As demand for renewables soars, residential property specialist Victoria Cranwell explains the planning and building regulation requirements to consider before installing solar or photovoltaic panels.
Contact Victoria on 01225 462871 or complete the Contact Form below.
Do I need planning permission for solar panels?
With soaring energy prices, renewable energy companies have faced a huge surge in demand for domestic solar panels. But if you are keen to join the renewables revolution, you may be uncertain about local planning requirements.
In most cases, you are unlikely to require planning permission for roof panels. As a result of a statutory instrument issued in 2008, subject to certain conditions, the installation of most types of photovoltaic and solar panels “within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse” is classed as “permitted development”. However, exceptions include:
- listed buildings.
- properties situated within a conservation area or World Heritage Site.
In those cases, you will require a formal planning application.
Among the many conditions required for compliance with the permitted development classification are that:
- the solar array should not exceed the highest point of the roof, excluding any chimney.
- the panels should not project more than 200 mm from the edge of the roof.
- once they are no longer used for generating electricity, the panels should be removed.
- the panels must be fitted in a way that minimises the change in appearance of both the building and the area.
Building Regulations for solar panels
Regardless of whether you require planning permission, the installation of solar panels is still subject to standard building regulations. Among other considerations, you will need to ensure that your roof can support the additional weight.
Domestic wind turbines are also gaining in popularity. However, planning regulations for wind turbines differ in each part of the United Kingdom. While planning permission is not always necessary, I would recommend that you contact your local planning officer before deciding whether to proceed. It’s also very advisable to discuss your plans with neighbours and, crucially, to inform your mortgage lender and home insurer.
As you might expect, irrespective of the need or otherwise for planning permission, wind turbines are subject to a host of conditions.