Do I need planning permission for business solar panels?

How To Get ROI from Commercial Panels

Are you considering solar panels for your commercial property? In the UK, many commercial properties can benefit from solar panels under “permitted development” rights, which often do not require explicit planning consent. Some situations and locations may require further review and approval from the planning authority.

This blog post explores when and why planning permission is needed for solar panels on commercial buildings, covering everything from the general conditions of permitted development to exceptions that might require additional approvals.

Do I need planning permission for business solar panels?

Yes, you may need planning permission to install solar panels on a business property. While some installations qualify as “permitted development” and do not require full planning consent, others require an application for planning permission.

Larger commercial solar projects impacting local infrastructure or the environment must also be checked for planning permission.

Planning considerations for solar panels on commercial properties extend beyond mere aesthetics. The planning authority must evaluate whether the proposed installation could impact local infrastructure or the environment.

For instance, larger solar setups that exceed the thresholds set by normal building regulations may require additional scrutiny to assess their impact on the local grid or their visual impact on their surroundings.

Creating a planning application for your commercial solar panels

For a smooth approval process, business owners should prepare a detailed application that addresses the installation’s design, safety standards, and energy efficiency.

This involves detailing the installation’s design, safety standards, and compliance with energy efficiency requirements, helping the planning authority assess the project efficiently and speeding up the approval process.

When do you need planning permission for commercial solar panels?

If you’re considering installing commercial solar panels, especially on a block of flats or buildings with a flat roof, several planning and structural considerations need to be considered to stay compliant.

Here’s a detailed look at when and why you might need to file a planning application or seek building consent.

Development Rights and Roof Structures

For most small-scale installations on commercial buildings, permitted development rights typically allow solar panels without a full planning application. However, this depends greatly on the specific roof structure and the building’s location.

A flat roof on a block of flats may not impact the external appearance significantly if the panels are installed within the existing roof slope and do not protrude above the parapet.

However, the overall stability and weight-bearing capacity of the roof structure must be assessed to make sure it can support the additional load without risk.

Impact on External Appearance

While permitted development rights generally cover many scenarios, they have conditions to reduce the impact on buildings’ external appearance.

Suppose the solar panels will alter the visual profile of a building, especially in sensitive areas or on prominent buildings. In that case, this might exceed the scope of permitted development.

In this case, a planning application would be necessary to obtain explicit building consent, all aesthetic and environmental considerations are properly addressed.

Understanding these nuances will help your project proceed without delays, adhere to local planning laws, and maintain the integrity and safety of the building structure.

Whether dealing with a flat roof or a complex block of flats, contact a professional solar installer to understand the planning application process and secure the building consent for your solar panels.

Reliable commercial solar panels with Path Energy

When it comes to commercial solar energy for your business, think Path Energy. Our commercial solar solutions, including solar panels, battery storage, and optimisation technology, are designed to maximise your business’s potential for decades.

Our premium solar panels provide years of clean, cheap energy, our battery storage service ensures continued power during outages, and optimisation tech boosts efficiency, leading to cost savings and a sustainable future.

Experience the full spectrum of solar benefits and pave the way for a brighter, greener business journey with Path Energy!

Chris Kemp
22 April 2024
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