Planning permission has been granted for a solar farm the size of 21 football pitches which will be used to power New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton with renewable energy.
The project is part of a partnership between Wolverhampton Council and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to generate clean, green electricity for the hospital site.
And planners have now thrown their weight behind the project, with work at the former Bowman’s Harbour site expected to start later this year.
Planners recommended approval of the project, with officer, Phillip Walker, telling committee members: “It would make an important contribution towards meeting a Wolverhampton-wide target of 2041 for the City to reach net-zero carbon.
“Although there would be some adverse impacts in terms of ecology, landscape, and visual quality, these can be acceptably mitigated and controlled by conditions, and any harm caused is outweighed by the benefits in respect of renewable energy production and the reversible nature of this development proposal.”
The treeline around the site will be relatively unaffected and will remain in order to improve security and to ensure that the development has a satisfactory landscape and visual impact.
And careful investigation and planning has been undertaken to maintain the ecology and nature conservation of the site after a survey found that badgers extensively use the area.
The new solar farm will assist The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in meeting its carbon reduction commitments by supplying 6.9MWp of energy directly to New Cross Hospital.
Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment at the council, said: “Since declaring our Climate Emergency in July 2019, the council has been supporting its partners towards making Wolverhampton zero carbon.
“The new development will certainly have a positive impact in making Wolverhampton a greener city.”