A fight over solar access

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WHENEVER solar access fights arise one can’t help thinking of “The Simpsons” classic “Who Shot Mr. Burns”.

Alistair Coe kicking this off yesterday demanding an end to solar access building rules.

“The Barr government should repeal the controversial solar access building rules created through Variation 306 and replace them with a simple building envelope or a significantly increased solar fence,” Alistair said.

“These ridiculous rules introduced in 2013 mean many new homes cannot be positioned to a northerly aspect. The rules have wrecked the planning of new homes which have been forced into to a suboptimal design, meaning they’re energy inefficient.

“Costs of between $15,000 and $50,000 are added to a new house because of these complex rules and much of the cost comes through excavation of blocks so that houses are lowered below the natural ground level.

“Numerous stakeholders including architects and building groups raised concerns before the rules were brought in and their fears have been realised.

“Disappointingly, there is now a generation of houses and estates that have been impacted by the Variation.

“Today in the Legislative Assembly, I’m calling on the government to repeal the rules, as the Canberra Liberals have committed to,” Mr Coe concluded.

Mick Gentleman returned fire saying things just need tweaking.

“The changes introduced under Variation 306 sought to significantly improve solar access and provide certainty to homeowners that opportunities for passive solar design, and active solar technologies, would be available to all residential blocks,” Mick said.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our rules and legislation and a process of review is currently underway to refine the solar access requirements while maintaining this important policy objective.

“A process of review is underway to refine the solar access requirements while maintaining the important policy objective. The government will be making further announcements regarding this review in the coming weeks.”

Solar access being a pet project of the Greens one can’t see the Government losing on this in the Assembly.

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