The installation of solar panels on domestic properties is exempt from planning permission. Since the 7th of October 2022, there is no longer a limit to the area of solar panels which can be installed on rooftops of homes, anywhere in the country. Solar installations will be able to cover the entire roof of a house. The 12m2 or 50% roof limit which previously applied to houses has been removed nationwide.
The old rules limiting it to 50% or 12m2 were outdated rules from when only hot water solar panels existed. These are smaller, hence the new rules which just came into force on the 7th of October 2022.
There are some rules around protected buildings though. You may need to check if you need planning permission if:
Your home is a protected structure
Your home is located in a protected area, for example, an architectural conservation area
If your house lies within a solar safeguarding zone - solar safeguarding zones are necessary to address aviation safety concerns due to the potential impact of glint and glare arising from increased solar developments in proximity to sites such as airports and hospitals (which have helipads). Anyone seeking to avail of larger rooftop solar installations within solar safeguarding zones can apply for planning permission through the relevant local planning authority.
There are rules for how close to the edge of your roof solar panels are allowed. Effectively you need to leave a margin around the edge of your roof.
Bottom edge of roof: 50cm space
Top of roof: 25cm space to ridge line
Side edges of roof: 50cm space (where it's the open end of the roof, ie. not adjoining another property)
To adjoining property: no space required. If you are mid terrace / semi detached, you can go right up to the adjoining wall.
The above is assuming the solar panels are on your roof. The rules are slightly different for free-standing panels (i.e. those mounted on a frame on the ground.)
You do not need planning permission for free standing solar panels as long as:
the solar panels are less than 2 metres above ground
the private open space to the rear or side of the house is not reduced to less than 25 square metres
As always please do check planning permission yourself. We are not planning experts and there'll be other cases we don't know about. You can find out more information here:
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