Planning Permission


Commercial Buildings




As of the 6th of April 2012 planning permission is no-longer be required to install solar PV or solar thermal on non-domestic buildings. The new rules also mean that ground-mounted systems up to 9m2 can go ahead without a planning application.


However, as with most things in life, there are certain conditions that must be met.


Roof mounted solar

The array must not protrude more than 200mm from the roof/wall surface it is mounted on. There is an exception to this is if the system is on a flat roof, where the array must be less than 1m in height above the highest part of the flat roof, excluding any chimneys.


It must also be more than 1m away from the external edge of the roof or the joint of the wall that it is on and if the system is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, or land with similar restrictions (article 1(5)) then the array cannot be on a roof slope or wall fronting the highway.


Furthermore, planning permission is required if sited on a listed building, on a building within the curtilage of a listed building or upon a site designated as a scheduled ancient monument.


Ground Mounted

In terms of ground-mounted solar, the new planning conditions also mean that installations of up to 9m2 will not require permissions. However, the array must not be taller than 4m, with only one ground mounted system present for any one building, and it must not be installed so that it is nearer to any highway than any part of the building which is nearest to the same highway.


Further, the array must not be installed within 5m of the boundary of the curtilage and planning permission will still be required if the solar is within the curtilage of a listed building or on a site designated as a scheduled ancient monument.


The new regulations, which come into effect as part of an amendment to the Permitted Development Rights (PDRs), will have a great impact on the requirements for planning for retrofits on commercial and agricultural buildings, making the whole process a lot simpler and easy to manage.


Domestic Properties


The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 states that you DO NOT need to apply for planning permission when installing a solar PV system on your roof provided you meet the following requirements;



Williams Renewables ensure that every installation we complete meets these requirements, avoiding any potential problems in the future.


Planning permission is required only for the following locations;


Stand alone solar panels installations (panels not on a building)

All the following conditions must be observed:

All the following limits must be met:

Note - permitted development rights for solar panels are available for both single houses and buildings which consist wholly of flats.

Note - If you are a leaseholder you may need to get permission from your landlord, freeholder or management company.




Back to top