library image.

An example of a solar development. Library image.

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A planning application for a community-run solar farm on the outskirts of a village has been submitted to borough bosses.

If given the green light around 19,000 solar panels will be installed on farmland to the north of Harrold in a project that is expected to generate up to £40,000 each year for community causes.

It is being led by a volunteer team of villagers who have come together to create a community benefit society called HARE - Harrold Renewable Energy.

Group chairman Mark Payne said: “If the planning application is approved, as we very much hope, then Harrold will be set to benefit from over £1m of investment from green energy. This is a unique opportunity for our community and, if successful, then we hope other towns and villages across the country will feel emboldened to follow our lead.”

It is anticipated that the solar farm, on land adjacent to Dungee Road, will be in operation for around 30 years when the site will be decommissioned and turned back into the existing agricultural use.

Construction is expected to take two to three months and the project will cost around £5 million to get up and running, which will be bankrolled by local investors.

An artist's impression of the Harrold Solar farm project.

An artist's impression of the Harrold Solar farm project.

The money-spinning scheme is expected to generate more than £1 million for community projects during its lifetime. How the money is spent will be decided by an independent charitable trust.

For more information visit www.hare.org.uk