Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Eco Boss Turns Up the Heat

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Eco Boss Turns Up the Heat

Article excerpt

A DARLINGTON boss has continued his campaign for better Government handling of the green energy market.

After recently attacking David Cameron for pursuing an "anti-renewables agenda", David Hunt, a director with Eco Environments, has now turned his fire on councils who are ignoring laws intended to encourage solar power schemes.

Clear rules spell out how homeowners can have solar PV installed as long as the work is done by a fully approved contractor.

But a number of councils are going against Government guidance by wrongly telling people they require planning permission or Building Regulations approval.

Mr Hunt said: "The Government's rules are clear. Planning permission is not required unless you live in a listed building or conservation area and Building Regulations are not required as long as the homeowner uses a contractor under the Government's Competent Person Scheme.

"Even in a conservation area, planning should be permitted and Building Regulations should not be necessary as long as the homeowner notifies the local authority and uses accredited installers.

"The Government needs to make it absolutely clear to local authorities that they have a duty to adhere to these rules rather than standing in the way of progress.

"The majority of councils do comply, but a small number seem hell bent on causing as many problems as possible. By doing so, they are discouraging people from pursuing renewable energy solutions for their homes and cocking a snook at the Government's environmental agenda."

David added that he had been contacted by Shadow Energy Minister Huw Irranca-Davies who had promised to raise the matter in Parliament. Fellow Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister Luciana Berger has also pledged to take the matter up with the Government, as has Conservative MP Rory Stewart. …

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