Agenda item

Planning application - MC/23/0361 Hoo Library, Church Street, Hoo St Werburgh, Rochester

Hoo St Werburgh and High Halstow Ward

Application for a Lawful Development Certificate (Proposed) for installation of roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems.


Councillor Pearce left the meeting for this item.




The Chief Planning Officer outlined the application in detail for the application for a Lawful Development Certificate (Proposed) for installation of roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems.


The Chief Planning Officer explained that this was not an application for planning permission so Members could not consider this as a normal planning application.  This was to determine whether the installation of roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems were lawful under the General Permitted Development Order 2015. 


The Chief Planning Officer took the Committee through the various headings which related to what would be permitted development under the terms of the above mentioned Development Order.


With the agreement of the Committee, the Chief Planning Officer read out Councillor Sands’ concerns as a Ward Councillor:


  • Although Hoo Parish Council raised an objection, they were not anti-solar panels, however, they believed this proposal was in the wrong area.  The proposal would directly impact the visual aspect when entering, or more especially, when leaving the Grade 1 listed village Church and the close by, Grade 2 War Memorial.
  • The Church and village itself dated back to King Edward, the Confessor around the 12th Century and was referenced in the Domesday book.  The walls were built of Kentish ragstone and its oldest bell tower dates back to 1588.  The pioneering engineer and inventor, Thomas Aveling, was buried just 60 yards from the library, so a truly historic building.
  • In the report it stated the solar panels would not be installed on a listed building or within the curtilage of a listed building and would also be sited as to minimise the effect on the external appearance which he considered not to be true. 
  • The library building itself, once the village primary school, which if it was not for the new library extension completed a few years ago, would now also be a listed building.  He stated that we should protect and preserve listed buildings and especially Grade 1 listed buildings, which accounted for just 2.5% of all listed buildings. 


The Chief Planning Officer confirmed that Hoo Library was not a listed building and not in the curtilage of a Grade 1 listed building. 


The Committee discussed the Lawful Development Certificate application noting the concerns raised by the Ward Councillor. 


Due to climate change, and the fact that the Council declared a climate change emergency, it was discussed that putting solar panels on roofs was a good idea.


The Chairperson confirmed that although this was not a planning application but an application for a Lawful Development Certificate, the reason it came to the Committee was because objections were received from Hoo Parish Council. 




Approved with condition 1 as set out below and in the supplementary agenda advice sheet for the reasons stated.


Recommendation - Approval


1               The proposed works constitute development permitted by virtue of Class A, Part 12, Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 as amended, as such planning permission is not required.


The proposal is for development that is permitted development by virtue of Schedule 2, Part 14, Class J of the Town and Country (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).


Councillor Pearce returned to the meeting.

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