THE community hospital in Malvern must ask for full permission before it can install 148 solar panels on its roof.

Malvern Community Hospital applied to Malvern Hills District Council for prior approval for the solar panels in July.

This application was rejected by the council, meaning a full planning application must now be submitted before any installation can be carried out.

If approved, the panels would be installed to the south-facing roof of the building generating around 58,000 kWh of power.

The panels would be approximately 6ft by 4ft in size and would be installed along the length of the building.

A spokesperson for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "We are committed to creating and embedding sustainable models of care and ensuring our operations and our estate are as efficient, sustainable and resilient as they can be.

"As part of our strategy to reduce the CO2 emissions associated with utility consumption, we plan to expand the number of our sites generating energy from renewable sources such as solar panels, an initiative already in place at Hill Crest in Redditch, New Haven, Church View and New Brook in Bromsgrove, and Tenbury Community Hospital.

"This, alongside projects and activities detailed in our new Green Plan, will support the Trust and wider NHS in achieving its target of becoming ‘Net Zero’ by 2040."

Other hospitals in the region have solar panels installed, including Tenbury Community Hospital.

Tenbury's system was designed by Mypower and generates around 27,778 kWh of electricity

This, it says, helps the hospital avoid more than seven tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

On the Mypower website, it claims the system would pay for itself in six years with the hospital having avoided buying around 27,000 kWh.

Certain types of development are granted planning permission by national legislation without the need to submit a planning application. This is known as 'permitted development'.

The development at the community hospital does not come under permitted development rights, so the application was refused.