The last of three public drop-in sessions to find out about the plans to create a huge solar farm on the former Wroughton Airfield takes place on 15 May, in advance of a planning inquiry.
It takes place at the White Hart in Wroughton, from 6pm to 8pm and will include information about the public inquiry process and explain how members of the community can get involved and show their support for the solar farm
James Owen, Commercial Director at Swindon Commercial Services Ltd, said: "We had very good feedback – the community of Wroughton feels very strongly about the project, and wants to have their say in the public inquiry.
"We’re also urging everyone to take a few minutes to write to the Planning Inspectorate. As well as providing guidance at the drop-in events, we’re distributing leaflets at key points in the village, and more information is available on our website. It couldn’t be easier and every letter and email will make a difference.”
Information leaflets will be available at the Ellendune Centre, Wroughton Public Library and key outlets in the village, and also online at www.scs365.co/uk/wasp.
The proposed development is a joint project between Swindon Commercial Services Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, and the Science Museum Group, which owns the site and uses it to store 30,000 objects from the reserve national collections.
While the plans have had very strong support from the local community, with 80% in favour, the AONB and English Heritage objected to the project, which lies on the edge of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and would be visible from Barbury Castle.
Swindon Borough Council’s planning committee authorised the Head of Planning to approve the plans at a meeting on 10 December 2013. Following the subsequent review by the National Planning Casework Unit, on 2 April the Secretary of State called in the plans for a public inquiry. The process is expected to take approximately four months, with the date of the hearing due in mid-September
The project proposal also includes a community benefit fund for Wroughton which would amount to around £40,000 a year, for the next 30 years, to be allocated by the community for local projects. Residents would also have the opportunity to invest directly in the solar farm, with a planned minimum investment of just £50, giving them an ownership stake in the project.