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Solar panels and permitted development in Purbeck

Do I need planning permission for installing solar panels?

Houses and bungalows

In most cases, providing the solar panels meet the following criteria they will not require planning permission.

Roof and wall mounted solar panels:

  • panels should not be installed above the ridge line and should project no more than 200mm from the roof or wall surface
  • if your property is in a conservation area, planning consent is required when panels are to be fitted on the principal or side elevation walls and they are visible from a highway (Highway includes all public roads, footpaths, bridleways and byways)

Solar panels that are installed on a building within the curtilage of a listed building will require planning permission, for example, a garage or other outbuilding

Note: The principal elevation is not defined in the regulations, but in most circumstances it means what everyone would think of as the front of the house.  However, the principal elevation could be any side of the house, especially in the situation when your house is at an angle to the road, on a corner plot or backs onto a road. If you are unsure, we advise you to submit an Informal Permitted Development Enquiry form.

Stand alone solar panels:

  • should be no higher than four metres
  • should be at least five metres from boundaries
  • size of array is limited to nine square metres or three metres wide and three metres deep
  • only one stand alone solar installation is permitted
  • if your house is in a conservation area and the panels are to be fitted to a building in your garden or grounds they should not be visible from a highway (Highway includes all public roads, footpaths, bridleways and byways)

All solar installations are also subject to the following conditions:

  • panels on a building should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimize the effect on the appearance of the building
  • they should be sited, as much as possible, to minimize the effect on the amenity of the area
  • when no longer needed they should be removed as soon as possible

Flats and Maisonettes

Listed Buildings

  • if you live in a listed building, you are most likely to need listed building consent for installing solar panels even if you do not require planning permission
  • solar panels installed on a building within the curtilage of a listed building will require planning permission, for example, a garage or other outbuilding

Building Regulations

  • providing no structural alterations are required to the roof and the installer is registered with the Micro Generation Scheme and a Competent Persons Scheme for the electrics, Building regulations will not currently be required

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