Plans to build a solar farm in the Cotswolds which could power more than 12,000 homes has been given the go-ahead.

Aura Power Developments Limited and the Bathurst Estate has been granted permission by Cotswold District Council to go ahead with their plans to install the solar panels on 179 acres of fields in Kemble Wick near Cirencester.

Their proposals include the installation of housing for inverters, transformers, electrical equipment, a substation compound, fencing, security cameras and access tracks.

The developer says the photovoltaic array would generate around 48 megawatt hours per year which would offset the annual electricity usage of around 12,887 homes in the Cotswold District Council and Wiltshire Council Areas.

Council officers said the proposals will make a significant contribution to the supply of renewable energy across both areas.

They say the renewable energy of the scale proposed represents a significant benefit.

An agent speaking on behalf of the applicant said: “The impact of climate change is being felt here in the UK with extreme weather events affecting everybody’s lives.

“Cotswold District Council has declared both a climate and ecological emergency, our solar farm will help make an important difference to these twin challenges.

“Not only by generating 48.9 megawatts of clean energy but through a range of ecological measures which will result in a biodiversity net gain of 30%.”

They also said they had listened to concerns from local residents and made substantial changes to their proposals.

And there will be a significant buffer between the hamlet and the solar farm consisting of agricultural land and the existing mature woodland.

However, a number of residents objected to the scheme.

One said: "A solar farm this size is out of proportion, far too big for countryside which borders the Cotswolds AONB.

"The scale of it is out of all proportion with the tiny hamlets and villages that surround it, it would overwhelm the area, swamping small communities with solar panels."

Another said: "This Solar Farm is an ugly industrial development and should never have been considered."

The planning committee voted unanimously to approve the scheme.