Plans are now on display for a 5MW solar farm to be constructed on the outskirts of Swindon. Local residents and farmers met at the Roves Farm Visitor Centre, Sevenhampton, to find out more about the £12m project, and its effect on the area.

The project, which will consist of approximately 17,000 solar panels and stretch over 30 acres of land, has been thought up by Roves Farm owners Rupert and Joanna Burr.

Christine Lutman, who has lived in Sevenhampton for 20 years said, “I think this is something we need to do, if not for my generation but for the upcoming generations.

“Fossil fuels will run out so we have got to be pro-active about it.

“The farm land itself is a long way from the village so I don’t think it will cause much upset with the residents.

“The only thing that may be a problem is how long the whole project will take to erect, because the construction traffic will have implications on the village and we have been campaigning for traffic calming for many years.”

Rupert, who has run the farm since 1992 said, “It is time that we started doing something.

“I look at places like Honda and the new B&Q site and they will obviously need a lot of electricity.

“There are opportunities for us all to work together – those who produce the energy for local needs, we hope to sell this energy in the Swindon area. It is very much a local initiative.

“There will be no noise, no smell, no vehicle movement once it is all up and running and no visual impact. Once people understand this, there won’t be the same controversy that wind turbines would create.”

It is hoped that the farm will provide enough electricity to power 1,000 homes