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Do I Need Planning Permission for PV?

The renewable community continues to grow month-on-month and one of the main concerns in, primarily, residential customers is understanding whether or not planning is needed to install a Solar PV system on their house.

Planning can be a complicated beast, so depending on where you live there may be other issues that affect the installation of solar panels, for instance restrictions on your property.

In Summary: In the majority of instances, the installation of Solar Panels can be designated as ‘Permitted Development’ under the revised Government rules, therefore no planning is required.

When do I require planning permission for Solar PV?

There are a number of instances where planning permission is required for the installation of Solar PV. We’ve listed these below:

Listed Building: If you are looking to install solar on a listed building, you are required to get Listed Building Consent. This can often be sourced and discussed through your local Council or planning office. The same applies if you are looking at installing solar on a building within the grounds of a listed building such as Stables, Outhouse, Barn etc.

Conservation Areas: If you reside in a conservation area, you may be able to install a solar PV system without the need for a planning application, as long as it falls under permitted development rights. However, if the proposed installation is on a wall facing a highway, a planning application would be necessary.

It’s important to note that even if a planning application is not required, it is still necessary to comply with building regulations. Additionally, it may be necessary to obtain consent from the relevant conservation officer or other local authorities before installing a solar PV system in a conservation area. Additionally, local authorities have discretion to grant or refuse planning permission for solar PV systems on a case-by-case basis, even if it falls under permitted development rights. It’s best to check with the local authorities for any specific requirements and guidelines for installing a solar PV system in a conservation area.

Flat Roof: If you plan to install solar panels on a flat roof, it’s likely that you will need to obtain planning permission. This is because flat roofs typically require frames to be installed in order to angle the panels towards the sun, which often results in the panels protruding more than 0.2 meters above the roof slope. This exceeds the “permitted development” guidelines and thus planning permission is required.

Additionally, it’s also recommended to consult with a professional to ensure that the installation is done properly and safely and that the panels are installed in a way that does not cause any damage to the roof.

The matters of planning can be complex, that’s why we are always on hand to help with advice on whether or not you should seek planning permission.

Meet The Author.

Josh Powell
In 2019, We launched InspireGreen, driven by a commitment to environmental sustainability. With a background in technology and a passion for actionable change, my aim was to guide individuals and businesses towards effective decarbonization.

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