Posted: Fri 22nd Mar 2024

Charity Granted Permission to Install Solar Panels on Listed Denbigh Building /
This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 22nd, 2024

A charity was granted planning permission to modernise a listed Denbigh building with solar panels.
Vale of Clwyd Mind applied to Denbighshire County Council’s planning department with two applications seeking to develop the grade-two listed Crown Workshop at the former Buttermarket on Crown Lane.
The charity wants to make alterations to the existing skylight and insert rooflights and solar PV panels.
The chamber heard how the charity already has permission to convert the building into an office, education museum, and community building as part of a new culture, heritage, and well-being centre, backed by the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
But Denbighshire’s planning officers recommended councillors refused permission for the roof conversion, including the council’s conservation officer.
Conservation officer Chris Evans said: “I’m supportive of this great project, which is bringing the building back into use in Denbigh, but unfortunately I cannot support the solar panels being installed on a huge roof elevation which is right in the central core of the conservation area in the medieval town of Denbigh.”
But most councillors felt differently.
Cllr Gareth Sandilands said: “One of the key words we’re talking about here is sustainability for the future.
“We know the impact of the cost of living (crisis), not just to residents but organisations and particularly to charities, has been affected, and will be affected for future years, due to cuts in funding from central Westminster Government.
“But the sustainability has been looked at actively by this organisation, and I’ve looked at the plans and they’ve also taken into consideration (the solar panels) being installed within the roof. They haven’t just ignored the fact it is in a conservation area.”
Cllr Jon Harland agreed: “I appreciate officers are following national guidelines in proposing to refuse this application, but I encourage members to consider that these conservation guidelines are outdated and not fit for purpose. Conservation regulation should not be about preserving the past in denial of the future.”
Cllr Harland then claimed listed buildings in England were now having heat pumps and solar panels fitted.
Cllr Merfyn Parry added: “We’ve probably got about 1,400-ish listed buildings in Denbighshire, and one third of them have fallen into a state where they’re not repairable.
“And I think what we’ve got to try and look at is to try and take some of these listed buildings forward. Let’s not look back. Let’s look forward to what we do.”
Cllr Chris Evans feared the building could fall into disrepair if not modernised.
“I’m very aware of the building. I’m a Denbigh lad,” he said.
“But if we look around Denbigh, especially the buttermarket, the college that it was, there’s the start of graffiti, the start of anti-social behaviour around that building. There has been arson in the last couple of weeks around Denbigh, so do we not progress anything heritage and end up with a burnt-out building and heritage bricks because that’s what will happen? We are living in different times now. People have different needs.”
The committee voted in favour of both applications. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales

More from Denbighshire Council

Plans unveiled for Multi-Generational Community Hub at Ruthin Town Hall

Denbighshire Council

Residents Express Concerns Over New Recycling Scheme in Denbighshire

Denbighshire Council

Ruthin Town Hall Set to be Transformed into Café

Denbighshire Council

Developer Submits Plans for 14 New Homes in Rural Denbighshire Village

Denbighshire Council

New Glamping Site Plans Unveiled at Bodfari in Area of Natural Beauty

Denbighshire Council

Prestatyn Could Soon Have its Own Police Station, Says North Wales Police Commissioner

Denbighshire Council

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council