Solar panels cast cloud on Peak skyline

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FEARS over the number of solar panels being installed on traditional roofs were raised at a recent meeting of Chapel-en-le-Frith Parish Council.

The concerns centred around roofs that contributed to the streetscape, or those that could be seen from the surrounding hills.

Parish councillor Mike Smith said: “Gritstone roofs make a very significant contribution to the High Peak scene, but an increasing number of stone roofs are being seriously disfigured by solar panels.

“An energy measure that is meant to make a positive contribution to the environment is actually having a negative impact, because some of the panels are being placed on traditional roofs which are in highly visible locations.”

The installation of solar panels is classed as ‘permitted development’ on buildings which are not listed, but national guidelines state that ‘panels should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the appearance of the building and to minimise the effect on the amenity of the area’.

Chapel-en-le-Frith Parish Council is asking High Peak Borough Council to issue clear local guidelines on the installation of solar panels, before further environmental damage results from panels being installed in inappropriate locations.