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Council Demand Homeowner Removes Solar Panels

The owner of a property in Hampstead, London is fighting a ruling by Camden Council who are a keen supporter of Green initiatives to remove some solar panels on the roof of her home.

Cat Santos outside her home

Cat Santos had four solar panels installed costing £20,000 at her property in South Hill Park that are capable of generating enough energy to provide hot water throughout the year.

These solar panels were installed two years ago and planning permission was obtained. However, the 51 year old is being asked to take two of them down from her roof.

Mrs Santos is a local businesswoman owning a T-shirt printers in Kentish Town. She has sought and got the support of the Green Party in Camden.

She was not pleased when she was served with an enforcement notice.

She said: “There have been controversial basement works along this road that are much worse for the environment and here.

“It comes down to how green do you want people to be?”

However, a council spokesperson pointed out that planning permission had been given to Mrs Santos to have the solar panels placed at the back of her house whereas two of them were installed at the front.

Councillor Maya De Souza from Camden’s Green Party stated: “It’s a shame because she is trying to do something quite positive and the response has been very negative.

“The council should work with people and try and find solutions rather than just saying take those down.”

The council’s planning cabinet member, Cllr Valerie Leach pointed out that the council do have an excellent track record when it comes to providing support for renewable energy projects including fully supporting the installation of solar panels but, at the same time, the council must protect the unique character of property in the vicinity.

She said: “We take action to protect these areas and are currently in discussions with residents about this.”

Only last week Camden Council announced that, between 2005 and 2010, it had brought down its Co2 emissions by 2% and has a target of reducing them by a further 8% over the next two years.

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