Solar Panels: Do you Need Planning Permission?

July 17th, 2017

planning permission

Solar photovoltaic panels can be a terrific monetary investment that will reduce your electrical power costs and earn you money. They’re similarly a smart idea if you wish to minimise your carbon emissions.

However, you do need to ensure that your proposed domestic photovoltaic panel setup follows planning policies prior to you proceeding. Something you might need to do is look for planning permission.

The good news is, planning standards aren’t as complex as they might first appear and on numerous ocassions planning approval isn’t really needed. Read on to discover more about planning permission and whether you need it for your domestic solar panel setup.

Exactly what’s Planning Permission?

Obtaining planning permission is a process that you might have to go through before doing specific kinds of building work. To get planning approval, you’ll need to finish an application and send it to your local planning authority.

When your local planning authority has received your application, they’ll take a look at if the work you want to do needs planning permission. If it does, they’ll consult legislation and decide whether to grant it to you. Whether you’re authorised planning permission or not might depend upon the size, appearance, usage and access of the proposed work. Your local authority will similarly consider how it will affect individuals residing in the area.

Do I need planning permission for solar panels?

With photovoltaic panels, on many occasions planning permission isn’t needed. This is due to the fact that they’re considered as a permitted development, which is really handy. This does not indicate that there aren’t limitations though, so you still have to take care about how you proceed with your setup.

If you’re establishing solar panels on your roof or wall and don’t want to apply for planning permission, you need to ensure that:

  • They aren’t higher than the highest part of the roof
  • They don’t protrude more than 20cm from the roof system or wall
  • They’re not installed on a structure that remains in the premises of a listed building or monument
  • If the house is in a conservation area or World Heritage Site, the panels aren’t on a wall fronting a roadway
  • The setup affects the look of the structure as little as possible
  • Any unnecessary equipment is removed as rapidly as possible

If you’re setting up stand alone solar panels and do not want to apply for planning authorisation, you require to ensure that:

  • The setup is no higher than 4m and covers no greater than 9m²
  • The setup is at least 5m from the property boundary
  • The panels aren’t established within the boundary of a listed building or monument
  • If the property is in a conservation area or World Heritage Site and there’s a highway surrounding your land, the panels are no closer to the road than the house is
  • There are no pre-existing solar panel setups on the land
  • The setup doesn’t limit access to or the use of any buildings on the land plot
  • Any unneeded equipment is removed as rapidly as possible

If your solar panel installation isn’t going to adhere to any of these constraints then you’ll have to apply for planning approval.

How can I request planning permission?

You can request planning permission through your local authority’s site. If you’re not exactly sure who your local authority is, you can make use of the government’s handy tool to learn.

If you aren’t 100% sure whether you require planning consent or not, it doesn’t hurt to contact your local planning authority and find out. You’ll have to pay a charge to get planning permission, however there’s no charge for simply getting advice. Alternatively, your solar panel installer can seek planning permission for you. Use our service to get up to 4 quotes.


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