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Permits No Longer Needed For Solar Panels 2007-04-11

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest.

Home-owners will not usually have to obtain planning permission when installing solar panels and other ‘green’ devices, under measures unveiled by The Communities Secretary Ms.Ruth Kelly.

Formal authorisation would not be needed for so-called ‘microgeneration’ technology if there is little or no impact on neighbouring properties.

Details of the measures, which are being put out for consultation, were disclosed by The Communities Secretary in a speech to ‘The Green Alliance‘ in London.

  • She said that currently a seemingly routine planning application can take up to three months to be decided, and cost up to 1 000.00 GBP.

‘The local planning system should support efforts to tackle climate change rather than acting as a barrier,’ The Communities Secretary insisted.

‘We need changes to ensure the system is proportionate — whilst retaining clear, common-sense safeguards on noise, siting and size.’

However, in an apparent swipe at The Leader of The Opposition Mr.David Cameron — who has been accused by The New Labour Party of adopting environmental policies ‘for show’ — The Communities Secretary stressed that technology should not be a ‘fashion accessory’.

Under the proposals, councils will retain the right to restrict planning permission in ‘exceptional’ circumstances where the benefit is questionable and outweighed by the impact on the local environment.

An example of where this could apply is ‘a wind turbine in a built-up area with little wind’.

The Leader of The Opposition is trying to install a turbine on the roof of his west London home.

There are already more than 100 000 microgeneration installations across the country — including wind and water source or ground source heat pumps — and that figure is expected to rise to more than 1.3 million by 2020. At present homes account for a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions.



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