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  5. 9 June 2011
  6. Solar panel planning wrangle

Solar panel planning wrangle

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker has agreed to intervene in a wrangle over solar panels and whether planning permission is required along with buildings regulation clearance before they can be installed on homes.

He has promised to help a campaign led by green energy company Eco Environment, a renewable energy company.

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

The campaign was triggered after a number of local councils told homeowners they needed planning permission before having solar panels installed despite Government permitted development guidance.

The company also claimed that councils were erroneously insisting that solar panels required clearance under the building regulations. Hunt said this stance was wrong so long as the homeowner used an accredited contractor

Barker told the Labour MPs: “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 Communities and Local Government 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 microgeneration technologies.”

 

Roger Milne

9 June 2011