What Planning Permission is Required for Solar Panels?
There are all kinds of reasons to have solar panels installed. They save you money, reduce your impact on the environment and pay for themselves over time. So, what’s stopping you? One potential hurdle is planning permission. However, in many cases, it needn’t be an issue at all. Read on as we discuss planning permission for solar panels.
Why does planning permission matter?
It’s important to consider planning permission before any major changes to your home. Why? In short, failure to obtain it could be costly. If you carry out work without planning permission, your local authorities can force you to undo the changes and threaten legal action.
Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, planning permission is required for any development of land, including:
- Carrying out of the building
- Other operations in, on, over or under any buildings or land
Within this however, there are also several ‘permitted developments’. These are changes to your property which explicitly do not require planning permission.
Solar panels as a permitted development
The good news? In most cases, solar panel installations are classed as a permitted development. However, to be classed as such, they need to meet the following conditions:
- As far as is practicable, panels should be sited to minimise the impact on a building’s external appearance
- Equipment should be removed as soon as possible when no longer required
- Panels should not exceed the highest part of the roof
- They shouldn’t project more than 20cm from the slope or surface of the roof
- Panels cannot be installed on buildings or grounds which are listed
As well as planning permission, your solar installation will be subject to building regulations if it’s being fitted on your roof. Specifically, the strength of the roof will need to be checked and proven to ensure it can hold the weight of the panels.
Stand-alone solar panels are also subject to the conditions for minimising external appearance and removing equipment. However, there are also some requirements specifically for stand-alone installations:
- Only the first installation is permitted
- No part of the installation can be higher than four metres
- The installation should be a minimum of 5 metres from the property’s boundary
- The size of the installation should not exceed 9 square metres
- Panels cannot be installed within the boundaries of a listed building
Planning your solar panel installation
For the vast majority of solar panel installations, there is no need to apply to your local planning authority. However, it may be worth discussing the development with them to ensure all limits and conditions are met before proceeding. In any case, it’s hugely important to make sure your installation is being completed safely by experienced professionals.
If you’re looking to install solar panels on your property, P4 Solar provides a specialist solar panel installation service to make things simple. From planning and installation to maintenance, we cover all bases, so you can take the hassle out of generating energy and lower your bills in no time.