PLANS to develop a £65million renewable energy centre at the former Houghton Main Colliery site have been given the green light by Barnsley councillors.

Barnsley Council’s planning regulatory board voted to approve the plans submitted by Peel Environmental for a new renewable energy source which will generate up to 20MW of electricity – enough to power around 49,000 homes.

Jane Gaston, development manager at Peel Environmental, said: "The former Houghton Main Colliery was a major source of employment and coal extracted from the site was once at the heart of powering the country.

"Our plans will see a significant investment in this previously-developed site and will create up to 200 full-time jobs during construction and 25 during operation.”

The site will be accessed off the Houghton Main Colliery roundabout on the A6195 Park Spring Road.