75-acre solar farm planned for Grazeley


PLANS ARE forming for a 75 acre solar farm near Grazeley.

West Berkshire Council is hoping to host 45,000 solar panels on its land, bordering with the Wokingham borough.

Like Wokingham Borough Council, West Berkshire is also aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030.

It is hoped the new solar farm would generate enough electricity each year to power approximately 4,400 homes.  

Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, executive member for environment at West Berkshire Council, said: “Last year we installed solar on some of our buildings and we are now looking to build on this with the possibility of a new solar farm.

“It could significantly reduce our carbon footprint with any surplus income available to reinvest in other environmental projects.”

He said the council is committed to its Environment Strategy, and called the solar farm “a statement of intent” towards carbon neutrality in nine years.

Funding for the project, which is estimated to cost around £10 million is subject to further studies and procurement.

If funds are secured and the plans approved, construction could start on the site in next year.

It comes as West Berkshire Council pulled-out of plans for a garden town in Grazeley, after the Ministry of Defence (MOD) objected.

Located in the Emergency Planning Zone for AWE Burghfield, the MOD said building 15,000 homes would have “an adverse impact on the nation’s security” as it would limit the current and future operations on site.

As the only UK site to decommission, build and maintain nuclear warheads, the MOD said AWE Burghfield has “unique national strategic importance”.

Wokingham Borough Council confirmed it is no longer looking to develop the Grazeley garden town.

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