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  1.  
    So the decision is in and the council have refused permission based on the fact that the house is historical, in a conservation area and the renewable energy generated does not outweigh the 'harm caused by their visual intrusiveness'.

    I responded by pointing out that we are putting the panels on a modern garage which has zero historical or heritage value, solar panels are now a permitted development in a conservation area (except for vertical panels facing a highway, which these aren't) and I asked if they consulted an expert in renewable energy to determine that the amount of renewable energy generated does not outweigh the planning department's perceived damage to the view.

    I asked them if there was any negotiation involved or if their decision was final. If it's final, or their suggested design changes are unworkable, I guess I have to appeal to the Secretary of State. Does anyone have any experience of this sort of thing?
    • CommentAuthorPeterStarck
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2016 edited
     
    I appealed against a refusal and it was straightforward. It was still refused, but I did get some useful feedback enabling a subsequent approval. Was for a newbuild though.
    • CommentAuthordb8000
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2016
     
    The website is pretty good https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/planning-inspectorate

    You have to remember that planning is decided in accordance with policies.

    The NPPF is first (google it for the text)

    Then local plan for your area.

    You need to show why your development is in accordance with the NPPF and the local plan.

    The inspector will at least take an objective view of it. They are usually quite good. Yours will be done on paper only so should be fairly stress free.

    Provided that you don't have a hopeless case, the council won't be able to recover costs even if u lose.

    I have a feeling PD rights don't apply if your main building is listed.
  2.  
    You will need a good planning consultant but I believe your only chance is the fact that they have changed the application to retrospective. It will hinge around the date you made the application and the date the council was made aware of the installation. Is it more than 8 weeks from your original application to decision notice.
  3.  
    They restarted the application by asking for additional information just before the original deadline was up, despite providing me with reassurances that they had everything they needed from me.
  4.  
    Get onto English Heritage or whatever there new name is they should have details of what was actually included in the listing at the time and may well have a map or can tell you where to find the details of what was originally included in the curtilage. If you cannot prove the building is not part of the curtilage then I think your sunk.
  5.  
    The building (garage) was built after the main property was listed. The council are still saying this is a 'curtilage building' and are imposing the rules accordingly.
    • CommentAuthorMarkyP
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2016
     
    Defining curtilage is a confsuing topic, particularly for the planners.

    It is worth having a read of Martin Goodall's excellent planning blog for his posts on the topic. Google will take you to the blog, then use the blog search function for "curtilage" and enjoy some bed time reading.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: Pile-o-Stone 0n 2015-01-15Interestingly, the LBO got in touch and has asked me to withdraw the LBC application because they ruled the garage is not part of the listing as its not a curtilage building.

    Posted By: Pile-o-Stone on 2016-03-22The building (garage) was built after the main property was listed. The council are still saying this is a 'curtilage building' and are imposing the rules accordingly.

    Did the LBO put his January statement in writing?

    As a building more recent than the listing, the garage isn't listed. But guidance I've seen on various council sites suggests that there's no permitted development for solar panels within the curtilage of a listed building. So I think they're wrong to say that it is a curtilage building but it is a building within the curtilage, so I think the effect of what they say is correct even though their wording is dubious.

    Did you ever submit a planning application for the 2+1 installation? That might be worth doing. It should be free since they've refused your 2+2 application and would at least get 3/4 of your installation permitted whilst you appeal.
  6.  
    Have a look at the planning application for the garage if it is within the curtilage of the Listed Building then it would have needed Listed Building consent for the garage to be approved. If no Listed Building consent for the garage then I think the council would be on a very sticky wicket.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: djhBut guidance I've seen on various council sites suggests that there's no permitted development for solar panels within the curtilage of a listed building
    That's correct. Rather than going by second-hand references it's better to read the source, Luke:

    The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/596/schedule/2/made

    PART 14 Renewable energy
    Class A – installation or alteration etc of solar equipment on domestic premises
    Permitted development

    A. The installation, alteration or replacement of microgeneration solar PV or solar thermal equipment on—

    (a)a dwellinghouse or a block of flats; or

    (b)a building situated within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse or a block of flats.

    …

    Development not permitted

    A.1 Development is not permitted by Class A if—

    …

    (e)the solar PV or solar thermal equipment would be installed on a building within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse or block of flats if the dwellinghouse or block of flats is a listed building.
    So you can't put PV on a garage in the curtilage of a listed house but if the garage is listed but the house isn't then you can put panels on the garage. That's not legal advice, that's just a literal-minded programmer looking for corner cases.

    Class B - installation or alteration etc of stand-alone solar equipment on domestic premises
    Permitted development

    B. The installation, alteration or replacement of stand-alone solar for microgeneration within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse or a block of flats.

    …

    Development not permitted

    B.1 Development is not permitted by Class B if—

    …

    (b)any part of the stand-alone solar—

    …

    (iv)would be installed within the curtilage of a listed building;
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2016
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesSo you can't put PV on a garage

    qualified by "under permitted development, without planning permission" :cool:
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2016
     
    Posted By: renewablejohnHave a look at the planning application for the garage if it is within the curtilage of the Listed Building then it would have needed Listed Building consent for the garage to be approved. If no Listed Building consent for the garage then I think the council would be on a very sticky wicket.

    Very good point, I think.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2016
     
    Posted By: djhqualified by "under permitted development, without planning permission"
    I thought the context was obvious, but yes, it probably is worth spelling out.
  7.  
    Time for an update....

    I contacted my local planning department and asked if there was anything I could do to move forward with the soalr panels. A new planning officer offered to come out and look at the panels now that they are complete (they just had some photos of the panels when they were being installed).

    I showed the planning officer the completed panels and pointed out that, apart from just not having panels at all, I had done everything I could to mitigate their impact on the surrounding area and especially to the listed building.

    He agreed and asked me to resubmit the application but to put in a heritage and access statement detailing how we are trying to reduce the rather sizeable carbon footprint of the listed building, what we have already done (insulation, etc.) and what we are hoping to achieve in the future (i.e. with solar and other initiatives).

    I put the document together and I submitted the planning submission this morning.

    Fingers crossed!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 16th 2016
     
    Posted By: Pile-o-StoneHe agreed and asked me to resubmit the application but to put in a heritage and access statement detailing how we are trying to reduce the rather sizeable carbon footprint of the listed building, what we have already done (insulation, etc.) and what we are hoping to achieve in the future (i.e. with solar and other initiatives).

    I put the document together and I submitted the planning submission this morning.

    Hope he didn't sucker you into anything too expensive that he could add as a condition to the PP. Or maybe I'm being too cynical.
  8.  
    If you have not already included individual MVHR was a big winner with our conservation officer as it "protected the fabric of the listed building". Although we did have to be creative with the vent holes hidden behind the spoutings and down pipes.
  9.  
    DJH: I seem to have gotten lucky in that the new planning officer is really keen on renewables and also had a dim view on the government pulling the rug from under the FIT payments with so little notice.

    There are no additional requirements with the new submission, the council just asked me to put together a heritage and access statement detailing all of the methods I employed to mitigate the impact of the panels; putting them on a modern garage instead of the listed building, sinking the panels into the roof so that the profile of the roof is unchanged, fitting black panels with black frames. I also gave details on how we are looking to make the house as carbon neutral as possible, which would be a major achievement for a 18th century building.

    RenewableJohn: We have a MVHR in a self-contained part of the building that is fully renovated (and a lot more airtight than the main house). Once I've completed installing the IWI, celing/floor void insulation and lime plastered the walls we will be installing a MVHR in the main house. As I do a room, I install ducting, insulate it and then box it off.
  10.  
    I received good news today - my resubmitted plans have been approved with restrictions. The restrictions are that the panels have to be removed when they stop serving their purpose (generating electricity) or when 25 years have passed, whichever is the earlier. I assume that if I'm still in this house in 25 years, I can apply again for permission to have new panels installed.

    It's a relief to not have to take them down. :)
    • CommentAuthorsnyggapa
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2016
     
    excellent result.

    Personally, in 25 years I would do nothing as the odds of someone checking are practically if not exactly zero. And if they do kick up a fuss, submit plans. By submitting plans, you draw attention to something that doesn't need frawing attention to :)

    -Steve
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