BAE Systems is seeking permission to set up a new steam-generation facility that would be pivotal to its work.

A planning statement submitted with the application says the proposed facility would be 'essential' for the testing of submarines.

"It is critical in supporting the ongoing operations of BAE Systems in Barrow," says the statement.

"The application will support the continued employment generation and economic investment provided by BAE Systems, both towards the local area and nationally."

The development would be permanent and would replace the existing mobile unit at the site. 

A design-and-access statement submitted as part of the application says the building would be placed as far from Stanley Road, a residential street adjacent to BAE, 'as is reasonably practicable'.

"In height and massing, the new building will sit comfortably with its neighbours, being configured with a lower eaves toward the houses of Stanley Road," says the statement.

"The building has been configured with the boiler hall to the north and the three storeys of ancillary accommodation to the south.

In Cumbria: PLANS: An image showing the design of the proposed facility. Picture: Jacobs/Barrow Council planning portalPLANS: An image showing the design of the proposed facility. Picture: Jacobs/Barrow Council planning portal

"As such, the ancillary accommodation contributes an acoustic buffer with respect to the residential accommodation in Stanley Road."

The building would consist of a masonry base, a metal-clad midsection and an aluminium roof. 

The planning statement says the steam-generation facility would require no additional lighting.

"Existing lighting on the BAE Systems operational site will be replaced with modern lighting, 4 to 5m lower than the existing and with far less light spillage," it says.

"It is considered that there will be an improved lighting environment in the area."

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The new building would comprise the main hall - containing the boiler - as well as support accommodation 'including control room, amenity, workshop and plant accommodation'.

"The facades are designed to be simple and consistent with no exaggerated features, with an emphasis on simple, robust details which will prove reliable in the coastal climate and keep maintenance to a minimum," says the design-and-access statement. 

An application for the new facility, a nitrogen compound and a new retaining wall with fence has been submitted to Barrow Borough Council for approval.