TWO parish councils are celebrating a £60,000 windfall after planning approval was granted for nearby solar farms.

Eco Sustainable Solutions have donated £30,000 each to West Parley Parish Council and Hurn Parish Council after solar farms covering 291 acres on land next to their site was given the go-ahead.

Work is now underway on the schemes which will eventually provide low carbon ‘green’ electrical power for about 14,000 homes.

Trelawney Dampney, Eco’s managing director, said: “I feel strongly that businesses such as ourselves have a wider responsibility than just to make money.

“We work closely with local residents and elected representatives and, while we do not always see eye to eye on every issue, we value the importance of local democracy in action.

“There are no strings attached to these donations. All we ask is that the money is spent on projects and initiatives which will benefit as many people as possible.”

Margaret Phipps, chairman of Hurn Parish Council, said: “We have not yet allocated the money to anything specific. It’s likely we will ask residents via our newsletter whether they have any local schemes we should consider supporting.”

John Cullen, chairman of West Parley Parish Council, said the £30,000 donation was a “very generous” sum.

They were planning to use the money to fund improvements in the public car park by the country club with new drainage, resurfacing and new lights as well as new fencing at a children’s play area and money for community groups.