Planning rule changes to allow easier installation of solar panels

installing rooftop solar panels

Installing rooftop solar panels is set to become much simpler for homes and businesses following the announcement of changes in planning rules by the government.

The latest in a recent string of proposed changes to Permitted Development Rights (PDRs), the latest amends will allow homeowners and businesses to bypass the planning system entirely if they want to install the panels, avoiding extra costs and lengthy delays.

Changes being introduced include enabling homes with flat roofs being able to install panels without planning permission. This is already the case for businesses where the panels generate less than one megawatt of electricity, but under the amendments planning permission will no longer be required for anything exceeding that limit.

With the long-awaited Levelling Up and Regeneration Act now law, these latest updates aim to support the government’s aims around energy security, tackling climate change and combat rising energy bills with Housing and Planning Minister Lee Rowley saying the changes would be “cutting red tape” and would “help us meet our net zero ambitions”.

Alex Madden, Head of Thrings’ Planning and Environment team, said: “Any opportunity to reduce the burden of going through the planning process for homeowners and businesses has to be seen as a positive, especially as it will reduce what is effectively an unnecessary financial and time cost on environmental, energy-saving measures.

“The removal of planning oversight does, however, increase the level of responsibility on the homeowner or business for the work being carried out and they will need to take additional care to ensure it is done properly.”

Thrings’ Planning and Environment lawyers have extensive experience in navigating complex local and national planning policy legislation and has successfully supported commercial and residential applications through the approval and appeal processes. To find out more and for advice on your development proposals, including how to address enforcement notices, please do get in touch.

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