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  • Writer's pictureDan Reed

Planning Permission for Solar Panels in the UK Explained

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Planning Permission for Solar Panels in the UK

Ah, the mighty sun! It's not just a source of warmth and Vitamin D; it can also power our homes and save us a pretty penny on our energy bills. If you're considering jumping on the solar bandwagon and joining the ranks of eco-conscious homeowners, you might wonder if you must navigate the treacherous waters of planning permission.

After all, the last thing you want is to be caught up in a bureaucratic tangle, dampening your enthusiasm for harnessing the sun's power. In this blog article, we'll shed light on the topic and help you understand whether or not you need planning permission to install solar panels on your roof in the UK. So, grab your shades and let's dive into the solar-powered world of the United Kingdom!

Do I Need Planning Permission to Install Solar Panels in the UK? Blog Content:

Do I Need Planning Permission to Install Solar Panels in the UK?

1. Permitted Development Rights.

Solar panels have been designated as "Permitted Development," eliminating the need for planning permission. The Government has extended Permitted Development Rights, removing the requirement for planning permission when installing solar panels on non-domestic buildings. Considering ownership and planning factors is essential when dealing with commercial properties.

However, in principle, planning permission is not necessary for solar panel installations on commercial properties, provided specific criteria are met.

Solar panels are subject to standard building regulations in both residential and commercial cases. This involves assessing whether the roof can safely support the additional load, a task that your installer will handle. Furthermore, there are specific conditions that your solar panel system must adhere to:

  • Minimal visual impact The installation should be carried out in a manner that minimises its effect on the external appearance of the building and the overall amenity of the surrounding area. Preserving the aesthetic appeal is crucial.

  • Responsible removal In the event that the solar panel system is no longer required, it should be promptly removed. Timely removal ensures a smooth transition and avoids unnecessary clutter.

  • Height and protrusion limits The system must not exceed the height of the highest part of the roof, excluding any chimneys. Additionally, it should not protrude more than 0.2 meters beyond the plane of the roof slope. Compliance with these limits helps maintain a visually balanced roofline.

While planning permission has been waived for solar panel installations, it is essential to comply with building regulations and meet the specified conditions. By doing so, you can confidently embrace solar energy, contribute to sustainability, and enjoy its numerous benefits.

2. When is Solar Panel Installation Planning Permission Required?

Let's explore some scenarios where planning permission might be necessary:

  • Flat roofs If you're planning to install solar panels on a flat roof, you'll likely need to seek planning permission. Solar panels on flat roofs typically require frames to achieve an optimal angle towards the sun. Consequently, they may exceed the 0.2-meter protrusion limit specified in the "permitted development" guidelines.

  • Listed Buildings Installing solar panels on a property within the grounds of a listed building or on a site designated as a scheduled monument can be possible. However, this process entails obtaining listed building consent and applying for planning permission.

  • Conservation Areas While installing a solar PV system under permitted development rights in a conservation area may be feasible, it's important to note that if you intend to install solar panels on a wall facing a highway, a planning application would be required.

In these cases, the decision to grant planning permission ultimately rests with the Local Planning Authority.

3. Standalone Solar Panel Installations.

When it comes to standalone solar PV (Photovoltaic) installations within your land, it's essential to understand the guidelines regarding planning permission. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Permitted Development The first standalone solar panel installation is generally considered Permitted Development, meaning planning permission is not required. However, it's vital to note that additional units beyond the initial installation typically necessitate seeking planning permission.

  • Considerate Siting The location of the solar panels within your land should be carefully chosen to minimise the impact on the appearance of the surrounding area. By selecting a suitable site, you can ensure that the visual aesthetics are preserved to the greatest extent possible. Additionally, it is recommended that the solar panels be positioned at least 5 meters away from the edge of your property to maintain an appropriate distance.

  • Height and Area Limits To comply with regulations, the standalone solar PV system must not exceed a height of 4 meters. This restriction ensures the system maintains a proportional and unobtrusive presence within the landscape. Furthermore, the total area occupied by the system should not exceed 9m², guaranteeing a balanced integration with the environment.

Adhering to these guidelines will help ensure your standalone solar PV installation aligns with the necessary planning regulations. It's essential to consult with professionals or your Local Planning Authority to obtain specific guidance tailored to your unique circumstances. By doing so, you can confidently proceed with your solar project and comply with the relevant requirements.


4. Do I Need Planning Permission to Install Solar Panels in the UK? Summary.

So, there you have it! In most cases, you won't need planning permission to install solar panels in the UK. The Government's push for renewable energy and the availability of permitted development rights make it easier than ever to harness the power of the sun.

However, it's essential to remember that there are exceptions for listed buildings, conservation areas, and properties with flat roofs or highway-facing locations. Always consult a professional installer and check with your local planning authority to ensure a smooth and hassle-free installation process. Get ready to soak up those rays and embrace a brighter, greener future!

More information about Solar Panel Installation Planning Permission.

For further information and valuable guidance, look no further than the solar panel installation section of the national planning portal. There, you will discover a wealth of resources and comprehensive information to assist you in your solar journey. Whether you seek clarification on planning regulations or desire a deeper understanding of solar panel installations, the national planning portal is your go-to resource.

Unlock the Power of Solar Energy in Oxfordshire. Request Your Free Quote Today.

Are you ready to take the leap into the world of solar energy? Look no further! Capital Electrical & Solar are a solar panel installation expert team here to guide you through the process and provide you with a free, no-obligation quote for solar panel installation in the region of Oxfordshire. Our experienced professionals are ready to assess your unique requirements and design a tailored solar solution that suits your needs and maximises your energy savings.

We understand that every project is different, which is why we offer personalised consultations to ensure we deliver the perfect solar system for your property. Take advantage of the opportunity to harness the sun's power and embrace a greener, more sustainable future.

Get in touch with us today to request your free quote and embark on your solar journey in Oxfordshire!

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