Many (all?) residents have been leafletted by "Solar together Hertfordshire", and a few people are following up the "offer", though I think no-one has yet reached the stage of stumping up the £150 deposit. PMML is asking WHBC how much involvement they have.
A few residents have expressed interest in this, and if you want to get involved please contact us.
Draft Conditions for solar panel installation
The Company (PMML) generally supports the installation of solar panels, and sees them as inevitable. It’s unthinkable that either the Local Authority or the PMMC would ban them outright and we want to see that if they are installed in Park Meadow they are done so sensibly and sensitively. As things stand installing solar panels without PM approval would contravene the covenant. The conditions below aim to set conditions under which the committee is likely to approve applications.
In the interest of the visual appearance of the estate we will only approve installations which satisfy some basic conditions such as colour (black), size, visual impact, and any potential issues with trees.
We will ask the resident or the installing contractor to give us a drawing or sketch of how the panels would look from wherever they are most visible, and of the wiring from the panels to the bin cupboard.
We will also ask that the resident consult anyone who might overlook the installation and give us a brief report of the results of that consultation and any objections.
We are grateful to BCB for the work she has done and communicated on the conditions that could apply and we support the pilot installation at 83 PM which we hope will inform the development of these draft Conditions
There are three or four basic types of house on the estate, and conditions will be slightly different for the different types. The committee will need to establish a simple process for approval going forward – the committee are not experts and we have limited time.
Flat roofs, 2 and 3 storey
For flat roofs the panels should not be angled at greater than 25 degrees to the horizontal. The panels should be set back from the roof and should not be visible from the middle of the street outside.
The best way of fixing panels to flat roofs has not yet been established and may well change as the technology advances. Solar panel installation may present an opportunity to improve roof insulation, and to instal skylights for ventilation and access to the panels for cleaning. Roof changes should not alter the uniformity of skyline along a terrace.
Batteries should be housed out of site within the property, typically in back gardens or bin cupboards.
The terrace 14-52 Old Hertford Road could be an ideal candidate for solar panels, especially if a number of adjacent houses cooperate to achieve a fairly uniform appearance
Standard conditions for these will be difficult to formulate
Any resident installing solar panels can’t ask the Committee (ie all PM residents), to cover the cost of any tree trimming, nor should the PMMC be under any obligation to remove trees already obscuring sunlight.
If the size of trees make solar panel insulation uneconomic then panels should not be fitted. If a smaller tree grows to a size where it causes (proven) issues then the resident should bear the cost of tree trimming (which must be by a PMMC approved contractor and to a size and shape pre agreed with the PMMC). Cooperation
There is talk of local “virtual networks” of solar set ups that become their own mini substation where properties “trade” energy. The substation in the middle of Park Meadow has space for large batteries, and is an obvious hub for cables. The technology will undoubtedly change in future