Commercial Conference

Class A – Solar panels on a house or flats

 

The permitted development right of Class A allows you to install, alter or replace solar panels on a residential property without planning permission. This can be a house, bungalow or indeed a block of flats. You are permitted to install it either on the property itself or within the curtilage.  The solar photovoltaic (pv) or better known as a solar panel must not protrude more than 20cm or 0.2m beyond the plane of the wall or roof slope. On flat roofs these can protrude by 60cm or 0.6m

This would apply to solar panel roof tiles as well as the larger solar panels.

This permitted development right allows homeowners the ability to take full advantage of solar panels without having to liaise with the local authority. Using solar panels can potentially save money from the energy bill of the dwelling.

This was extended in December 2023 under SI 2023/1279 to allow for solar panels on flat roofs to protrude by up to 0.6m above the highest part of the flat roof, excluding chimneys. 

Where solar panels are installed on a flat roof within Article 2(3) areas such as conservation and AONB, you will need to seek prior approval. Full details are in the legislation below – or engage Planning Geek to apply on your behalf. 

 

Solar panels on houses

 

 

How do I apply for permission?

You do not need to request planning permission or permission for the permitted development right, Class A is your permission. You can simply go ahead subject to the one or two restrictions for solar panels mentioned on this page and in the legislation below.

If you are in a conservation area or a World Heritage Site you may still install solar panels on your home or flats, but you cannot install on a wall facing a highway. 

Where solar panels are installed on a flat roof within Article 2(3) areas such as conservation and AONB, you will need to seek prior approval. Full details are in the legislation below – or engage Planning Geek to apply on your behalf. 

You cannot install on a listed building or on a scheduled monument. 

 

 

Legislation

 

Class A – installation or alteration etc of solar equipment on domestic premises

Permitted development

A. The installation, alteration or replacement of microgeneration solar PV or solar thermal equipment on—

(a) a dwellinghouse or a block of flats; or
(b) a building situated within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse or a block of flats.

Development not permitted

A.1 Development is not permitted by Class A if—

(a) the solar PV or solar thermal equipment would protrude more than 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the wall or in the case of a pitched roof, the roof slope when measured from the perpendicular with the external surface of the wall or pitched roof slope;

(b) in the case of solar PV or solar thermal equipment on a pitched roof, it would result in the highest part of the solar PV or solar thermal equipment being higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding any chimney);

(ba) in the case of solar PV or solar thermal equipment on a flat roof, it would result in the highest part of the solar PV or solar thermal equipment being more than 0.6 metres higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding any chimney);

(c) in the case of land within a conservation area or which is a World Heritage Site, the solar PV or solar thermal equipment would be installed on a wall which fronts a highway;

(d) the solar PV or solar thermal equipment would be installed on a site designated as a scheduled monument; or

(e) the solar PV or solar thermal equipment would be installed on a building within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse or block of flats if the dwellinghouse or block of flats is a listed building.

Conditions

A.2  Development is permitted by Class A subject to the following conditions—

(a) solar PV or solar thermal equipment is, so far as practicable, sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building;

(b) solar PV or solar thermal equipment is, so far as practicable, sited so as to minimise its effect on the amenity of the area;

(ba) in the case of solar PV or solar thermal equipment installed on a flat roof located on article 2(3) land, before beginning development the developer must apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether the prior approval of the local planning authority will be required with respect to the impact of the appearance of the solar PV or solar thermal equipment on that land;

(bb) in relation to an application under sub-paragraph (ba), paragraphs J.4(3) to J.4(12) of this Part apply as if “Class A” substitutes the reference to “Class J” in paragraph J.4(4); and [included below]

(c) solar PV or solar thermal equipment is removed as soon as reasonably practicable when no longer needed.

 

[section copied from Class J as referred to in sub-paragraph (bb)]

(3) The application must be accompanied by—

(a) a written description of the proposed development;
(b) a plan indicating the site and showing the proposed development;
(c) the developer’s contact address; and
(d) the developer’s email address if the developer is content to receive communications electronically;

together with any fee required to be paid.

(4) The local planning authority may refuse an application where, in the opinion of the authority—

(a) the proposed development does not comply with, or
(b) the developer has provided insufficient information to enable the authority to establish whether the proposed development complies with,

any conditions, limitations or restrictions specified in Class A applicable to the development in question.

(5) Sub-paragraphs (6) and (8) do not apply where a local planning authority refuses an application under sub-paragraph (4) and for the purposes of section 78 (appeals) of the Act such a refusal is to be treated as a refusal of an application for approval.

(6) The local planning authority must give notice of the proposed development—

(a) by site display in at least one place on or near the land to which the application relates for not less than 21 days of a notice which—
(i) describes the proposed development;
(ii) provides the address of the proposed development;
(iii) specifies the date by which representations are to be received by the local planning authority; or

(b) by serving a notice in that form on any adjoining owner or occupier.

(7) The local planning authority may require the developer to submit such information as the authority may reasonably require in order to determine the application.

(8) The local planning authority must, when determining an application—

(a) take into account any representations made to them as a result of any notice given under sub-paragraph (6); and
(b) have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in February 2019 July 2021, so far as relevant to the subject matter of the prior approval, as if the application were a planning application.

(9) The development must not begin before the occurrence of one of the following—

(a) the receipt by the applicant from the local planning authority of a written notice of their determination that such prior approval is not required;
(b) the receipt by the applicant from the local planning authority of a written notice giving their prior approval; or
(c) the expiry of 56 days following the date on which the application under sub-paragraph (3) was received by the local planning authority without the authority notifying the applicant as to whether prior approval is given or refused.

(10) The development must be carried out—

(a) where prior approval is required, in accordance with the details approved by the local planning authority;
(b) where prior approval is not required, or where sub-paragraph (9)(c) applies, in accordance with the details provided in the application referred to in sub-paragraph (3),
unless the local planning authority and the developer agree otherwise in writing.

(11) The local planning authority may grant prior approval unconditionally or subject to conditions reasonably related to the subject matter of the prior approval.

(12) When computing the number of days in paragraph (6)(a), any day which is a public holiday must be disregarded.

 

Solar Panels Page Updated:  7th December 2023

<