Plans to park cars under solar panels have been approved for a trial scheme in the East Lindsey district.

The plans have been described as “radical, revolutionary and out of the box” but they hope to generate money for the local council over the long term.

The innovative idea has come after controversial council proposals to increase parking charges in the area. Previously free car parks will only remain so for the first hour, whereas other locations are set to receive parking charge increases.

After a review of charges by East Lindsey Council, it has been decided at a recent meeting that parking fees should increase in order to provide a balance across the region.
The increases are said to improve equality throughout the region and could provide the local government with an additional £400,000 a year.

As reported by the Skegness Standard, councillor Tony Bridges said at a meeting on Wednesday (January 9th) that proposals were focused on delivering fairness across the district and to make sure the frontline services are protected. Cllr Bridges said the council sometimes has to make bold decisions.

Councillor Laura Stephenson suggested an alternative measure to generate money over the long-term. By placing solar panels in car parks for vehicles to park underneath, renewable energy could be produced and money can be made for the council in relation to the government based feed in tariff. 

The proposal has won the support of the council and a trial scheme is set to begin shortly. Councillor Tony Howard said it was worth taking a closer look at an option that was “something a bit different".

However, due to not having a suitable model to base the scheme on, it would be difficult to determine how worthwhile the initiative would be. Portfolio holder for the economy councillor Craig Leyland has therefore been cautious and would not promise anything more than an investigation of the idea.