Warwickshire man wins right to retain solar panels on listed property

A Warwickshire resident has won the right to keep solar panels installed no his listed building after submitting a retrospective planning application. Antony Butcher had ten solar panels installed on the rear roof slope of his Grade II listed house.

According to the Warwick Courier, at a local planning meeting Butcher explained to the planning officers why Government’s fast tracked FiT changes meant he had to act quickly: “I apologise for not gaining listed building consent before having this work done. I have always gained planning permission before starting work on my house, but this time the Government suddenly brought forward the cut-off date for solar panels by three months.

“I know this authority places considerable value on the listed buildings and conservation areas in our district. I share those values and have always tried to do the right thing when working to improve my house during the 48 years I have lived there, but maintaining and heating old buildings is always more costly. The income from these panels will be a help for me and future owners towards these costs for the next 25 years.

Butcher concluded: “There are great environmental and economical benefits from these panels and people living in listed buildings shouldn’t be denied their right to help with this.”

Although one of Butcher’s neighbours objected to the application for permission the planning committee granted planning permission because they did not want to isolate a part of the community by excluding them from solar panel ownership and unnecessarily deter the community from doing its bit for the environment just because the building is listed.

Speaking to the Warwick Courier, Councillor Ann Blacklock, from the committee, said: “We can excuse him for the retrospective application as he acted sensibly in the situation he was in. These panels do not, significantly, adversely affect the appearance of the area and it doesn’t harm the building, so we should be applauding him for doing this.”