PLANS to install 266 solar panels on the roof of Bradford Crown Court have been approved.

The Ministry of Justice submitted a planning application for the array of panels to Bradford Council late last year, and officers have now approved the application.

The Government body said the panels could create 86,522 kwh of green energy a year, which would help to power the huge building at Exchange Square.

It will be funded by a Government grant to invest in low carbon energy to help the country's court buildings move towards zero carbon by 2050.

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The court building is in the City Centre Conservation Area, and near a number of listed buildings, including the Great Victoria Hotel on the other side of Exchange Square, the former Telegraph & Argus building and St George’s Hall.

The application said the panels would not be visible from ground level, and officers said: "It is considered that the visual impact of the solar panels would not be any more detrimental than the current view of the courts.

"The proposed development will not cause any significant harm to the character and setting of the listed buildings. The minor harm caused would be outweighed by the environmental benefits of the proposal that have been presented."