Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth has been refused planning permission to fit his Grade II listed mansion with a solar thermal module. Hounslow Council initially rejected the appeal, stating that the “inappropriate size and positing [of the solar module] would not preserve the architectural and historic significance of the listed building.”

Upon appeal, the council has decided to uphold its initial decision to deny the actor permission to install solar thermal at his Chiswick home. Roger Shrimplin, the appointed inspector reiterated that “the solar panel would not be merely a temporary feature and it would be unduly intrusive in the streetscene.

“In consequence, the proposed solar panel would erode the architectural qualities of the listed host building itself and would cause actual harm to the character and appearance of the Bedford Park Conservation Area.”

Despite acknowledging that the “generation of useful energy, for domestic purposes, from solar power sources, is to be encouraged through the planning system,” Mr Shrimplin pointed to the wrongly labelled site plan and other errors in the submitted drawings to justify the council’s refusal of permission.

Colin Firth is no stranger to solar technology following the launch of his own environmentally friendly store, Eco Age, with the help of his wife Livia. The green store has strived to be as sustainable as possible, and is powered by both solar modules and a wind turbine. The shop offers everything from green cleaning products to energy saving gadgets.