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Firms urged to help create urban 'solar farms'

Firms urged to help create urban 'solar farms'

Wed 14 Jun 2023

Rural land & property
Agricultural business consultancy
Architecture & Planning

Businesses are being urged to help create an innovative new hybrid rooftop 'solar farm' scheme.

This could see hundreds of Commercial buildings across the city of Norwich install solar panels on their roofs.

The Norwich BID, Business Improvement District, is currently spearheading a series of 'Solar System' breakfast meetings across eight quarters of the city - and we hosted one for the organisation in our Head Office. 

There are over 330 BIDS across the UK including some in other areas in which we have offices which are also hoping to launch similar schemes.

The BID meeting invited local businesses to consider putting solar panels on their roofs - demonstrating how it was possible on both pitched and flat roofs.

Dr Nigel Hargreaves, a Chartered engineer, founder and Managing Director of sustainable energy firm Synfo, based at the Norwich Research Park, gave a presentation demonstrating that there were around 70 Commercial buildings identified as having roofs with potential for solar panels situated in the Creative Quarter in which our Norwich office is based.

If all took part in the initiative, businesses in the Creative Quarter alone could, over an estimated 20-year life span of the solar panels, achieve the avoidance of 5,051 tonnes of Co2 emissions, he said.

It's encouraging that BID is lobbying business owners, local authorities and other stakeholders to sit up and take note."
Alton Nutile, Director of Commercial Operations, Brown&Co Norwich.

Alton Nutile, Director of Commercial Operations in our Norwich office, who gave a presentation at the meeting, said: "It’s good that Norwich BID is championing sustainability and working to bring together local businesses. Individual businesses alone might find it difficult to fund the upfront costs for projects such as these but through some of the schemes BID is pioneering, it makes this more achievable.

"Solar power is much more efficient and more cost effective than ever before and some people still perceive this not to be the case, so it's encouraging that BID is lobbying business owners, local authorities and other stakeholders to sit up and take note.

"We at Brown&Co have had much experience on advising landowners and farmers on large scale solar arrays but through an ongoing relationship with BID we can also now advise portfolio property owners on the benefits of solar." 

Norwich could see the launch of an urban solar 'farm.'

Potential barriers to solar panel installation, particularly on period properties in old cities like Norwich, can be regarding planning permission. 

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director, Norwich BID, referred to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea which last year was the first council in the country to introduce a new listed building consent order.

This granted consent for solar panels on most Grade II and Grade II star listed buildings without the need for individual listed building consent.

You can contact Alton Nutile in our Norwich office on 01603 629871.

Carbon and energy

Norwich BID



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