A major Chippenham employer has applied to put more than 1,600 solar panels on its roof as part of a drive to become carbon-neutral.

Plastics firm Wavin wants to install the panels at its factory site in Parsonage Way.

It has lodged a planning application with Wiltshire Council for 1,623 panels on the roofs of its main factory building and a storage warehouse.

The firm makes plastic pipes for the building industry and for civil engineering projects.

A document submitted as part of the application by planning consultants says: “As a market-leading contributor to the built environment, their sights are firmly set on leading the industry in sustainability by 2025 with the ultimate goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. “The company has a clear strategy to do this and a key element of this is for manufacturing sites to be running on 100 per cent renewable energy. These proposals are key to achieving this goal at the site in Chippenham.”

It goes on to say that the visual impact of the new panels would be limited in what is already an industrial part of the town.

The document points out that the nearby Schneider Electric factory already has solar panels on its roof.

The panels would stick up by less than 20cm above the roof.

“The impact of the proposed alterations to the existing pitched roofs will not have any significant visual impact on the character or appearance of the warehouse and factory or the surrounding local setting which is predominately industrial.”

The planning consultants say the panels should also help the council’s own work to tackle the climate crisis.