Today we were given planning permission and listed building consent for two atrium-type runs of solar panels and four glazed roof lights.
The new features will be on a mansard roof which is in the process of being built these panels form part of our ongoing initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency. David Frank, administration director at the hotel, addressed the council’s planning and development committee about the proposals and referred to the Government’s CO2 reduction target for the country of 20 per cent by 2010.
Basically I had to speak before the council planning committee at this meeting I informed them that : “At the Crown Spa Hotel, we have managed to reduce our CO2 output by seven per cent since 2005, around six households worth, through team training and replacement of less efficient items.
“By granting this application it will achieve a reduction of CO2 output equivalent to nine to 10 households, put the hotel within three per cent of achieving the tough 2010 Government target and send a clear message to the businesses and households of the borough that the 20 per cent reduction is possible in old buildings.”
Finally I added: “I have children and I want to be able to say to them with hand on heart that with regard to climate change and my influence on any future impact that I have done the right thing and all I can that is practicable.”
Scarborough and District Civic Society in keeping with their stance on such projects of modernity objected to the plans because the roof lights are “out of keeping with a grade II listed building of this quality” and the solar panels “add even greater clutter to the roof”.
At the meeting, Richard Flowitt, vice-chairman of the society, said: “Quality buildings such as these are special and need extra special care and protection. They are our inheritance from past generations who have brought great design quality and architectural wealth to the town and left behind buildings of style for us to enjoy forever.”
Cllr Dilys Cluer said: “I agree with the civic society that they are the inheritance of past generations but if we don’t do something about climate change we won’t have a forever to enjoy them.”
In a report, Jill Low, planning manager for the council, said: “It has been established that there will be views of the roof from elsewhere in the town and the conservation area, but that due to the distance of these views, the proposed development would not result in any detriment to the appearance of the historic building or conservation area.”
So now I am on the hunt for solar panels!