A FREMANTLE resident is boiling after a neighbour was given approval for a two-storey extension that will leave her solar panels without any sunlight.
Susan Allwood says she’s facing an $850 bill to move the panels onto another section of her roof, but says that will seriously affect the authenticity of her heritage-listed fisherman’s cottage on South Street.
Ms Allwood says she’s not even sure the council’s heritage rules will permit the move anyway.
“Fremantle council portrays this image that it’s green, but in reality it’s not,” she says.
“If they were, they would have protected the solar panels on my roof.
“I’ve contacted council but they haven’t even bothered to come around and take a look, they’re too busy sitting behind computers making decisions.
“I’m 66, have MS, and live on my own,” she says.
“People tend to think they can get away with things when it’s a female pensioner on her own, but I’m not lying down and taking it.”
The council could have a fight on their hands; in the ‘80s Ms Allwood was active fighting air pollution from Shell’s bitumen plant in North Fremantle.
Her efforts helped temporarily close the plant and pushed the environmental protection agency to introduce new regulations.
Fremantle council planning director Paul Trotman says that based on R-code solar access parameters, the city didn’t think the extension would block Ms Allwood’s panels. “The proposals for 14 and 18 were assessed against the R-Codes with planning conditions imposed that required both properties be built consistent with the ‘visual privacy’ conditions in the R-Codes.”
by STEPHEN POLLOCK