Set back for Southwold solar panels plan

A bid to install more than 50 solar panels on Southwold's church hall has met with opposition amid fears that they would be out of character with the area.

Plans have been submitted to install 53 panels on two sections of the roof of St Edmund's Hall on Cumberland Road. But Southwold Town Council this week declared its opposition to the application, saying the panels would not be in keeping with the church and the area surrounding the hall.

However, the council did stress it was not against the introduction of green energy projects in the area.

The plans were discussed at a policy and finance committee meeting at Southwold Town Hall on Tuesday. Simon Tobin said: 'This is a very interesting application which raised some interesting points. We need to be aware this would be locked in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and next to a listed building (St Edmund's Church).'

He said: 'It is a big decision and it will open up a development pattern in Southwold and we have not been given the detail we need to put it to council.'

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The plans envisage 53 solar panels being mounted on the hall's south-facing pitched roof.

Michael Ladd, who chaired the meeting, said: 'We are not against solar panels but we feel it does not fit in with this area.'

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