SOLAR panels on a new housing development in Headington will be removed after campaign groups branded them an eyesore.

Heritage campaigners in Bury Knowle Park and Old Headington are celebrating this week after Oxford City Council agreed to take down a number of the ‘unsightly’ panels.

They were on the roofs of 10 new affordable houses built by the city council on a former depot site off North Place, next to Bury Knowle Park.

Veronica Hurst, chairwoman of the Friends of Old Headington pressure group, said: “People have been commenting on them and they aren’t particularly sympathetic to their surroundings. It is possible that the council didn’t have planning permission for them.”

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After speaking to residents’ groups, the council has agreed to remove panels that are visible from the park and reuse them on other housing projects.

Energy generated from the remaining solar panels will go to the new homes.

The council started work on the development, which was opposed by the Friends of Bury Knowle Park, in 2014. The homes are not yet occupied and the cost of removing the panels is not yet known.

Friends chairwoman Rosemary Belton said: “The council made promises to us about how the development was going to go, and every step of the way there have been issues; contractors are parking in the park, and lots of damage is being done to grass.”

The final straw for the Bury Knowle Stakeholders, community groups with an interest in the development, came when the council installed the solar panels.

City councillor for Headington Ruth Wilkinson raised their concerns with planning officers and the council agreed to take them down.

Council spokesman Chofamba Sithole said: “Having listened to local residents, the council felt the panels on the elevation facing the park detracted from the overall appearance of this excellent housing scheme.

“The sustainability objectives are still being delivered by other means such as high insulation measures.”