Police Station Solar Panels Can Probably Stay

New solar panels on the roof of St Mary's Police Station

Solar panels that have been put on the roof of St Mary’s police station without planning permission were described as “unsighthly”, “diabolical” and “disgusting” by different councillors last night.

But despite the applicants not following the rules by submitting their planning application, it looks like they’ll be allowed to keep them on condition they move them around to a different aspect.

Chief Planning Officer Craig Dryden had recommended refusing the retrospective planning application but has now entered into negotiations after the police’s agents made contact at the eleventh hour. Craig said enforcement, if that route was to be followed, would be expensive.

He asked members to decide whether to refuse the application or give him delegated powers to agree a new plan with the council Planning Chair and Vice-Chair in attendance.

They backed that.

Some councillors voiced concern that people seem to be able to get what they want by building first and asking for permission later, as three retrospective proposals were discussed last night and only one was rejected.

Councillor Amanda Martin said it was regrettble that the panels were put up without planning consent because the panels are unsightly and was disapointed that the police hadn’t followed the official process. She hoped that, “At the very least we can urge the police not to reoffend.”

Councillor Christine Savill said it “wasn’t on” that the the police didn’t follow the rules.

But David Pearson was worried that the police station solar panels would set a precedent and lots of people would now want to add them.