Plans to convert an empty Alton shop have been put on hold amid concerns about the feasibility of green conditions.

Guy Stevens hopes to remove a condition which would otherwise force him to install solar panels or an air source heat pump (ASHP) at the former Travelbag premises at 3-5 High Street.

An application to convert the ground floor into a pair of shops, with two houses on the floors above, was approved by East Hampshire District Council in 2022 with conditions.

One of those conditions was that ten per cent of the building’s energy usage should come from “decentralised” and locally generated renewable sources like PV panels, wind turbines and ASHPs.

The applicant has argued this isn’t possible, as the development would need 15 PV panels – with only room for seven – to meet the condition while an ASHP would be unsuitable because of its visual, spatial and acoustic impact.