Plans For Solar Panels At New School Put Before Councillors

New Five Islands School, due to open in September

Plans to put a bank of solar photovoltaic panels on a south-facing roof of the new School have concerned some Councillors.

The sheer volume of them, 70 in total, means that the roof structure may be affected.

And there are some concerns about the potential they may have to dazzle plane pilots on what is a Skybus flight path, although British International Helicopters have raised no objections.

Councillor Christine Savill warned members of the Planning Committee that they were dealing with people’s lives.

Before permission is granted planners will talk with the airport staff, who will be in touch with the Civil Aviation Authority.

And there’ll need to be a structural roof survey to see whether it can take the weight.

Fred Ticehurst was concerned that the architect hadn’t put the panels in the original plan but he was told that the solar cells are a school project.

Chief Planning Officer Craig Dryden felt that, if the experts found them acceptable, they could be placed at a lower position.

Panels are going up on the sports hall next door as well, and Councillor Richard McCarthy says he has no issue with that, as it isn’t a particularly attractive building.

Councillor Amanda Martin said most members would support the aims behind the application.