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Residents ‘devastated’ as King’s College, Cambridge, puts 492 solar panels on its roof

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King’s College, Cambridge, has begun placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century chapel – despite opposition from residents and organisations, including Historic England. The college is putting 492 solar photovoltaic panels across both sides of the large roof of the historic Gothic building to help cut carbon emissions.

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

 

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

The controversial plans were passed by councillors at the Greater Cambridge shared planning committee earlier this year and the first panels have now been put on the roof.

 

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

The chapel is currently having its 150-year-old lead roof replaced and whilst the scaffolding is up, the university wanted to take the opportunity to add the solar panels, which will produce 105,000 KWh of energy a year and cut carbon emissions by 23 tonnes a year.

 

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

But the solar panels, which have been placed 1.3 metres down from the roof ridge, have angered many local residents and Historic England, who say the solar panels look out of place on the Grade-1 listed chapel, which dates back to 1446 and is one of the finest examples of Perpendicular Gothic English architecture.

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

The chapel, which hosts annual Christmas Eve and Easter carol services which are televised by the BBC, sits beside The Backs.

One resident said: “I can’t believe they have put solar panels on the chapel roof, it’s one of the most iconic buildings in the world and completely ruins it.”

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

Another added: “It’s devastating to see the roof covered with solar panels. There are so many other buildings, with less historic significance, that they could have put solar panels on instead.”

Last year the council said the solar panels had a “lot of potential to generate electricity.”

 

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

Deputy leader of Cambridge City Council  Martin Smart, said: “We’re sending a message to other people all over the world that this is the thing to do, and why not?

 

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

King’s College, Cambridge, has started placing solar panels on its iconic 15th century Chapel – despite opposition from local residents and organisations, including Historic England. PHOTO: BavMedia

“This is a huge roof and has a lot of potential to generate electricity going forward and that’s got to be a real public benefit.”

 

 

 

 

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