Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has requested to remove solar PV from a planning application lodged with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

The development in Welwyn Garden City is for thirty residential units with rooftop solar PV, the application was approved in 2018 and development began in May of 2019.

However, the development is required to achieve a 10% carbon reduction, and Taylor Wimpey said in the application that it can achieve this through a fabric first approach that does not require solar.

It has therefore requested that the condition of having solar on the houses be removed, with the council now accepting comments on the request until 29 January.

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said the company is committed to building new homes that meet its sustainability targets through the most efficient methods possible, which “can include the use of solar technology”.

“On this occasion, the fabrics used within the homes of the proposed development on land off Chequers Field in Welwyn Garden City, will meet the high environmental standards expected of us without the necessity for photovoltaic panels.” 

This comes as the UK government plans on introducing its Future Homes Standard to improve building standards. It is currently consulting on the policy, with two options outlined, one to deliver a 20% reduction in carbon emissions through “very high” fabric standards. The other option, which is preferred, would deliver a 31% reduction based on both better fabric standards and carbon-saving technology such as solar PV.

However, last year the Solar Trade Association (STA) found that 51% of local authorities have higher building standards than the national requirements and 17% have ‘leading’ policies in terms of ambition, scope and integration of renewables.