MAR 4, 2014

Do you need planning permission to install solar panels?

Climate change, global warming, eco-friendly –words on the tips of tongues around the world at the moment.

And so in an effort to limit our carbon footprint we’re looking at ways to power our home without effecting the climate or having a negative impact on the environment.

And the most popular option proves to be solar panels.

But do you need planning permission to install them on your property?

In most instances, the answer is no. Installing solar panels on your property is often considered a ‘permitted development’ and you wouldn’t need to contact your local council to install them.

In most instances. It’s always a good idea to get in touch with your local council to double check that you don’t need permission.

Even though they’re usually permitted developments, there are rules and conditions that you must adhere to when installing. If your solar panels don’t meet with these conditions a planning application must be put into place.

So what are these conditions?

On a house – To install on a property there are a few rules that must be adhered to. Firstly they need to have as little impact on the appearance of both the property and the area. So if they could prove to be an eyesore for the local community, you might need planning permission.

If you want to install as a permitted development then it cannot be done within the grounds of a listed building or scheduled monument. Installing in the area of a listed building will always require planning permission.

Another condition is that the panels cannot protrude over 200mm from the surface of a wall or a roof. Remember before installation, as per standard building regulations, the roof must be checked to ensure it can carry the weight of the panels.

Free standing – If you’re looking to install solar panels that are free standing, then again, you’ll need to follow certain rules and regulations to install it as a permitted development.

Firstly, the free standing solar panel should be no larger than 3m x 3m. If it’s larger, planning permission will be required. There should also be a distance of at least 5m between the boundary of property on site and the panel.

As with installation on a house, it can’t be installed in the boundary of a listed building or scheduled monument under permitted development.

If you would like clarification on planning permissions regarding solar panels feel free to get in touch. And if you’re installing solar panels that don’t meet with the regulations, we can help you obtain the necessary permissions to install. 

Created on 4th March 2014
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