Do you need planning permission for solar PV installations?

Concerns about climate change, soaring energy prices and the threat of winter blackouts mean that there has never been a better time to install renewable energy systems. Photovoltaic (PV) panels have been around for decades and generate power reliably all year round with little need for maintenance. Coupled with a drop in the cost of battery storage systems, installing solar PV systems is now seen as an effective way to meet net-zero targets alongside reducing energy bills for domestic and commercial building occupants.

The installation of solar photovoltaic systems under 50kw will generally not require the submission of a planning application, subject to meeting the limitations and conditions as set out in Schedule 2, Part 14 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015 (as amended).

There are, however, certain circumstances where planning permission and/or listed building consent will be required before the installation of solar panels. These circumstances are summarised below.

You will need to apply for planning permission if any of the following are true:

  • The equipment would protrude more than 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the wall or the roof slope (when measured from the perpendicular to the external surface of the wall or roof slope)
  • The highest part of the equipment would be higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding any chimney)
  • The equipment would be installed on a wall which fronts a highway in a conservation area or a World Heritage Site
  • The installation site is designated as a scheduled monument
  • The equipment would be installed on a building within the curtilage of a listed building

WWA is a leader in the built environment, an innovative multi-disciplinary Practice creating outstanding people-centric places that care for our heritage. Our planning team have extensive knowledge and experience working with the constituent parts of the UK’s complex planning system.

Please get in touch if we can assist you with your net zero ambitions.

West Waddy Archadia, WWA Studios, architecture, urban design, town planning. Planning Applications, Solar PV Installations, Net-Zero