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Homeowners and businesses will be given greater flexibility to install rooftop solar panels to generate electricity under changes to announced to planning regulations.
Changes to permitted development rights rules announced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will mean more solar arrays can be installed on properties without consulting the planning system, reducing the time and cost of completing installations.
Changes to rules will allow solar panels to be added to homes with flat roofs without first obtaining planning permission from the local authority, bringing rules more in line with regulations for business premises. Rules for businesses requiring planning permission on solar arrays capable of generating more than 1MW of electricity will also be scrapped.
Changes will also reduce planning permissions needed for already-developed land to also generate zero-carbon energy. Panels installed on canopies above car parks, for example, will also no longer require planning permission providing they are more than 10 metres from homes.
Housing and Planning Minister Lee Rowley MP said:
“We must make sure our homes are fit for the future and can help us meet our net zero ambitions.
“By cutting red-tape in the planning system we can make sure homeowners and businesses can install solar panels without being held up by costly delays. Crucially, these permitted development rights are still subject to important conditions, including their use in conservation areas.“
Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Graham Stuart MP said:
“Today we are cutting through red tape to make it easier for businesses to install solar panels on their rooftops.
“Removing the 1MW restriction for industrial rooftop solar will help us meet our target of 70GW of solar power by 2035 while supporting hundreds of long-term skilled British jobs, bolstering our world-leading renewables sector and reducing bills for consumers with panels.“