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Unattractive pavilion won’t have solar panels added
Published 26/11/12



SOLAR panels will not be installed in the Leichlingen Pavilion in Henley.

Henley Town Council last month agreed to erect 179 black-framed panels in the Over-60s Club in Greys Road car park, the Henley outdoor sports centre and the Exclusively Ladies fitness centre, both in Reading Road.

There were also plans to install 40 panels in the Mill Meadows facility at a total cost of 68,013 but councillors rejected the proposal, claiming they would blight the area.

Speaking from the public gallery at the council’s recreation and amenities meeting, Councillor Martin Akehurst said Mill Meadows provided an “iconic view” of the town.

“As you come along the southern river approach to Henley, it’s one of the landmarks we see and the solar panels look dreadful,” he said.


“I’m trying to find words to describe what it would look like with solar panels on it.

“I’ve seen better things hovering over Arizona on UFO TV channels. I can’t think of a better way to crucify this building.”

Councillor David Clenshaw said: “It’s not a beautiful building in my view but neither are solar panels. In this particular case it’s by the riverside and I don’t like them.”

Councillor Sam Evans said: “Mill Meadows is one of the most beautiful and visited areas in Henley. We would be insulting our residents and visitors by putting solar panels on it.”

Councillor Will Hamilton added that the panels were “absolutely wrong” for the town.

Some councillors supported the installation of the panels because they would be cost-effective.

It is thought the panels would generate almost 8,000 a year from the sale of surplus energy to the National Grid and help prevent more than 43,000kg of carbon dioxide emissions.

The council previously rejected installing panels on the town hall roof following objections from English Heritage.

Councillor Ian Reissmann said installing the panels in the pavilion was worth the money.

“I strongly recommend we go ahead and do this. We would be saving money, making an investment and doing our bit for climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, which we have a responsibility to do as a council,” he said.

“The only arguments against are aesthetic. I don’t believe they would in any way diminish the setting of Mill Meadows because the damage is already done by the building.”

Designs were submitted to the committee and Mayor Elizabeth Hodgkin said they didn’t look as bad as she had expected.

She said: “This building guzzles up energy, which is incredible because it’s so badly designed.

“We have a responsibility to reduce costs and usage of energy as well as showing the next generation of the way ahead. I don’t think it’s so bad.

“I can understand people saying not to put panels on the town hall roof but we’ve got to look at every case.

“It’s a brave step this council has taken in the last few months by putting panels around the town. We’re using public funds to manage a building like this.”

The council voted against the installation by five votes to four.



ends









SOLAR panels will not be installed at the Leichlingen Pavilion in Henley.

Town councillors have rejected the idea despite agreeing for panels to be put on three other municipal buildings.

It would have cost almost 13,000 to install 40 panels at the pavilion in Mill Meadows, which houses toilets and a children’s nursery, but they would have produced an income from the sale of surplus energy to the National Grid.

Members of the council’s recreation and amenities committee were divided on the issue.

Councillor David Clenshaw said: “It’s not a beautiful building in my view but neither are solar panels.”

Councillor Sam Evans said: “Mill Meadows is one of the most beautiful and most visited areas in Henley. We would be insulting our residents and visitors by putting solar panels on it.”

Councillor Will Hamilton said the panels would be “absolutely wrong”.Speaking from the public gallery, Councillor Martin Akehurst said: “I can’t think of a better way to crucify this building.

“I’m trying to find words to describe what it would look like with solar panels on. I’ve seen better things hovering over Arizona on UFO TV channels.” But Councillor Ian Reissmann said: “I strongly recommend we go ahead and do this. We would be saving money, making an investment and doing our bit for climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, which we have a responsibility to do as a council.

“The only arguments against are aesthetic. I don’t believe the panels would in any way diminish the setting of Mill Meadows because the damage is already done by the building.”

Last month, Cllr Reissmann called the pavilion a “blot of the landscape”.

Councillor Lorraine Hillier said: “We have a responsibility to reduce costs and usage of energy as well as showing the next generation the way ahead. I don’t think it’s so bad.”

The committee voted against the installation by five votes to four.

The council has previously rejected installing panels on the town hall following objections by English Heritage.

However, it agreed to the installation of 179 black-framed panels at the Over-60s Club in Greys Road car park and the Henley outdoor sports centre and the Exclusively Ladies fitness centre, both in Reading Road.

It is thought these panels will generate almost 8,000 a year from the sale of surplus energy and help prevent more than 43,000kg of CO2 emissions.

Published 26/11/12

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