Do I need planning permission?

Permitted development rights allow the installation of solar panels, subject to conditions outlined below.

Permitted development rights also apply to conservation areas, with the exception of those covered by an Article 4 Direction which removes permitted development rights for solar panel installations. In these cases you will need to apply for planning permission.

In order to comply with permitted development conditions, the solar panel should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building and the amenity of the area. Solar panels should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed.

Solar panels mounted on a house or a block of flats or a building situated within the grounds of a house or block of flats:

You will only need to apply for full planning permission (flats) or householder planning permission (houses) to install a solar panel when:

  • it would protrude more than 20cm from the external surface of the wall or roof slope, when measured perpendicularly;
  • the highest part of the solar panel or equipment will be higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding any chimney);
  • it would be installed on a wall in a conservation area which faces a highway, (includes roads, paths and public rights of way); or
  • your house or flat is a listed building , or within the curtilage of a listed building (curtilage means within the garden or grounds).

If your house or flat is a listed building you will also need to apply for listed building consent.

Stand alone solar panels on domestic premises (panels not on a building)

You will only need to apply for or full planning permission (flats) or householder planning permission (houses) to install a stand alone solar panel when:

  • more than one stand alone solar panel would be installed;
  • it would exceed 4m in height;
  • it would be located 5m within the boundary of the property;
  • it would be installed within the curtilage of a listed building;
  • in a conservation area, any part of the solar installation would be closer to a highway (includes roads, paths and public rights of way) than any part of the house; or
  • the surface area of any stand alone solar panel will exceed 9m² or any dimension of its array (including other equipment) would exceed 3m .

Where can I find more information?

The solar panels section of the national planning portal has lots of guidance and useful information.

Can I get confirmation that I do not require planning permission?

In situations where you may need to prove, or obtain peace of mind that an existing or a proposed solar panel is lawful, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) . The certificate is official confirmation that the works do not need planning permission from the Council.

Am I likely to get planning permission?

If you want to find out whether your proposal is likely to be acceptable, you can apply for pre-planning application advice

How do I apply?

You can apply via the national planning portal  To find out what information is required with your application, please see making a planning application

Still not sure whether you need planning permission?

If you need further advice about whether you need planning permission you can contact contact planning advice and information