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Councillors to visit site of controversial Stalham solar panels

PUBLISHED: 12:58 18 October 2012

Solar panels on a roof in Stalham High Street.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Solar panels on a roof in Stalham High Street. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012

A decision over whether a man can keep solar panels on his roof in a north Norfolk conservation area has been deferred by planning chiefs until after a site visit.

John Dace’s retrospective application to keep the 16 panels on the roof of 129 High Street, Stalham, was considered by North Norfolk District Council planning committee during a meeting on Thursday.

The scheme has been opposed by the council’s conservation, design and landscape manager. who is concerned by the prominence of the panels on the property’s High Street facing roof. He told the planning committee it was important to achieve a balance between sustainability and preserving the quality and character of north Norfolk. He added: “In my view, features like this are a gash on the building and the conservation area.”

Nearly 200 people have registered their support for Mr Dace’s panels and his application has the support of the district council’s sustainability team. Councillors on the planning committee also spoke in favour of the proposals, against the planning officer’s recommendations to refuse the application and take enforcement action against Mr Dace.

Roy Reynolds said councillors must take notice of local people, who didn’t seem to be concerned by the panels, while Benji Cabbell Manners said he had visited the High Street and the panels could hardly be seen.

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