WILTSHIRE Council is being called upon to harness the power of water energy in Salisbury.

Salisbury Community Energy are proposing to restore hydropower at the Bishop’s Mill site, and say ideas such as this should be included in Salisbury’s recovery plan and the Maltings redevelopment plans.

The group’s development manager Alison Craig said: “It’s such a no brainer, because of course there used to be a mill there that used to power the infirmary across the road.

“There is an increasingly urgent need to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy, and to challenge resistance to change.

“Salisbury is a key location for climate change impacts, coming within a few millimetres of a disastrous city centre flood in February 2015.”

Salisbury Community Energy is a community benefit society that aims to drive the uptake of renewable energy in and around Salisbury.

Alison added: “That river water thundering through Bishop’s Mill could be generating clean, green electricity.”

The group have been gauging public support through a short questionnaire, and have given a ‘yes in principle’ response from the Environment Agency.

If they are given the go ahead, including planning permission on the Grade II listed site, they hope for a new generation Zuppinger water wheel to be installed.

It will be one of the first in the UK, and Alison believes it will become a “marvellous new tourism asset” for the city.

Visit salisburycommunityenergy.co.uk