Fears arise over airport solar farm plans

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Oglet shore. Pic © Lori Dunlevy JMU Journalism

Worried locals claim one of Liverpool’s hidden beauty spots could disappear under concrete if new plans go ahead.

Expansion proposals for Liverpool John Lennon Airport expansion have been met with a backlash from residents in Speke over plans for a solar panel farm and a new ‘A’ road on the site.

On the south side of the airport is Oglet, an ancient shoreline that residents fear they will lose access to if the scheme is approved.

The A road is planned to link the Knowsley bypass to the airport and go through farmers’ fields, removing some of the green space close to the Mersey in Speke.

The solar farm is set to start from the flight path and end just before the houses at Baileys Lane.

The new road will see Dungeon Lane, Oglet’s current access point for residents in Speke, closed.

Locals have expressed concerns about air pollution levels, preserving existing wildlife habitats and keeping the area as a recreational resource.

Elizabeth Peatfield, a local campaigner for ‘Save Oglet Shore’, told JMU Journalism: “If they put this other road in we will be trapped in between two A roads. With all the new houses and the expansion of the airport, you can notice the difference in the air quality.

“We need to get the word out for more people to support the campaign because no one knows about us.

“I struggle with asthma and over the past 20 years it has got worse, not because I have changed – it’s because of the pollution.”

YouTube: Lori Dunlevy

The area of land set to be developed is privately-owned by Liverpool Airport Limited.

The proposed solar farm would be located within a fenced-off area and the airport says it is now working in order to meet Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) safety requirements before the plans will be implemented.

Robin Tudor, Head of PR and Communications at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, told JMU Journalism: “The airport continues to take its environmental responsibilities very seriously. The solar panels will supply around 20% of the airport’s electricity demand, further reducing CO2 emissions.

“The airport is one of the area’s major employers, helping to create employment opportunities for many local residents as well as attracting inward investment and bringing significant tourism benefits, helping to boost the region’s economy.

“Residents will continue to have access to Baileys Lane, the Oglet and the shoreline to the south.”

About Lori Dunlevy, JMU Journalism