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Thread: Planning Permission & Solar PV

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Planning Permission & Solar PV

    Am I correct in assuming that I don't need Planning Permission to install panels on an agricultural building roof?

    Is there a limit to the amount of panels? I have been told that our roof will take up to (& beyond) 150kw which sounds like a chuffing lot of panels to me and I was wondering if the planners/public might get a bit twitchy if we whack on a load of panels. Do I have an obligation to use silver panels so they "blend" in better?


    Also, whilst I am on the subject, can anyone recommend an independent consultant who is not flogging stuff but who knows what they are talking about & would be willing to come out to this N Wales outpost? I am looking at biomass too and it all seems a bit of a black art - albeit an expensive one!

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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    We were originally looking at 160kw on our sheds but had to scale back to 64 due to lack of capacity in the local grid. As I understood it there is no need for planning as long as the top of the panels are not above the ridge line. Likewise there is no need for any particular panel colour or design if you are outside of national parks etc. Happy to be corrected on this if it is wrong but I think I'm not too far off the mark.

    We are really happy with ours, one of our best decisions in the last few years I think.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  3. #3

    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald Rick View Post
    Am I correct in assuming that I don't need Planning Permission to install panels on an agricultural building roof?

    Is there a limit to the amount of panels? I have been told that our roof will take up to (& beyond) 150kw which sounds like a chuffing lot of panels to me and I was wondering if the planners/public might get a bit twitchy if we whack on a load of panels. Do I have an obligation to use silver panels so they "blend" in better?


    Also, whilst I am on the subject, can anyone recommend an independent consultant who is not flogging stuff but who knows what they are talking about & would be willing to come out to this N Wales outpost? I am looking at biomass too and it all seems a bit of a black art - albeit an expensive one!
    Hi Bald Rick

    Unless you are in a Conservation Area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Park or a Listed Building on Roof Solar is Permitted Development. And you are not obliged to use silver or any other colour

    As pointed out the first port of call is the DNO - You need to know what they will allow you to feed back into the grid. This is a straight forward G59/2 Application (which we are happy to do free and without obligation for all Forum members).

    However if you are a large user and not looking at exporting a high amount of the generation you can fit a smart switch which will limit your inverter to a predetermined level that the DNO are happy with. This could save ten's of 000's in upgrade costs and it is now an accepted technology by UK DNO's

    You also need to look at EPC requirements if you stay within 50 kWp limit(200 panels = 320 sq meters).

    We are working with a farmer on a Biomass project in North Wales and he has a great deal of practical information and whilst it is far from my area of expertise we have managed to pull in some specialists that have reduced the overall costs significantly - I'm sure he'd be happy to share his experience.

    We do of course have a vested interest in the Solar but I'm happy to give you as much advice as you require. Please feel free to call or message me at any time

    Kind Regards

    Mike Smith
    0796 462 9142 50 kW Solar OFFER

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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald Rick View Post
    Am I correct in assuming that I don't need Planning Permission to install panels on an agricultural building roof?

    Is there a limit to the amount of panels? I have been told that our roof will take up to (& beyond) 150kw which sounds like a chuffing lot of panels to me and I was wondering if the planners/public might get a bit twitchy if we whack on a load of panels. Do I have an obligation to use silver panels so they "blend" in better?


    Also, whilst I am on the subject, can anyone recommend an independent consultant who is not flogging stuff but who knows what they are talking about & would be willing to come out to this N Wales outpost? I am looking at biomass too and it all seems a bit of a black art - albeit an expensive one!
    You will need planning for anything over 50 Kw . You will not get accreditation from DECC which is a requirement over 50Kw . A letter from the planners is good enough
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    I would definitely get IN WRITING from your Planning Authority that your scheme will be a permitted development, it might be different in Wales but only installations on domestic dwelling roofs is classed as permitted, ground mounted or on agricultural/commercial roofs requires Planning consent so our Planners told me.

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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    Quote Originally Posted by windylamb View Post
    I would definitely get IN WRITING from your Planning Authority that your scheme will be a permitted development, it might be different in Wales but only installations on domestic dwelling roofs is classed as permitted, ground mounted or on agricultural/commercial roofs requires Planning consent so our Planners told me.
    This advice was incorrect. Roof mounts are allowed up to 50 Kw unless you are in AONB or national park etc.
    however if you have put up building with PP if the roof is specified you may need permission to change
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    Yeh, thanks why I said get it in writing. It was the Planning Officer telling me I needed PP for any size of PV on my shed roof (here in Wales).
    If your local Authority doesn't know the answer then what hope do the rest of us have?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    I'm getting very mixed messages about this planning issue with some saying don't need it if the panels are 1m off the sides and 200mm off the ridge line and are not elevated and yet others saying yes it does or at least a planning letter. Anyway, nothing will happen unless the DNO is happy

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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    If the install is less than 50 Kwp and it it is outside an AONB , national Park etc. and does not face a road you do NOT need planning.
    if over 50 KWP you will need permission from the planning authority if you wish to claim FITs etc.That is fact
    a letter from the planners is sufficent.
    when planning new buildings include panels in your application.
    it can be argued that planning permission is sufficient provided no alternertive roof cladding is specified, try arguing that with DECC
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    How is "road" defined? I am assuming a metalled surface used by the public? The barn with the side that may be panelled faces a "C" class lane with perhaps 20 - 30 vehicle movements a day

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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    Unless it's recently changed there was a difference between the English and Welsh planning guidance with regard to renewables which did make a difference in what was and wasn't considered within permitted development.
    But I don't think it matters what any of us think, if your planning authority doesn't agree with you you will spend time and money arguing the toss. A letter from planning is essential.

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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    I have made a mistake in planning requirements
    Windylamb is correct, there is no exemption from planning requirements in Wales for sub 50 Kw installation.
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    Right, I have been to see the planners and the answer so far is: Location Plan, Letter stating type of panel & capacity (ie numbers), photos of roof and 50 fee ...which may lead to full planning but probably not. Next step to find out what the DNO will allow

  14. #14

    Re: Planning Permission & Solar PV

    Hi Bald Rick

    If you need any help with G59/2 happy to assist

    In addition to the completed application you need:

    Location map showing where panels, inverters and metering point (easiest is an overhead Google Map)
    Schematic of Proposed System (inverters panels and isolators) up to grid connection
    G59 / 2 Testing Certificates for proposed inverters

    Kind Regards

    Mike Smith
    0796 462 9142 50 kW Solar OFFER

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