In England, you do not require Planning Permission for home solar water heating systems, but it is always advisable to check with your local planning officer to confirm if any part of your home is listed, or in a conservation area, or World Heritage Site.
Solar panels are generally considered ‘permitted development’ in England as long as they do not protrude more than 200mm from the wall or above the roof slope; and are not higher than the highest part of the roof.
They are permitted in a Conservation Area as long as the panels are not installed on a wall that fronts a highway. However if the array is in the grounds of a listed building you will need to apply for planning permission.
Stand alone ground mounted solar is also considered “permitted development” providing it is less than 4m high, more than five meters from the property boundary, and the surface area of the panels does not exceed nine square meters; or any dimension of its array does not exceed three meters.
In a Conservation Area, it must not be nearer to the highway than it is to the dwelling. However if the array is in the grounds of a listed building you will need to apply for planning permission.
If you wish to install a solar panel on your roof Building Regulations will apply. The ability of the existing roof to carry the load weight of the panel/s will need to be checked and proven.
Building regulations also apply to other aspects of the work such as electrical installation.
All solar installations are subject to the following conditions:
- Panels on a building should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the appearance of the building
- They should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the amenity of the area.
- When no longer needed for microgeneration they should be removed as soon as possible.
Roof and Wall Mounted Solar Panels
- Panels should not be installed above the ridgeline and should project no more than 200mm from the roof or wall surface.
- If your property is a listed building installation is likely to require an application for listed building consent, even where planning permission is not needed.
Wall mounted only
- If your property is in a conservation area, or in a World Heritage Site, planning consent is required when panels are to be fitted on the principal or side elevation walls and they are visible from the highway. If panels are to be fitted to a building in your garden or grounds they should not be visible from the highway.