BARCLAYS Bank wants to install a solar array scheme above 925 parking spaces at Radbroke Hall to generate 35 per cent of the electricity needed for the employment site.

About 4,000 staff are based at the site which houses offices, Barclays Bank plc and the original Grade II listed Radbroke Hall.

Barclays has applied for permission to install photovoltaic cells above two car parks - one to the far west and the other to the far south-east of the site, which is off Stocks Lane at Over Peover.

The application will be considered on Wednesday (June 7)  by Cheshire East’s northern planning committee.

Knutsford Guardian: The meeting will take place at Macclesfield Town HallThe meeting will take place at Macclesfield Town Hall (Image: Google)

But, in a report to that committee, the council’s planning officer acknowledges the proposal ‘results in numerous benefits and disbenefits’.

The report states: “With regards to the disbenefits, the proposed development would represent inappropriate development in the green belt. Additional harm to the green belt would be created in relation to openness in visual and spatial terms.

“The proposals would also result in ‘less than substantial’ harm to heritage assets and, according to the council’s heritage officer, the degree of harm would be at the upper end of the scale. This harm is primarily due to the adverse impact of the development to the setting of the Grade II listed Radbroke Hall.

"Harm would also be derived from possible further tree losses on site around the perimeter, given their possible shading implications on the solar panels.”

The key benefits of the proposal would be that, over a year, the development would account for 35 per of the electricity demand of the site during daylight hours and, for the summer months, the site could potentially be completely off-grid in terms of electricity.

In addition, it would generate electricity to power 100 electric vehicle charging points.

The report continues: “It is accepted that the location of the development and the type of green energy proposed is the best option for green electricity production at the site.”

And it adds that when this is considered, together with the significant environmental benefits of the scheme and the fact the development is easily reversible, meaning any harm to the heritage assets and natural environment would not be permanent, ‘it is deemed that the environmental benefits of the development are sufficient to represent very special circumstances that clearly outweigh all of the harm identified’.

Because the proposal represents inappropriate development in the green belt and is over a certain scale, if the committee does approve it next week that approval will be subject to consultation with the Secretary of State.

The northern planning committee meeting takes place at 10am on Wednesday, June 7, at Macclesfield Town Hall.