LJLA wins appeal over plans to build 5,000-panel solar farm

Solar power

Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) has successfully appealed a decision to refuse planning permission to install a solar farm on its land.

In January 2022, LJLA submitted an application to build a 5,616-panel solar farm, rising to heights of 2.7m on a 13 acre site to the east of its runway.

The airport said the site in Hale Village is on its operational land.

But Halton Council rejected the application in July.

It said the airport had not provided sufficient evidence to show the site formed part of its operational land.

The airport took its case to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.

It argued it needs a solar farm to hit its target of becoming carbon net zero by 2040, when it aims to draw a quarter of its energy from renewable sources.

The plan attracted opposition from some local residents amid fears that a solar farm would “sterilise” green space and affect local wildlife.

However, LJLA’s appeal has been successful, and a spokesperson for the airport said: “We are naturally delighted with the outcome of our application to appeal the decision previously made by the local planning authority to oppose our scheme for a solar farm on our operational land and we will now look to progress this scheme as soon as possible.

“The airport is focused on sustainability and the solar farm is a huge part of our plans aiming to decarbonise our operation by 2040, bringing an estimated saving of around 20% of emissions per annum.

“We will be launching these plans in the coming weeks and the solar farm will, likewise, be important for the city region’s own aspirations to meet its 2040 net zero carbon emissions target.”

Construction of the solar farm is expected to take between three and four months.