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Revised Planning Regulations Aim to Accelerate Solar Adoption and Reduce Energy Costs

rooftop solar

Residential property owners can now effortlessly install rooftop solar panels, avoiding expensive planning delays.

Newly announced regulations will facilitate the installation of rooftop solar panels for homes and businesses. Amendments to permitted development rights will streamline the process, allowing more property owners to install solar panels without navigating the planning system. The current planning system entails an over eight-week waiting period and additional expenses for those seeking approval. This change is expected to incentivize more individuals to adopt solar panels, leading to reduced energy costs and a decrease in harmful emissions.

The Minister for Housing and Planning, Lee Rowley MP, expressed:

It is imperative that our residences are future-ready and contribute to achieving our net-zero goals.

  • Streamlining the planning system by reducing bureaucratic hurdles ensures that homeowners and businesses can install solar panels without enduring expensive delays. Importantly, these permitted development rights are subject to vital conditions, including their applicability in conservation areas.

Minister Graham Stuart MP, responsible for Energy Security and Net Zero, stated:

  • Today, we are simplifying procedures to facilitate businesses in installing solar panels on their rooftops by cutting through bureaucratic red tape.
  • Lifting the 1MW restriction on industrial rooftop solar is a key step toward achieving our goal of 70GW of solar power by 2035. This move not only sustains hundreds of skilled British jobs in the long term but also strengthens our position as a global leader in renewables. Additionally, it contributes to lowering consumer bills through increased panel usage.

The revisions will enable homes with flat roofs to install solar panels without the need for planning permission, aligning regulations with those applicable to businesses.

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The current requirement for businesses to seek planning permission for solar panels generating over one megawatt of electricity will be eliminated, allowing organizations to install more panels on rooftops without the delays and costs associated with the planning process.

Emphasizing the use of already developed land for solar installations, the government aims to simplify the installation of panels in canopies above car parks, provided they are at least ten meters away from residential areas.

These changes in permitted development rights complement government initiatives outlined in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, which focuses on expediting the planning system and reducing bureaucratic hurdles.

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Furthermore, these measures align with the objectives outlined in the British Energy Security Strategy from the previous year, demonstrating the government’s commitment to addressing climate change and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


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