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Sutton Bridge solar farm developer offering cash community fund

Villagers could be benefiting from a new £400,000 community scheme by the company behind plans for a solar farm.

EDF Renewables (EDF R) is due to be submitting a planning application shortly for a 49.9 MW solar farm next to the Sutton Bridge Power Station, which will be capable of generating enough renewable electricity for the domestic needs of 9,581 households annually.

The company says that it will offer a community fund for the 40-year lifetime of the project, of between £5,000-£10,000 annually, which would total between £200,000-£400,000.The size of the fund will depend on the final size of the project.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council chairman Simon Booth.
Sutton Bridge Parish Council chairman Simon Booth.

EDF Renewables Director of Solar and Onshore Wind Development, Mark Vyvyan-Robinson, said: “We are delighted to be able to make this community benefit fund commitment and look forward to working with the parish council and wider community on how the fund can be spent on local good causes if the project gets consent.

“We hope that residents in Sutton Bridge will feel proud of having a solar farm in the area and the contribution it will make to generating low carbon electricity, which helps in our collective efforts to tackle climate change.”

Sutton Bridge Parish Council chairman Simon Booth has welcomed news of the offer of the community fund and feels that this money should be administered by the same group which looks after the power station fund.

He said: “I think it will be great for the village.

“I would not normally support Grade 1 land being used for a solar farm but the land in that area is earmarked for industry in the past. It would be good for that area and may free up that industrial area further to the north.

“I think a solar farm will be good for Sutton Bridge and talk of a community fund will help to get things up and running.”

He hopes it will support projects in the community.

Last week it was announced that Sutton Bridge Power Station was being placed in a ‘safe and dormant state’ after administrators were appointed for the company which owns the business.

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