Planning application for solar panels on Piel Island gains support

Plans to make Piel Island net zero moved a step closer this week as proposals to install 30 solar panels were approved.

The scheme, which will see the island’s diesel generator replaced, received unanimous backing from Barrow Borough Council’s Planning Committee. Stipulations were given, which includes a low fence surrounding the structure.

Delegated powers to give final approval for the plans, once the consultation period has closed, was given to the Council’s Development Services Manager.

Councillor Therese Assouad, Lead Member for Climate Emergency, said: “We have an ambitious vision for Piel Island through our Net Zero Piel project and we have taken a significant step towards this.

“The panels will generate almost 14kwh of power every day - enough to meet the minimum requirements of the Ship Inn which are presently met with a diesel generator.

“Piel Island is an asset, and the installation of a reliable and sustainable power source will mean it can continue to be enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike for many years to come.”

The proposals are being funded through the Low Carbon Barrow project which is a programme providing a £1.94M investment into the Borough as part capital funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. It also includes revenue contributions from Barrow Borough Council and Art Gene

Low Carbon Barrow programme is a series of projects launched by Barrow Borough Council in 2020 to engage local communities on climate issues, reduce CO2 emissions and help the borough to achieve its aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2037.

The proposal for solar panels on Piel Island relates to a small area of land to the rear of the Ship Inn, where the intention is to install 30 ground-mounted panels. The proposed site is thought to have been used for the keeping of livestock over the years.

Special consideration was given during the planning process due to the island being both a site of significant heritage and ecology – with the buildings being grade I and II listed, and the island being of special scientific interest.

At the Planning Committee meeting, which took place on Tuesday 25 October, the vote was unanimously in favour of the solar panels.

The consultation period runs until Wednesday 2 November, after which point a formal decision will be issued.