A VILLAGE will be one of the first in the country to have its own electric car for use by the community thanks to a £200,000 grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Ashton Hayes will have a Nissan Leaf electric car for the villagers to use for short journeys.
For a fee which will cover insurance and maintenance, villagers will be able to book the car either online or via the community shop. The car will travel about 80 miles before it needs re-charging.
The grant, which was awarded to the village by the DECC under the Low Carbon Communities Challenge, will not only pay for the car but also to build a sports pavilion on the sports and recreation field in the village.
The pavilion will consist of two changing rooms with shower and toilet facilities as well as a spectator area. Its roof will be covered with solar panels so it can generate its own electricity, and the village car will be charged from the building.
Outline planning permission for the building has been granted and the detailed permission is hoped to be gained shortly, with the aim of completing it by the end of March.
Other plans for the recreation area include a high quality play area, a football pitch and a nature area.
Andrew Garman, chairman of the Ashton Hayes Sports and Recreation Association said: “This is very exciting for us. Villagers will see some big changes on the recreation field happening relatively quickly.”
The Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral project began in 2005 when villager Garry Charnock decided to see if he, along with he help of the Parish Council, could reduce the carbon emissions of the village. In just over two years the project managed to reduce the energy use by 23%.
The project has now decided to try and generate its own energy. Soon solar panels will be fitted on the roof of the school and they plan to build their very own power station.