Why ‘gobsmacked’ owners have been left in the dark


The owners of Horncastle’s first fully ‘eco-home’ say they are ‘gobsmacked’ after planners told them they did not have permission to erect solar panels.

‘Viridis’, in Bargate Lane, is believed to be the only house in Horncastle with a zero carbon rating and would rely on solar energy for year-round power and heating.

Work started after the owners, the McGarry family, received full planning permission last year.

They submitted detailed proposals to East Lindsey District Council - including the provision for solar panels.

However, the family says the council is insisting the panels need specific planning permission.

Nerys McGarry, speaking at a Town Council planning committee meeting last week, said the panels were “key” to the entire project.

She said: “There is no other source of power. We will rely entirely on them.

“We thought they (the panels) would have been included in the planning permission because they were clearly marked on all the drawings.

“We are gobsmacked that ELDC are now saying the panels were not covered.”

Mrs McGarry added the new application would lead to extra expense - and delays.

She admitted issues had arisen after a complaint from a neighbour who was worried about the height of the panels, even though the actual house has been effectively ‘sunk’ into the ground.

Committee members voted to support the application after hearing steps could be taken to reduce the visual impact. Chairman Coun Brian Burbidge described the ‘eco home’ as ‘fantastic’.