The district council has agreed to fork out £80,000 for the installation of solar panels at the civic offices.

Epping Forest District Council's cabinet was told this week that the investment would be returned in eight years with a saving of £9,306 in year one.

Solar panels have a life expectancy of 20 years and would generate an estimated 43,914 KW of energy each year.

Alongside the additional panels the council plans to spend £139,428 on essential roof maintenance.

This, according to the council, would have gone ahead regardless of the decision on solar panels.