Planning Portal

Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Active Solar (Photovoltaics) Planning Issues: General

F12. The technology will be familiar to most and from the planning point of view, whilst there are clearly implications for listed buildings and the sensitive front elevations of some conservation areas, in general ‘solar panels’ are to be encouraged. In many cases involving dwelling houses, provided the building is not a listed building, or in a conservation area and the installation complies with the relevant constraints, PV will be “permitted development” and is thus deemed not to require a planning application. Unless the panels are of an unusual design, they should not extend more than 15 centimetres beyond the plane of the existing roof slope for the purposes of Schedule 1 Part 1, Class B1(c) of the Planning (General Development) Order )Northern Ireland) 1993. The Department has also recently consulted about new permitted development rights for small scale renewable energy development associated with dwellinghouses.
F13. PV is particularly well suited to the urban environment and is clean and silent in operation.
F14. The increasing take-up of solar PV technologies raises a number of considerations which may need to be taken into account. These include:
  • whether particular systems require planning permission;
  • the importance of siting systems in situations where they can collect the most energy from the sun;
  • the need for sufficient area of solar modules to produce the required energy output from the system;
  • the colour and appearance of the modules.
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