Solar panels allowed in different position

Permission has been granted for the retention of solar panels at a house in Worcestershire despite an inspector's ruling that they undermined a conservation area's character and appearance.

The panels had been positioned on the front roof slope of a house in an elevated position with a garden sweeping down to a road. The inspector found that they were conspicuous features that did not sit comfortably with the dwelling's prominent position in the conservation area.

However, she noted that the council had already granted planning permission for solar panels to be attached to a flat-roofed front porch extending just below the sill height of the house's first-floor windows and overhanging the porch by approximately 60cm on either side. Although the council claimed that they would be less visible in this location, the inspector agreed with the appellant that they would look awkward and contrived.

In her opinion, the approved panels would have a similarly harmful impact on the conservation area. She also agreed that locating the panels on the porch would mean that they would not achieve their optimum operating angle and would be subject to overshadowing from nearby trees. This lent support for the appeal proposal because the panels would make a greater contribution to renewable energy supply, she remarked.

DCS Number 100-050-429

Inspector Karen Down; Written representations.

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