A SOLAR farm the size of six football pitches could be sited close to Taunton Racecourse.

Bosses at the racecourse, at Orchard Portman, hope to lease out two fields just north of the overspill car park to solar firm AEE UK 37.

They plan to install 7,300 solar panels for a 25-year period with accompanying buildings, deer fencing and access tracks during the construction period.

Taunton Deane planning bosses are yet to decide on the plans but developers say once the 25-year lease ends the fields will be returned to their former agricultural use.

Bob Young, chief executive at Taunton Racecourse, said: “We have a field that is unused so we are going to try and generate some revenue from it.

“AEE UK 37 will generate as much as they can and then any electric surplus or spare capacity will help us out on race days.

“We had been approached by various companies over the years but this is the first time one has decided to run with it.”

Under the plans, developers say no trees or hedges would be removed other than a ‘defunct’ hedge which separates the northern part of the boundary between the two fields.

The site would be seeded for grazing by sheep and the racecourse car park would be improved by laying gravel for a temporary office, toilets, welfare facilities and skips for waste and recycling.

CCTV would be installed at the site and after the construction period developers say these features would be removed, the ground levelled and birch trees planted.

In concluding their plans, developers say their survey and assessment has not identified any adverse impacts that would outweigh the benefits of the proposed development.