Solar farm plans set for sites in Rugby

New solar farms could be'¨installed in the Rugby area in the near future.

Butterfly Park, Long Sutton Solar park Names: Michael Crosse, Ignacio Silla, Peter Smeaton and Michael Ziloudis NNL-170125-153437001

At a Warwickshire County Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the council supported proposals that would see an additional six solar farms installed across the county.

The proposal is part of a larger scheme, which also sought to create a council-run energy company.

The plans for the energy company were also backed by the cabinet and now need the support of the individual district and borough councils.

If the energy company scheme is supported residents in Warwickshire could soon have an alternative to the ‘big six’ energy companies that supply gas and electric.

It is hoped that if the solar farms also get support from the councils that the county will be able to generate, store and use its own electricity in the future.

The six sites, which are all council-owned, were prioritised out of more than 20 other sites and have been put forward for potential solar panel farms.

One of the sites planned for solar panels is within Dunsmore Home Farm in Clifton-upon-Dunsmore, which has also been earmarked to be one of three ‘significant’ sites.

Although the proposals have the backing of the cabinet, the plans will still need to go through the planning process and to Rugby Borough Council to get the green light.

According to the cabinet meetings agenda the project planning is ‘well advanced’ on the Dunsmore Home Farm site and informal consultation has started. The documents also stated the Clifton-upon-Dunsmore parish council was aware of the proposals and that ‘before seeing any specific proposals, most attitudes have ranged from non-committal to generally welcoming’.

Peter Butlin, a Rugby Borough councillor and a member of the county council’s cabinet, said: “Solar panels depend on subsidies that come from the Government and it has recently announced that it is cutting subsidies to green energy.

“If Warwickshire County Council can get the subsidies I have no problem with solar panels as long as they are not impacting the landscape.

Another site identified for a solar farm are former landfill sites within the Ryton Pools Country Park.

It is currently unknown when Rugby Borough Council will discuss the plans for the solar farms.