Is Planning Permission Required for Solar Panel Installation?

There is a lot of excitement in the prospect of installing either domestic or commercial solar panels and generating renewable energy – both in helping the environment and saving money on powering your home or business.

One thing you may be wondering about closer to committing is whether your property in mind requires planning permission to install the panels. In most instances, the answer is no to requiring planning permission for solar panels. They are seen as permitted development.

However, there are certain items tagged to this, meaning that your solar panels must be set up in a certain way and meet the specific criteria of compliance. Before you have your solar panel system installed, it is best to know exactly what the basics are.

The Basics

In the majority of instances, solar panels are covered by permitted development rights, which allow you to carry out certain building works without seeking permission. For it to fall into this, your solar PV installation has to ensure that any equipment mounted onto your building should have minimal effect on the building’s appearance and the area surrounding. It needs to be as inconspicuous as possible.

The panels can also not be erected above the roof’s highest point – excluding the chimney – and the panels cannot project more than 200mm from the roof slope or wall surface.

Those thinking of having a ground-mounted solar system need to know that they cannot be installed on listed grounds or any scheduled monument ground, and any unused equipment should be removed as soon as it is no longer needed.

Standalone Panels

If you are considering standalone solar panels that are not fixed to your roof, then there are additional requirements that must be met.

As well as what we have covered above, standalone panels have to be at least five metres from the property’s boundary and no taller than 4 metres. The entire array will need to be smaller than 9m x 3m x 3m. When it comes to the permitted development rights for this, it only applies to the first installation – with any further requiring the planning permission to be gained.

When Planning Permission is Required

If your solar panel installation does not meet the above criteria for permitted development rights, then it will be a case for requesting planning permission.

This may fall into areas such as installing a solar panel system on a flat roof, installing a system within a conservation area or upon a listed building. The best way to understand if you require planning permission is to discuss your circumstances with a professional solar installer, who can also identify and troubleshoot for the best possible solution.

Contact the team at Positive Energy Solutions today to access green energy potential for your home or business.

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