Unwanted solar panels stop boy from using his room

House at Main Street Ailsworth with solar panels EMN-150303-154243009

House at Main Street Ailsworth with solar panels EMN-150303-154243009

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A mother is fighting against solar panels which emit such a blinding glare that her son who has an eye condition cannot see in his own bedroom.

The panels, put in by housing association Cross Keys Homes on the roof of a neighbouring bungalow, mean the 12-year-old has to do his homework outside his room because the light beaming in is so strong.

House at Main Street Ailsworth with solar panels. Picture from  next doors bedroom window EMN-150303-154106009

House at Main Street Ailsworth with solar panels. Picture from next doors bedroom window EMN-150303-154106009

And the man who has the panels on his bungalow has even said that he does not want them and has asked Cross Keys to take them down.

Cross Keys says it has been open and transparent with its dealings and is not breaking any rules.

The panels are on the roof of the property in Main Street, Ailsworth, which is in a conservation area.

Cross Keys installed them in October last year without informing residents.

We are incredibly upset someone could just throw up some scaffolding like this. We will never get used to it.

Anita Ribbons

Resident Anita Ribbons (47) whose house is next door to where the panels are situated, believes they are a blot on the landscape and are affecting the health of her son.

She said: “One day I went into my son’s bedroom and the sun was pointing directly into it. The glare was unbelievable. It made your eyes go white.

“Walking away from his bedroom I could not see properly as the glare was so intense.”

Ms Ribbons’ son suffers from a condition called Meares Irlen (visual stress) and has to wear tinted glasses to read off white paper.

Exposure to the glare causes him headaches.

Ms Ribbons said: “Even people without visual stress cannot look out the window. My son avoids going in his room.

“The glare goes on the road and could cause an accident.”

Ms Ribbons wants the housing association to move the panels to the back of the house.

She added: “We are incredibly upset someone could just throw up some scaffolding like this. We will never get used to it.”

The panels were put on the roof of Ged Moore’s bungalow, but even he wants them gone.

He said: “I never wanted them in the first place. I told Cross Keys I wanted them taken down before Christmas.

“I presumed they would contact me with any changes. If it’s caused any aggravation I would rather they are taken down and my roof repaired.”

Although the village is a conservation area, Cross Keys does not need planning permission from Peterborough City Council to install the panels as they are known as permitted development.

A spokeswoman from Cross Keys said: “We have offered to pay for an independent NHS medical report on Ms Ribbons’ son’s condition and the effects, if any, of the PV panels.

“If it is determined the glare from the panels is adversely affecting her son’s condition we can make changes to the frames and the glazing of the panels.

“We will not make any further decisions until we receive the medical report.”

It was added: “We have installed these solar panels in accordance with planning rules of a conservation area.

“We have tried hard to balance the needs of our tenants and the conservation area. At all times we have been open and transparent.

“We have paused further work in Ailsworth whilst we work to reach a solution that works best for those involved.”

The city council is investigating powers it has to prevent solar panels being put in conservation areas without planning permission.

A spokesman said: “We would encourage Cross Keys Homes and the resident in Ailsworth to work together to find an amicable solution to this problem.

“It is considered the solar panels do not breach planning regulations so we cannot request they are taken down.”

Ailsworth Parish Council said: “We were not consulted on the installation of the solar panels before they were erected. The Parish Council has raised its grave concerns over the panels to both Cross Keys and the planning authority.”