Sunlight is for everyone, but what will be your legal rights if a neighbour decides to build up and block direct sunlight from hitting your solar PVs?
This is an issue Dr Jo Thomas of central Adelaide was forced to deal with when she learned that a developer had plans of building a four-storey building right next to her.
Dr. Thomas is a medical doctor living in a small, medium density development called Christie Walk, which has 27 dwellings and a community garden. She said that the development will have a big impact on them and for her personally, the building will throw a lot of shadow over her photovoltaic solar collectors and solar hot water system.
She also said that it will have a big impact on the amount of electricity she could produce from her solar power system, with at least 35% reduction in production and about 85% efficiency reduction in her solar hot water system.
Dr. Thomas submitted the necessary petitions and paperworks about the potential impact to her local council during the public consultation process and her voice was heard by the council’s assessment panel. And at this point, the council stopped the developer, but the developer appealed to the South Australia Environment Resources and Development Court.