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.