Solar panel

New rules make solar panels fitting easier

We’ve seen that the awareness of solar panels has changed over the years, so that now, without exception, our early client meetings feature discussions around energy efficiency, running costs and sustainability. Small initial steps maybe, but absolutely critical steps, with standards improving, cost efficiencies being developed and UK legislation and regulations supporting progress.

Rules introduced in November 2023 by the Government will enable roof mounted solar panels to be more easily installed, very often without the need for formal planning permission. This moves removes the bother and cost to navigate the planning system, including preparation of drawings, filling forms before entering an 8 week process. The aim is a real change, to encourage everyone planning and building projects to install solar panels, with the incentive to benefit from lower energy costs whilst reducing harmful emissions.

Lee Rowley PM, the current Housing and Planning Minister, was passionate in his encouragement for change, ensuring homes are designed and built ready for the future, and contribute to meet the country’s net zero aspirations.

Removing the need to engage in the planning process, the aim is that the use of solar panels will increase significantly.

It is important to recognise however, that it is not a clear and open run in every situation, and regulations still govern projects in conservation areas, on listed buildings and other areas, so ensure the permitted development rights are understood and are appropriate. Ignorance is no defence and mistakes or omissions can prove costly.

Permitted development includes home solar panel installation

Also, making it easier for businesses to install solar panels on their rooftops, so commercial property can benefit too. The Government have removed a restriction of 1MW, to meet the declared aim to deliver 70G of solar panel, by the fast approaching 2035. A parallel benefit is the development of the our renewables businesses, generating jobs and success.

The changes mean homes with flat roofs will be able to install panels without planning permission, a significant step forward.  

These changes introduced by the Government are part of their move to accelerate the planning processes, making compliance easier, introduced as part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, now law. 

Hardly structural or radical changes but for those than can benefit from these changes will make a difference, and that has to be good. PMA keep a running watch on opportunities and progress in solar energy, in products and regulations. Years ago, it was occasionally a topic considered and discussed, now it is a the very core of our approach.

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