Third solar farm could be built near Melksham as 25-hectare plans submitted

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: John Phillips' view of the solar panels at Broughton Gifford John Phillips' view of the solar panels at Broughton Gifford

A third solar farm could be built on farmland to the west of Melksham, after plans for a 25-hectare site were submitted for planning approval.

The site in Little Chalfield, located west of the B3019 and south of Stonar School, would see mounted solar panels installed in the field, which is currently used for arable farming.

Developers Sun Edison and Solar Planning Limited presented plans to local residents in Broughton Gifford Village Hall in April, where they claimed to have learned lessons from previous applications in the area.

Representatives from the firms also spoke to residents at a public meeting organised by Atworth Parish Council last month.

Parish clerk Mitch Roberts said: “The mini meeting was quite well-attended, people seem quite happy with the response they were given.

“The application will go before the parish council’s planning committee, probably on June 25. There will be a notice on the parish notice board so people will know it’s happening.

“The parish will be seeking to get some kind of infrastructure levy out of it, as we have things we would like to deliver in our parish plan, at the same time we have to allay concerns.

"People have their own opinions and any negative opinions need to be resolved so the planning committee can make a considered decision.”

After consideration by the parish council the plans will be passed to Wiltshire Council to decide whether to grant planning permission.

If approved the field would be surrounded by a security fence up to two metres high, with CCTV cameras installed to provide security coverage.

Plans are also in place for a wheel wash facility during its construction, to prevent delivery lorries dragging mud down the lane.

Two solar farms off Norrington Lane in Broughton Gifford have already been approved, with work due to finish on the first later this month.

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