Rochford District Council will tomorrow decide whether to allow London Southend Airport to develop a solar array to help meet its climbing electricity demands.

The airport is intending to construct the project on land to the north of its main terminal on a flood plain that would otherwise have been unused, and the plan has received support from council planners.

Approximately 11,000 panels would be fitted in 41 rows with a height no greater than 3.1 metres, and the airport said the 2.8MW installation would have no impact on its day to day operations.

Supporting documents filed with Rochford council state that the airport expect the solar farm to provide around 20% of the airport’s annual electricity consumption.

This is the second time the airport has tried to secure planning permission after councillors rejected a similar plan several months ago, however since then the airport has allayed Environmental Agency fears by commissioning a flood risk report.

The planning officer’s report, filed on 30 April, has recommended that the planning committee approve planning permission subject to specific conditions being met, including that archaeological works are conducted prior to any ground works and flood mitigation measures are undertaken.

London Southend Airport has undergone a period of expansion and modernisation in recent years with a new terminal and train station opening to support budget airline EasyJet transferring some of its operations to the airport from Luton.