Solar-panel roof plan for Worthing eco-church

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WITH a need for floor buckets when it rains and its wish to become eco-friendly, Worthing’s Offington Park Methodist Church has a double purpose in wanting a new roof.

The church is seeking Worthing Borough Council’s planning approval to re-roof the building with red/brown Redland Regent cement tiles, also incorporating 16 solar roof panels on the roof’s southern aspect.

While the church aspires to be an eco-church, it is not certain that solar panels would be added to the new roof at present. But the church thinks it best to obtain permission for the 16 panels at the same time as the tiles, to avoid the need for a follow-up application later.

The work will be funded by the church, and estimates for the project are being considered. The present church was built in 1958, and a design statement submitted to the council’s planning department says the existing roof has “serious defects” and must be replaced.

“The impact of the new tiles and solar panels are considered to be reasonable and non-harmful, having regard to the proximity of adjoining properties,” says the statement.

The solar panels installation company quoted in the statement says the panels being considered should have a life expectancy of 25 years, with an efficiency rating above 80 per cent. It says customers should be able to get their expenditure money back in between eight to nine years.