Permits are required for the installation of all solar energy systems connected to buildings. If you were to install solar panels without planning permission, they would be considered a violation of planning control. This means that they would not be considered legal in property law. If you were to try to sell the house at some point in the future, it wouldn't be easy to do so unless you first obtain the necessary permits.
However, if you have planning permission and decide to sell your property, it will be easier to find a buyer if you have solar panels installed. This is especially true if your house is located in a sunny area where the sun shines. If your property is a protected building, installing solar panels will likely require an application for a catalogued building permit, even when a planning permit is not needed. It is still possible to install solar panels in a conservation area, often without applying for planning permission, albeit with certain additional conditions.
Solar panels should not be attached to walls facing the road. Both in listed building facilities and in conservation areas, it is always best to check the details of the planned installation with the planning department of the local authority. In most cases, solar panels do not require planning permission, since they belong to the permitted developments. There are some conditions that apply, depending on whether the property is domestic or commercial.
Solar panels and equipment installed in domestic buildings and land are generally considered permitted developments. This means that planning permission is not required. Allowed development may not always apply. Visit our allowed development website for more information.
It's time to do the litmus test that will tell you if you should act boldly as an amateur solar installer or if you should hand over the reins to a professional. Solar installations are getting easier, and you might be surprised at the amount of DIY help available. In accordance with the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has published proposals for revisions to solar panel planning exemptions in the Planning and Development Regulations of 2001, for public consultation. This draft regulation aims to align Ireland with the EU's Solar Rooftops Initiative by shortening and simplifying authorization procedures for installing solar roofs.
Some local authorities may also choose to fine you for installing the solar panel without first receiving planning permission, which can be quite expensive. Whether you are planning to install them yourself or employ the services of a solar panel installation company, you should conduct a background investigation into the legal requirements you may face. Before starting the installation of roof-mounted panels, it would be advisable to perform a structural inspection of the roof to ensure that the existing roof supports are adequate for the additional load on the roof supports that the solar panel installation will generate. Residents with high ceilings often ask themselves the question “do I need planning permission for the solar panels on my roof? If you are going to install solar panels on the roof of your house, you will need permission from the owners or managers of the building, for example, the landlord or the local council.
For an additional cost, floor-mounted panels with tracking capabilities can be installed to better utilize the sun's energy. Solar installations capable of producing more than 3.68 kWp (maximum power in kilowatts) would also require a request to the electricity distribution network operator (DNO) to connect to the national grid. In Scotland, there are additional regulations that require a building permit if solar panels are to be installed on the exterior walls of a housing block. .