• Domestic Solar Panel Installation and Planning Permission – England

    This article refers to the planning requirements for Domestic Solar PV Installations in England. There are significant differences in the rules if your property is in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

    Domestic Solar PV installations are considered ‘permitted development’* in England once certain limits and conditions are met. Therefore, you do not require formal planning permission. You may wish to check with your local authority that your project is meeting the required conditions and that your property is not subject to an Article 4 direction**.

    Domestic Solar PV Installation Limits and Conditions
    (Mounted on your house, block of flats or building within your grounds)

    • The effect on the external appearance of the building and amenity of the area should be minimised.
    • Solar panels should not project more that 200mm from the roof slope or wall surface and should not reach beyond the highest part of the roof.
    • Solar installations are not permitted on buildings within the grounds of a listed building or scheduled monument.
    • If you live in a conservation area or in a World Heritage Site, you may not install panels on a wall which fronts a highway.
    • If you stop using your system, it should be removed as soon as possible.

    Stand Alone Domestic PV Installation Limits and Conditions
    (Mounted within the grounds your house, block of flats)

    • The effect on the external appearance of the building and amenity of the area should be minimised.
    • The first stand alone installation only will be considered ‘permitted development’.
    • The installation must not exceed a height of 4m at any point.
    • The installation must be 5m or more from the property boundary.
    • The array of solar panels may not exceed 9m2.
    • Stand alone solar installations are not permitted within the grounds of a listed building or scheduled monument.
    • If you live in a conservation area or in a World Heritage Site, no part of the stand alone solar installation should be nearer to any highway bounding the house than the part of the house that is nearest to that highway.
    • If you stop using your system, it should be removed as soon as possible.

    Qualified, MCS accredited,  installers in your area have the experience to help you meet planning requirements and can be contacted here.

    * ‘Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application. Permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations to control impact and to protect local amenity.’ – UK Government Planning Portal

    ** ‘Permitted development rights can be removed by the local planning authority, either by means of a condition on a planning permission, or by means of an article 4 direction. The restrictions imposed will vary on a case by case basis and the specific wording of such conditions or directions.’ – UK Government Planning Portal

    Article 4 directions are issued in cases where it is considered that the character of an area of importance would be affected negatively. They are most common in conservation areas.

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