Minister to sort solar panel planning confusion

Published:  08 June, 2011

LONDON: Energy and Climate Change minister, Greg Barker, will discuss the growing chaos surrounding the installation of solar panels with the Department for Communities and Local Government.


Mr Barker's intervention follows lobbying by Eco Environments' director David Hunt, supported by shadow energy ministers, Huw Irranca-Davies and Luciana Berger.

The campaign is in response to local councils, including Eden District Council and West Lancashire Council, that demand homeowners seek permission before having solar panels installed contrary to government guidance.

Mr Hunt said: "Since we launched our campaign a few weeks ago we have heard about horror stories across the UK which is causing serious damage to the government's stated agenda of encouraging people to look seriously at renewable energy options for their homes."

"This will continue to be the case as long as councils are putting road-blocks in the way by telling homeowners they need planning permission, Building Regulations and Certificates of Lawfulness and charging them for the pleasure," he said.

He calls on the government to publish a simple, definitive guide for councils to follow which make it clear that there is no room for local authorities to make up their own rules and regulations.

Mr Barker said in a letter to the shadow ministers: "I agree it is important that local councils are fully aware of the planning rules relating to solar panels. I am happy to raise this matter with my colleagues at the DCLG to explore options for making sure these rules are clearly understood by councils and continue to work with them on removing barriers to the take up of micro generation technologies."

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