Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Plan for solar panels and ventilation system at library

SOLAR panels could be installed at Benson library.

Oxfordshire County Council, which is responsible for the library in Castle Square, has applied for planning permission.

It says this will make the library more energy efficient and reduce costs, helping to secure its future.

It also plans to install a ventilation system, including a roof stack, in the building to improve the “internal atmosphere”. Urgent repairs to the building would be carried out at the same time.

The planning statement by Bluestone Planning, of Swindon, says: “The solar panels will be situated on the western roof slope where, due to the layout of the site, they will gain the best exposure to the sun.

“The installation will provide a renewable energy source for the library, thus reducing its running costs and impact on the environment.”

The library dates back to the Sixties and is said to be “very much of that era”. The statement continues: “As such and due to the age of the building, there is a requirement for repair and upgrade works.

“Currently there are issues with the roof trusses, which are no longer capable of holding the weight of the tiles and need replacing.

“For public safety reasons, an emergency repair has been undertaken to ensure the library can still function safely. This has involved the removal of the tiles and the covering over with a temporary felt layer, thus ensuring the building is still waterproof and useable.

“The next stage of repair is to replace the roof trusses and replace the original tiles. As this work will not alter the form or size of the building, is a necessary repair and will replace the original roofing material, it is not considered that planning permission is required.”

The application is due to be decided by South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, by Tuesday.

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