The wife of actor Colin Firth has lost a planning appeal over her bid to install a large solar panel on their listed home, in the latest case to test planners’ resistance to attempts to improve the environmental sustainability of dwellings.
Environmental campaigner Livia Firth appointed eco consultant Mr Woolf Inc to work up plans for the couple’s Grade II listed home in Chiswick’s Bedford Park – a conservation area and London’s first Garden Suburb.
However, a planning inspector has now ratified local authority Hounslow Council’s decision in turning down the listed building consent application last autumn.
The inspector, Roger Shrimplin, said the panel would be “unduly large” in relation to the roof slope and were proposed high up on the slope.
“The panel would erode the architectural qualities of the listed host building itself and would cause actual harm to the character and appearance of the Bedford Park conservation area,” he said.
He added that the sustainability benefits of the plan weighed in its favour but said the “harm” done to the “historic setting and the street scene” outweighed this.
Shrimplin also criticised several “errors” on the application including the precise location of the panel on the house.
“There are other significant errors in the drawings which have been submitted,” he said.