District council HQ could get solar panels

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SOLAR panels could be fitted to the district council offices to save money on energy costs.

South Holland District Council is seeking permission from its own planning department to fit the photovoltaic cells on the roof of the building in Spalding’s Priory Road.

The plans, which will subject to the council’s usual planning process, show that the panels would be fitted to the area of roof which is side on to Priory Road, facing towards the car park, in a bid to keep the visual impact in the town’s conservation area to a minimum.

Council leader Coun Gary Porter said: “If these cells are installed we will receive a payment for each kilowatt hour that is produced.

“This will help us make a return on our initial investment and will mean that we are less dependent on the national grid.

“This will, in turn, help to save money on the building’s energy costs and carbon footprint.”

The council decided to look at installing the solar panels in response to national government targets to lower carbon footprints by 80 per cent by 2050.

The process began in October and involved a full assessments of the suitability of the building and its location for the panels.

Suitable panels have been chosen and an accredited installer found to fit them should the plans be passed.

They would be placed on four faces of the roof to minimise visual impact and would be masked further from the street by trees, street lights and telegraph poles.

A design and access statement produced by the council says the panels would be in keeping with the appearance of the contemporary brick building with its glass atrium, entrances and large windows.

Their dark colour would ensure they wouldn’t stand out, and any glare would be reflected upward.