The council’s £14.4 million investment is subject to a variety of commercial conditions which seek to protect the interests of the taxpayer. This means that completion of the purchase will only take effect once, and only if, those conditions have been met, leaving the development risk with the current owners.
If achieved the deal has the potential to achieve hundreds of thousands of pounds of income each year to protect key day to day services at a time when Government funding for councils is being withdrawn.
Cllr Stephen Edwards, Forest Heath Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance said: “Government funding for councils is being withdrawn while Council Tax comes nowhere near to covering the total cost of the day to day services that we provide to our communities.
“That means, that we, as a council, are acting more commercially to generate income that will pay for these services – and the potential from the solar farm is huge.
“Capital funding cannot be spent on providing day to day services but by investing it wisely we can create a significant income that will pay towards these.
“We recognise that this is a big sum of public money that we are looking to invest so this will only go ahead when the commercial conditions have been met.”