Nothing is stopping solar panels being put on the roof of Helston's historic Guildhall - in theory.

The town council has received a letter from the House of Commons giving the biggest sign yet that renewable energy could one day be a feature of the civic building, which is the focal point of the dances on Flora Day, grade listed and in a conservation area.

It would make the council one of the first in the country to achieve such a feat.

In December councillors called on the support of their MP Derek Thomas in changing planning law, after the council previously applied for solar panels for the Guildhall back in 2011 but had to withdraw the plans due to lack of support from Cornwall Council's conservation officer.

Councillors have now decided to revisit the idea, having declared a climate emergency in Helston last year.

Read more: Bid for solar panels on listed Guildhall building in Helston

Town clerk Chris Dawson has since received a letter from Luke Hall, minister for local government, sent via Mr Thomas, to say: "The government is fully committed to encouraging owners to incorporate energy efficiency measures in their properties in order to tackle global warming.

"There is no legislation or national planning policy which specifically prohibits the installation of solar panels on non-domestic listed buildings."

However, Mr Hall pointed that each case needed to be determined on its own merits and that a planning application would still be required.

He went on to say: "In reaching a decision on such an application, local authorities must take account of national planning policy including those around the historic environment and climate change.

"Local authorities need to weigh up these and any other relevant considerations and make a balanced and proportionate judgement in each case.

"Where listed building consent is refused, applicants have a right of appeal to test the merits of the local authority's decision."

Mr Dawson described it as "quite an encouraging letter."

He told councillors: "The way I read it implies that in this current climate, different to nine years ago, that Cornwall Council has to take the historic consideration alongside the climate considerations for planning applications."

As a result, the town council is to resubmit its original application for listed building consent, which is free for it to do.

Depending on the response, the council could then submit a planning application.