The solar farm would be able to offset part of the airport's electricity bill. Credit: Michael Förtsch via Unsplash

Liverpool airport’s solar farm takes off after appeal win

Halton Council’s rejection of the airport’s proposal to install 14 acres of solar panels east of Dungeon Lane was overturned by the Planning Inspectorate on Thursday.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport submitted an application for a lawful development certificate for the solar farm last year. The solar farm will be capable of generating 3MW of renewable energy, all of which will be used by the airport.

The application also calls for the construction of a substation, an internal access road, and a site entrance onto Dungeon Lane.

Halton Council dismissed the application in June 2022, stating that the airport had failed to prove that the site in question was part of the airport’s “operational land” and therefore was not suitable for an LDC.

The Planning Inspectorate disagreed, citing a 2015 decision by the council to allow the airport to extend the runway safety area onto the site and add a fence.

With the land not accessible by the public (the inspector had to go through airport security to see it) and the council approving an application on the site already – the inspector stated it was clear that the site was “operational land” and thus an LDC should be allowed.

A Liverpool John Lennon Airport spokesperson said they were “naturally delighted” by the inspector’s decision.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

“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.”

The solar farm is part of a wider £100m project that Liverpool John Lennon Airport has been flirting with for a while. Other aspects of the initiative include a new road for the airport, a large warehouse to the south of the airport, expansion of the existing terminal, and elongation of the runway.

You can learn more about the solar farm at the airport by searching application reference number 22/00019/PLD on Halton Council’s planning portal or APP/D0650/X/22/3313760 on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

Your Comments

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Fantastic news I can see why Liverpool John Lennon is the best in the UK

By Anonymous

I like small airports like JL. Easy to find your way around.

By Anonymous

Excellent, never understood why the council opposed this excellent scheme,suspect it’s more to do with the fear that once it is established that this land is part of the airports operational land there might be further expansion of the airport….which actually is another good reason to support this project

By George

The most environmentally responsible thing to do would surely be to close the airport, move the flights to Manchester and convert the whole airfield to a solar farm.

By Swampy

@Swampy: What about the thousands of people in the Liverpool City Region who are employed there and rely on this employment to have a home and feed their families. How about expanding the airport so people don’t, have to always travel to Manchester. It always seems to be the case here that we cut back in Liverpool but never In Manchester. This is an excellent development and we all should fully support it.

By David

Brilliant news! Woohoo! I love this planning inspectorate

By Anonymous

Now if only Liverpool Council would pull its thumb out with regards to the cruise terminal.

By Sceptical

Love flying from Liverpool John Lennon its so much easier and it’s actually in Liverpool which makes all the difference, it’s so clean well organised and modern .
I live in Cheshire .

By Anonymous

I’ll travel to fly from small airports like Liverpool or LeedsBradford if I can. I suppose the fact that they are small means they are never going to have the choice or capacity of the the big ones so keeping them as an alternative is a good thing.

By Anonymous

What planet are Halton Council on rejecting this proposal using up all that resource for appeal.

By Mr Greene

I live in Manchester but prefer to use Liverpool or Leeds when I can. I am diabetic and MAN is the only airport of the 30/40 I have been through that makes you feel you are a criminal for taking insulin and needles through. Not a brain in the head of the staff there. At Liverpool too when we has a pram we got so much help, at MAN we had to use steps as staff stood around doing nothing.

By Gilly

@Swampy, jump back in will yer!

By just saying!

@David Hi David – whilst Liverpool airport serves the local and wider population – I would rather see more infrastructure investment in the regional and Northern train network – I believe that this investment will enable better return for local economy. Also on another note the solar farm is temporary and allows for said land to be sold to housing developers which may be more lucrative in the medium term

By Anonymous

Would you contact the Airport for comment on the wider plans to see if they still stand? The airport is in dire need of expansion, renewal and connectivity

By Frex

The land isn’t operational (and, hence the solar farm cannot be sited in this area) and it’s easy to prove. Thank goodness for the wisdom of HBC in rejecting the LDC in the first place who, clealry, did understand the CAA rules and regulations in respect of why the area cannot be defined as ‘airport operational land’.

By Tamlyn

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