A solar park could be built to help power and heat historic Scone Palace.
Fresh plans have been unveiled for the installation of around 300 sun-powered panels in the grounds of the iconic Perthshire building.
Initial proposals were first mooted last year, but now more detailed plans setting out how the project could impact on the historic site have been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council.
The palace, best known as the ancient crowning place for Scottish kings, attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year.
Project leaders said the move could be crucial to allow the palace to continue hosting large-scale events like the BBC’s Biggest Weekend festival, the medieval combat world championships and TV shows including the Antiques Roadshow.
In paperwork submitted to planners, architects JW Souttar – acting on behalf of Scone Palace – said: “The energy requirements for powering and heating a building such as this are vast.
“Those currently entrusted with the running of Scone Palace are under constant pressure to ensure that it functions as efficiently as possible. In a modern world where, more than ever, ordinary members of the public are questioning how such buildings are able to remain financially viable, it is vital that they seen to – and do – move with the times and be as self-sufficient as possible.”
Developers want to build the array on a private site behind the building which used to be tennis courts, but has become unused and overgrown.
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Agents said: “Not only are the former tennis courts tucked away in the most inconspicuous space around the palace, this is also an area of hard-standing that is suitable for setting the panels onto.
“The site is dilapidated and unattractive,” the spokesman said.
Some evergreen leylandii trees are likely to be removed to ensure the panels are in direct sunlight.
“Due to its inconspicuous and current condition of the application site, an array in the proposed location will have the least impact of any available site,” planners have been told.
Thousands of pounds worth of underground cables will connect the panels to an existing plant room in the palace building.
Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust has advised that a study of the tennis courts site is carried out to check for any archaeological remains.