POLL – Should solar panels be banned from historical buildings?

Bacteria covered in solar panels could produce renewable energy

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Cambridge City Council has approved the application to fix hundreds of solar panels onto the roof of King’s College Chapel despite objections. So, do you think solar panels should be banned from historical buildings? Vote in our poll.

Councillors said that the plans to install 492 photovoltaic panels on the Grade I listed building would serve as a “symbol” for climate change and show “commitment” to a net zero carbon future.

Labour Councillor Dave Baigent told Cambridge City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, February 7, that members had the “weight of history” on their shoulders. He added: “We have an opportunity to promote change. Accepting that we can alter or allow people to alter one of the greatest buildings in this country is a symbol of what I’ve said is Cambridge. It will be significant in the world’s fight against carbonisation. We, as a world leader, need to be bold.”

Whereas Liberal Democrat Councillor Katie Porrer said it was a “difficult decision” as the Chapel was a “beautiful building” and she did not want to do anything to damage it. However, she said she did not believe the solar panels would be visible to many.

A representative from King’s College Cambridge told councillors at the meeting that solar panels on the north and south slopes of the roof would meet the Chapel’s entire energy demand and highlighted that they could be removed without damage if no longer needed. King’s College has applied to install the solar panels during essential works to fix the 150-year-old lead roof which will be stripped and melted down.

Historic England objected to the plans and said that the solar panels would “harm people’s appreciation of the Chapel’s extraordinary architectural character”. Other historical buildings including Buckingham Palace already have solar panels installed.

So what do YOU think? Should solar panels be banned from historical buildings? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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