COUNCILLORS feel its time to amend Bathurst Regional Council's Development Control Plan (DCP) to reflect a growing desire from residents to install solar panels.
The issue was raised during discussion of two development applications (DAs) last week, both of which were cause for concern when it came to overshadowing.
One of the DAs in question, which was later approved, was for a unit complex in Griffin Street.
Overshadowing had been a concern when a decision on the DA was deferred in August, but the developer made no changes to its plans in regards to this as it satisfied the DCP rules.
Similar concerns were held for another DA, proposing to build a two-storey house in Gell Place, Abercrombie.
Council's DCP indicates that at least two hours of sunlight is to be maintained to indoor and outdoor living areas of adjoining properties between 9am and 3pm on June 21 during the winter solstice.
The standards do not reference overshadowing of the roofs of adjoining properties.
In both cases, the proposals complied with council's standard for overshadowing for two storey buildings.
ALSO MAKING NEWS: Blayney's multi-million dollar windfall if Regis mine goes ahead
Councillor John Fry said he felt two hours was not enough and the standards had to be increased.
Cr Jacqui Rudge, however, was concerned about the impact overshadowing could have on properties if people wanted to install solar panels at a later date.
"Energy costs and things like that, I think we need to start taking that all into consideration now, and I understand how people are feeling with the two hours of sunlight," she said.
Her comments were backed up by Cr Alex Christian.
"We probably need a working party on this overshadowing issue," he said.
"A neighbour [of the Gell Place DA] was concerned that they felt they would want to put solar panels on their roof, however it would be greatly disadvantaged and possibly useless because of the overshadowing.
"... This could certainly have negative effects on the neighbours. That's something we've got to treat as a priority."
Director of Environmental, Planning and Building Services, Neil Southorn said the "the DCP is silent in respective to the effect of overshadowing on solar panels".
He did say that the council's DCP would be relatively easy to amend in regards to overshadowing if that was something council wanted to consider.
An amendment would have to be prepared, considered and then placed on public exhibition.
"The process is not particularly difficult, but it is a little time consuming," Mr Southorn said.