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Do I need planning permission to install solar panels?- Explained

Are you wondering if you need planning permission to install solar panels? Let's clarify the matter! Solar PV panels are generally considered "permitted development" for most residential properties, which means you typically don't need planning permission.

Do I need planning permission to install solar PV?

However, there are a few conditions to keep in mind:

  • Minimal Impact on Appearance: The installation should have minimal impact on the external appearance of your building and the surrounding area.

  • Removal of Equipment: When no longer needed, the equipment should be removed promptly.

  • Height and Protrusion: The solar PV system should not exceed the height of the highest part of your roof (excluding chimneys) and should not protrude more than 0.2 meters beyond the roof slope.

Instances where domestic solar PV systems don't meet these criteria are rare.


When is Planning Permission Required?

  • Flat Roofs: New regulations introduced in November 2023 mean that homes with flat roofs can install panels without planning permission, aligning with rules for businesses. However, flat roofs may require a structural engineer's survey to ensure suitability, which could incur additional costs.

  • Listed Buildings: If your property is within the grounds of a listed building or on a scheduled monument site, you'll need listed building consent followed by planning permission.

  • Conservation Areas: Living in a conservation area? While installing a solar PV system may be possible, there are specific limitations to consider. Some planning authorities may allow it as long as the panels aren't visible from public highways.

We recommend contacting the National Planning Portal for guidance if you're still unsure about planning permission.

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Bright Electricals recently completed a total rewire of our refeb, three-story, house, a big job that needed careful planning. We can thoroughly recommend Bright Electricals in every way.

I was pleasantly surprised at both how professional they were and at how competitively priced they are for the exceptional work they carried out.

We have used Bright Electricals numerous times now for all our electrical inspections on our commercial premises and have always found their electricians to be professional and knowledgeable.


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