Feeling the heat over solar panel ruling

Roger Carradice and his roof mounted panel.
Roger Carradice and his roof mounted panel.

A Bolton-le-Sands man is embroiled in a row with Lancaster City Council about the positioning of a solar panel.

Roger Carradice, from Greenwood Avenue, had the panel fitted on the roof of his house about three years ago.

Earlier this year, Mr Carradice, a chartered surveyor and former city council employee, said he got a letter from the council stating that the panel did not accord with its policies due to its “poor siting and dominance”.

He said: “It turns out we didn’t quite meet the local planning authority’s regulations, but I’ve been at a total loss as to what problems this has caused.

“It’s probably about two feet higher than the roof, but it is at an angle that the manufacturer has set for optimum performance. If the council can tell us what difference moving it will make, we will lower it, or if it’s offending anyone, we’ll move it, but there doesn’t seem to be any policy on it.”

Mr Carradice said he was told by the council that he would need to apply for planning permission, but that it would be unlikely he would get it.

He received an Enforcement Notice from the council on November 21. Mark Cassidy, assistant head of regeneration and planning at the city council said: “The council is supportive of renewable energy schemes and has previously approved a significant number of solar panel planning applications.

“In this particular case, the panel sits almost vertically instead of following the roof plane. Its poor siting and dominance means that it does not accord with policies contained within the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework and the council’s Development Plan.

“The council could have required removal of the panel, but instead it has given the householder the option of amending the position of the panel so that it follows the roof slope, thus not requiring planning permission.

“The householder was advised back in March 2012 that the panel would not be approved in its current form, and regrettably he has not taken action since then to remedy the matter, resulting in the service of an Enforcement Notice.”