Sainsbury’s could be forced to demolish the canopy on its flagship solar-powered filling station at Bishop’s Waltham in Hampshire after it was discovered to be 500mm higher than approved by planners.

The site, which was opened in November last year, was the first Sainsbury’s filling station featuring photovoltaic (PV) glass in its canopy which generates electricity and is also translucent to allow through light.

However, nearby residents have protested that the canopy is higher than permitted in the planning permission and is overshadowing their property.

Sainsbury’s is now in negotiations with Winchester City Council, and on April 8 submitted a retrospective planning application to increase the permitted height by 500mm. If this is not granted, however, one option could be planning enforcement insisting the canopy is demolished.

A council spokesman said: “When a development does not meet the agreed terms of a planning permission there is a range of options from negotiation and agreement between those objecting to the development and the developer, appropriate mitigation, a retrospective revised planning application for the differences in the development, or – ultimately through planning enforcement – the developer being required to adapt, change or remove the aspects of the development that do not meet the planning permission.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said in a statement: “We engaged with local residents and the council as part of the planning process for our new petrol station.

“We have suggested a number of practical proposals and are committed to bringing the matter to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties.”