Solar panels

In most cases, the installation of solar panels is considered permitted development, meaning you are free to install solar panels on to your property without planning permission. However, this does not apply to listed buildings, and there are strict limitations surrounding the installation of solar panels that must be followed.

Permitted development limitations

Before you go ahead with your project, you must observe the following conditions:

  1. Solar panels installed on any building must be sited in such a way that they do not affect the external appearance of the building or local area.
  2. Solar panels must be removed when they are no longer needed for microgeneration purposes.

If you wish to install solar panels on to your roof, it is important to establish what the limitations for your project are. These limitations are:

  1. Solar panels may not be installed on the highest point of a roof, excluding the chimney, and should project no more than 200m from a roof.
  2. Solar panels must not be installed on the grounds of a listed building.
  3. Solar panels may not be installed on the grounds of a scheduled monument.
  4. Properties in conservation areas must not install solar panels in such a location that they front a highway.

If you are likely to exceed these limitations you will require planning permission. If in doubt, we recommend consulting with your Local Planning Authority.

Listed buildings and conservation areas

Listed building consent is required in all cases if you wish to install solar panels on to a listed home. If you live in a conservation area, the Local Planning Authority may wish to review your plans, in which case you will need to apply for planning permission.

Building Regulations

The installation of solar panels on a roof must follow Building Regulations. These regulations cover support, integrity and safety, and are designed to ensure that any added weight to a roof is not going to compromise the structural integrity of the building.

Additional Building Regulations will apply to any electrical installation. In this case, we recommend hiring a professional registered under the Competent Person Scheme. Any electrical work carried out as part of a DIY job will have to be notified to Building Control.

For more information on solar panels and roofing, please visit the Planning Portal.

The information contained within this article is strictly for guidance only. Rated People recommends that you always check current sources of information in case regulations have changed. Rated People cannot accept any liability for miscommunication of the law in the case of a change in regulation or any action done to a property based on the information held in this article. Rated People © 2013.

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