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Does current legislation protect homeowners’ right to light with regard to solar panels?
Solar panels fixed to the roof of dwellings are becoming increasingly popular as more people become aware of renewable energy sources. It is currently estimated that 1m homes in the UK benefit from solar technology. Solar power enables homeowners to generate their own consumable carbon-free electricity and benefit from additional income, by selling excess power to the national grid under government incentive schemes such at FiT (Feed-in Tariff). Research into the technology of solar panels concludes that shadows cast over panels and obstructions blocking sunlight have a significant negative effect on the amount of power a photovoltaic system can generate. Current legislation is investigated to ascertain if existing laws can be used to protect a homeowner’s investment, with regard to interference caused by neighbouring owners who build dormer-style extensions or high-rise type developments. This paper reviews the Right to Light Act 1959 and the tort of nuisance, the result of which establishes that there is no such legal protection currently available.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal
Tony Leishman has recently completed his studies at the University of Salford achieving a 1st BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying. Tony is a graduate surveyor at Rider Levett Bucknall in Manchester.