Letter: Why are councils allowing newbuilds without solar panels?

4th February 2021

Letter published by the West Sussex County Times, 4 February 2021

Sir,

Why are councils across Sussex, including Horsham District Council, allowing newbuilds without Solar Panels?

Under the heading ‘Good take-up of council supported solar energy’ you report that West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is enabling residents across the county to install high-quality, roof-mounted solar panels at a competitive price to enable them to run on cheap, clean electricity, (WSCT 28/01/21). And that with solar panels the average home “can expect to reduce their annual carbon emissions by more than a tonne, which is the equivalent of driving around 5000 miles in a medium – sized modern car”. 

However, given the significant reductions in carbon emissions that can be achieved by equipping homes with solar panels, why are councils across Sussex, including Horsham District Council, allowing houses to be built without them.  

After all, climate change is an existential threat, and given the huge and unprecedented house-building targets imposed on our county, it would be sensible for all newbuilds to be equipped with solar panels. 

An explanation from Cllr Deborah Urquhart, WSCC Cabinet Member for Environment of why housing developments without solar panels are permitted in our county would be helpful.

Yours faithfully,

Dr R F Smith
Trustee CPRE Sussex

New housing at Uckfield
New housing at Uckfield