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Skipton church set for heat pump and solar panels

Thursday, 14 December 2023 16:33

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

Holy Trinity Church, Skipton. Image: Rombalds Radio

Plans have been lodged to install a heat pump and solar panels at Holy Trinity Church in Skipton as part of a move to become more environmentally friendly.

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of Holy Trinity, Skipton has submitted plans to North Yorkshire Council this week for a host of measures aimed at improving the sustainability of the Grade I listed building at the top of the High Street, which dates to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Plans would see an air source heat pump installed on the roof of the church’s cafe to replace the current gas heating system, which planning documents state is the largest cause of emissions at the church.

The Church of England has a target of reaching net-zero emissions on its properties by 2030.

The existing gas heating system at Holy Trinity Church failed in late 2022 due to “severe leaks” from the cast iron pipework buried under the floor of the church.

Exploratory excavation indicated that all the buried pipework was in a similar condition and is unsuitable for reuse in any future heating system.

Solar panels would be placed in the churchyard and a new doorway would be fitted at the south entrance to reduce draft into the building.

The cafe’s entrance would also be widened to improve wheelchair accessibility.

The church considered placing the solar panels on the roof but concluded that they would be better in the churchyard as it would not harm views of the building and the panels would enjoy the most exposure to the sun.

Documents added: “A solar array in this position is the least intrusive on historic fabric and will have the least detrimental effect on the historic asset. It will be sited away from public view except for anyone venturing towards the railings at the north east corner of the church, when they will be seen side-on. This is the best solution for a solar array at Holy Trinity church.”

North Yorkshire Council will make a decision on the plans at a later date.

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