Planning rules relaxed for commercial installs

April 17, 2012

Thanks to a change in planning regulations, many commercial PV systems are now considered a ‘Permitted Development’, meaning they can go ahead without the need to obtain planning permission.

The amendment came into effect on 6 April 2012 and means most installations under 50kWp will now be able to skip the eight- to ten-week period it normally takes to apply for and receive permission from the local authority.

There are a few sensible exceptions to the new rule. For example, as with domestic installs, you’ll still need to seek permission if the building is listed or is situated in the grounds (or curtilage) of a listed building or in a conservation area. For pitched roofs, the installation must have a 1-metre boundary around the perimeter of the roof, while for flat roofs, the height of the installation shouldn’t be more than 1 metre above the highest part of the roof.

The rule change is great news for anyone planning a medium-sized installation and will speed up the process as well as cutting costs of £1,000. The move also recognises the growing popularity of solar, and the importance of the technology’s contribution towards the energy needs of business.

Whatever the size of your installation, we’re experts in planning and can talk you through all the regulations and handle any necessary applications on your behalf.

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