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Solar panels should be the law on new houses

Taking advantage of the recent glorious sunshine to walk extensively around all the new developments at the Tadpole Garden Village, around the Abbey Stadium and Blunsdon, one is struck by the major extension to the Swindon urban area that these developments represent.

Certainly, the external domestic architecture makes for more interesting and varied streetscapes than the bog-standard Bradley houses of the 1970s and 80s.

Clearly, the immediate take up of the houses demonstrates the response to the urgent need for new housing to meet the housing crisis that has built up over the past decade.

However, one must take into account the environmental cost that such developments represent.

This is enormous taking into account the CO2 emissions from the manufacture of concrete, bricks, tiles and tarmac.

In addition, this urbanisation of green fields has altered and darkened the albedo with the consequent heating of these areas.

Furthermore, as no community facilities have been included in these areas, each household will need at least one if not two cars so adding to the overall pollution load.

Therefore, we need to offset the environmental consequences of these developments.

One way, at least, to ameliorate the climate impact is to install solar panels and yet none have been provided in this plethora of new housing.

It is vital that all new builds given planning permission, whether by the local planning authority or by a planning inspector on appeal, must have solar panels provided as a planning condition.

Such provision should be considered as mandatory and as essential as other services – gas, electricity, sewerage etc. The cost is essentially marginal to the overall construction costs of a house.

Even if central government will not impose such conditions, it is incumbent on the Swindon Borough Council to do so as part

Tony Mayer, Wheatlands, Haydon Wick

Turning UK economy supertanker takes time

Rose tinted view (SA, January 20).

It is deeply saddening that certain left-leaning correspondents should choose to look for every minor occasion in the past to use to denigrate the prime minister.

It smacks of sour grapes!

Boris Johnson has achieved more in a short six months or so than any other party leader in the past, over a similar period.

If my namesake delves in to the Labour party’s history as assiduously as he has Boris’s, he will find that every single Labour government, from Ramsay McDonald to Gordon Brown, has left economic havoc, from financial crash, recession, rising unemployment and debt, behind them.

The note left by Liam Byrne in 2010 ‘I’m afraid there is no money’ says it all!

The UK economy, like turning a supertanker, continues on for some time before completing the turn and regaining lost ground.

The euphoria of the Brexit vote in 2016 was dampened not only by the Remoaners, but mainly by Jeremy Corbyn who, although a Brexiteer at heart, voted against the Government on almost every occasion in his bid for No.10.

The three and-a-half year hiatus that followed, was finally broken by Tory success at the polls and arguably the end of Jeremy Corbyn’s political career.

I am sorry to disabuse you Peter, I do not wear glasses, but never fear, I can see the halcyon years are ahead of us.

Henry Smith, Peatmoor, Swindon

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