Solar photovoltaic panels can be a fantastic financial investment that will minimise your electrical power expenses and earn you cash. They’re likewise a good idea if you want to reduce your carbon emissions.
Nevertheless, you do need to make sure that your proposed domestic photovoltaic panel setup follows planning policies before you continue. Something you may need to do is try to find planning authorisation.
The bright side is, planning requirements aren’t as made complex as they may initially appear and on many occasions planning approval isn’t required. Have a look at the rules below to find out 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 may have to go through prior to doing particular 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 make a decision on if the work you want to do requires planning approval. If it does, they’ll consult the legislation and choose whether to give it to you. Whether you’re granted preparing permission or not might depend upon the size, appearance, use and access of the proposed work. Your local authority will similarly consider how it will affect people living in the location.
Do I require planning approval for solar panels?
With photovoltaic panels, on numerous occasions planning consent isn’t required. This is due to the fact that they’re considered as a permitted development, which is helpful. This does not suggest that there aren’t limitations though, so you still have to take care about how you continue with your setup.
If you’re developing solar panels on your roof or wall and don’t want to use for preparing consent, you have to ensure that:
- They aren’t higher than the highest part of the roof
- They do not project more than 20cm from the roofing system or wall
- They’re not installed on a building that stays in the boundaries of a listed building or monument
- If your house remains in a conservation area or World Heritage Site, the panels aren’t on a wall fronting a road
- The setup affects the appearance of the structure as little as possible
- Any unnecessary equipment is removed as quickly as possible
If you’re establishing stand alone photovoltaic panels and do not wish to look for planning permission, you need to guarantee that:
- The setup is no higher than 4m and covers no greater than 9m²
- The setup is at least 5m from the residential or commercial 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 your home is
- There are no pre-existing photovoltaic panel setups on the land
- The setup doesn’t limit access to or the use of any structures on the land plot
- Any unfavourable equipment is disposed of as quickly as possible
If your photovoltaic panel setup isn’t going to adhere to any of these constraints then you’ll have to look for planning approval.
How can I request planning consent?
You can request planning permission through your local authority’s website. If you’re not exactly sure who your local authority is, you can use the government’s useful tool to learn.
If you aren’t 100% sure whether you need planning permission or not, it does not hurt to contact your local planning authority and learn. You’ll need to pay a charge to get planning approval, however there’s no charge for just getting advice.