‘Neon pink’ signs ‘more distracting’ than solar panels

Wednesday April 12th 2023


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A ‘neon pink’ park advertising board and church signs are more of a distraction than solar panels on a roof in a conservation area, a homeowner has claimed.

Dalkeith residents Paul Shipp was refused planning permission to put solar panels on his home after Midlothian Council planners ruled three of them would be visible from the road.

But in an appeal to the local authority’s Local Review Body next week, Mr Shipp argues that there are more distractions outside his home that would draw attention from his home.

In his statement of appeal, Mr Shipp, who lives at St Mary’s Court, next to the entrance to Dalkeith Country Park, says boardings advertising the park and blue signposts for the nearby church already draw people’s attention.

He says: “Although the dwelling is situated in a conservation area and the solar panels are proposed to be fitted to a roof that faces a road, the first line of sight on the approach from this road to Dalkeith Country Park is the large (and often neon pink) advertising sign for the park alongside the bright
blue signs for St Mary’s Church attached to the listed wall surrounding our house.

“We carried out our own street survey to ask passers-by what they noticed first on approach and these signs were both highlighted first, followed by the plant boxes leading up to the entry gates.

“We also asked if they felt solar panels would be a negative addition and not a single person had any concerns.”

The planning officer’s report into the original planning application which was refused permission said ten solar panels were proposed with three visible from the road.

Officers raised concerns the three panels would have an impact on the character of the conservation area around the country park entrance.

They said: “Overall, the installation of solar panels will not positively contribute towards the character or appearance of the listed building or the conservation area.

“The proposal will have a significant adverse impact on the character and appearance of the listed building.”

The appeal will be heard by the review body at a meeting on Monday.

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