Cambridgeshire council has given the go-ahead for plans to build a 35 acre solar energy farm in the village of Wilburton, near Ely. The 5MW plant has been given approval, with construction expected to begin in the spring.

The project, which is expected to cost £13 million, will see the scheme developed on land south of Mingay Farm, off Twentypence Road. Cambridgeshire-based firm Abbey Renewables will direct the development, which will feed electricity into the national grid, powering more than 1,200 homes and saving over 55,000 tonnes of CO2 over a 25-year period.

Councillor Bill Hunt, who represents Wilburton as a district and county councillor, said: “These are extremely exciting plans and I, like everyone else I have spoken to, welcome them.

“This solar farm will not only put East Cambridgeshire on the map for eco-friendliness but also bring huge benefits to the local community.”

As part of the development, Wilburton Primary School will also be given solar panels for its roof.

The decision was made by East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee on February 3rd. Both Haddenham and Wilburton Parish Council supported the plans and East Cambridgeshire District Council received no objections from local residents. The plans were approved with 10 votes to one.

The project was originally announced in October 2010.