Last week I attended a site visit in London which involved looking at a proposed modern extension on the side of a church to accommodate offices and welfare facilities. When discussing the design process with the architect he mentioned that the original design included minimalist solar panels which modestly impacted the aesthetic appearance of the building. This would have greatly helped the church move in the right direction to being self-sufficient and contribute to the great fight that is climate change. However, the local planning authority stated they did not want to set a precedent for local buildings to introduce ugly solar panels to the roof and faces of their buildings, and therefore they declined the proposal and the church have gone with a traditional method of providing electric to the building, which is not brilliant for the bigger picture.
On learning this I decided to do a couple of quick google searches and this is not a sole incident, planners have declined countless wind farms, various standalone turbines and solar installations up and down the country. It is understandable that we need to conserve the natural beauty of our countryside, as well as ensure new builds and extensions coincide with local planning objectives. Safeguard urban areas from being overrun by badly placed/unsightly sustainable materials is important. However, at risk of sounding over dramatic, the planners must work with architects and developers to achieve a compromise to ensure the longevity of our planet.