Solar panels and equipment installed on domestic buildings and land are usually considered permitted development. This means that planning permission is not required, but there are a few exceptions.
All solar installations are subject to the following:
- panels on a building should be sited to try and minimise the effect on the external appearance of the building and the amenity of the area
- standalone solar equipment should be sited to try and minimise the effect on the amenity of the area
- when no longer needed, please remove as soon as possible
If you are a leaseholder, you may need to get permission from your landlord, freeholder or management company.
Roof and wall mounted solar panels
Panels should not be installed above the highest part of the roof, excluding the chimney, and should project no more than 200mm from the roof slope or wall surface.
The panels must not be installed on a building that is within the grounds of a listed building.
Wall mounted only
If your property is in a conservation area, or in a world heritage site, the panels must not be fitted to a wall which fronts a highway.
Standalone solar panels
The following limits are applicable:
- only the first stand-alone solar installation will be permitted development and further installations will need planning permission
- no part of the installation should be higher than four metres
- the panel installation should be at least 5m from the boundary of the property
- the size of the array should be no more than 9sqm or 3m wide and 3m deep
- panels cannot be installed within the boundary of a listed building or a scheduled monument
- if your property is in a conservation area, or in a world heritage site, no part of the solar installation should be nearer to any highway surrounding the house, than the part of the house that is nearest to that highway
You may need to apply for building regulations if installing a solar panel on your roof. The strength of the existing roof will need assessing to ensure it can carry the weight of the panel. You may need to do some work to strengthen the roof.
Building regulations also apply to other aspects of the proposed work such as electrical installation.