Planning approval recommended for council’s first solar farm
Planners have recommended approval for City of Wolverhampton Council’s first solar farm to be developed to power New Cross Hospital with renewable energy.
The city council has partnered with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to deliver clean, green electricity by developing a solar farm at the former Bowman’s Harbour site.
Subject to planning permission being officially granted by the council’s planning committee next Tuesday (September 14) and confirmation of funding it is hoped work could start on developing the solar farm this year.
Bowman’s Harbour is an unused landfill site adjacent to an industrial estate located on Planetary Road and has been subject to anti-social behaviour and fly tipping.
The new solar farm will assist The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in meeting their carbon reduction commitments by providing it with electricity from the array of solar panels.
The new development will turn the south facing wasteland into a productive solar farm, supplying 6.9MWp of life saving energy directly to New Cross Hospital.
The tree line around the site will be relatively unaffected and will remain to improve security, and to ensure that the development has a satisfactory landscape and visual impact. Careful investigation and planning has been undertaken to maintain the ecology and nature conservation of the site.
During the council’s climate change consultation, 82% of residents said they would welcome solar farms in Wolverhampton.
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment and Climate Change at City of Wolverhampton Council said: “If planning committee agree with the recommendation from planning officers it will be a major step that will enable us to deliver this ambitious project.
“Since declaring our Climate Emergency in July 2019, the council has been supporting its partners towards making Wolverhampton zero carbon.
“I’m pleased to see the council supporting the local hospital in achieving its ambitions to reduce carbon emissions in the city.
“The new development will certainly have a positive impact in making Wolverhampton a greener city.”
Professor David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust said: “I am delighted that we are hopefully one step closer to approval for the solar farm project.
“Here at RWT, we take our commitment to sustainability very seriously and using electricity from the solar panels will go a long way in supporting us to reduce our carbon footprint and continue our work with the council to make Wolverhampton zero carbon.”