Domestic Properties

To install solar on a domestic property, this generally falls under Permitted Development and no planning permission is required.

However there are exceptions. For example if you have a listed building or have other specific limitations you may need planning permission. You should satisfy yourself that you have no such restrictions for your site: planning portal.

Commercial Properties

For pitched roofs, the rules are essentially the same as for domestic properties. However a couple of additional points that are not considered for domestic are worth noting:

  • Not allowed if capacity exceeds 1 MW
  • They need to know glare is not an issue

What this boils down to is a need for the developer to write to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) for prior approval (PA) which looks like this:

  • Apply to the LPA for prior approval
  • The LPA will put up a site notice and notify neighbours (consultation)
  • They may ask for additional information

They will do one of:

  • Notify that PA not needed
  • Notify that PA is given
  • Not respond – if they have not responded after 56 days then you can proceed anyway
  • Refuse prior approval – you can can then apply for planning permission

So the practical steps are to use the planning portal:

  • Create an account
  • Apply online
  • When online you step through a process; a useful tip to see the upcoming questions in advance is to download the pdf forms here

For the application:

  • Do a red line plan with buildings (Block or site plan) – shows where building is
  • Roof plan showing where panels will go
  • Do elevation if useful
  • Diagram which proves no glare

The fee is £96.

You may want to use a planning consultant to help guide you through this process. If you prefer, we can help you with it, for which we would charge consultancy fees (available on request).