Swindon is to become one of the UK’s leading towns for renewable energy, if plans set before the council planning committee soon are passed.
Under the proposal, planning restrictions will be relaxed, allowing solar panels to be installed far more easily than at present. For homes, offices, retailers and hotels in Swindon, it could be a great move.
Industrial units too will benefit further, with garages able to provide hydrogen power conversion without having to seek planning permission outside of permitted development.
On a wider scale, it could see a significant increase in the use of renewables, paving the way for other towns, villages and cities to follow suit.
The proposals also include an option to boost the number of solar farms. Located on greenfield sites in the area, it is a key part of council plans to see 200 Megawatts of renewable power used by the town.
The community will have a big role to play in the success of the initiative, with the council launching its ‘Call to Sites’ scheme. A drive which allows anyone to nominate a suitable site for solar farm development, businesses, individuals, landowners and community groups can all get involved.
As the car industry takes renewable energy more seriously too, Honda is using its South Marston site for the development of hydrogen cell cars.
With many a hotel in Swindon entertaining engineers involved in the development of the technology, the council is also eager for the town to become a national centre for harnessing hydrogen power.