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Royal borough introduces planning order giving consent for solar panels on most Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is understood to have become the first in the country to introduce a new planning order that gives consent for solar panels on most Grade II and most Grade II* listed buildings without the need for individual listed building consent.

The council said that if the building is residential, planning permission is already not needed, “so installing solar panels will be much simpler in future for homeowners”. 

The order will include solar PV panels, including solar tiles or slates, or solar thermal panels.

The Royal borough added that there are conditions about the positioning, materials and fixings that can be used, to protect the appearance and fabric of listed buildings – this will just need a simple application to the council.

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Cllr Johnny Thalassites, Kensington & Chelsea's lead member for planning, place and environment, said: “We need to be innovative to tackle the climate emergency and I’m proud that we’re the first council to introduce a planning order to make solar power a realistic choice for more people. 
“Removing barriers to green energy is vital because 80% of the borough’s carbon emissions come from buildings. With 4,000 listed buildings in Kensington and Chelsea, we’ll need more of these homes and businesses running on renewables if we are going to be carbon neutral by 2040. 
“Protecting the unique character of our borough and its beautiful buildings is important and we know that solar panels can be installed without being visible at street level and without causing any damage to the building.”

The council said the plans were supported by residents’ associations across the borough, as well as individuals and the Historic Houses Association. 

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