MORE than 50 solar panels could be added to a section of roof at a historic church in a bid to better heat the building

Two air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels could be put in place at St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington, to replace a heating system which is “expensive to run and ineffective”.

An application has now been lodged with East Lothian Council’s planning department.

A letter from those representing the church reads: “At present, the building is heated via a series of electric radiant heaters, steel panel radiators and fan convectors.

“This system has proven expensive to run and ineffective at providing a satisfactory level of heating to achieve thermal comfort and to maintain the fabric of the building, with the far-from-ideal temperature of 16°C being achieved and logged on January Sunday mornings.”

Two external air source heat pump units and 54 photovoltaic panels would be installed.

The letter continues: “The combination of systems will significantly improve the level of heating capacity and minimise running costs and help ensure a level of maintenance can be achieved that will keep the structural fabric of the space maintained.”