Lewes District Council
Find out if you need planning permission for solar panels within the Lewes District
Government guidance within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (paragraph 95) states that 'local planning authorities should actively support energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings' and that (paragraph 98) 'local planning authorities should not require applicants for energy development to demonstrate the overall need for renewable or low carbon energy and also recognise that even small-scale projects provide a valuable contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions'.
Recent changes to legislation have increased ‘permitted development rights’ for solar technology, to include flats and maisonettes, as well as houses.
The following criteria apply to the installation of solar panels to a house, maisonette or flat or on a building within its curtilage:
Please note that any panels installed on a flat roof will automatically require planning permission unless they protrude less than 200mm in height above the flat roof on which they are installed.
The following criteria apply to the installation of a stand alone solar system within the curtilage of a house, maisonette or flat:
A standard planning application for solar panels takes up to 8 weeks to determine and is subject to the usual consultation requirements.
Article 4 Directions, such as those covering Lewes and Ditchling offer additional protection for the Conservation Area and remove the normal ‘permitted development rights’ as outlined above. Therefore domestic properties in these areas, require planning permission in the following circumstances:
Where any solar equipment installed on a wall or roof slope of a house, flat or maisonette, or a building within its curtilage, fronts on to a public highway, watercourse or open space. (Highway includes all roads, footpaths, bridleways and byways over which the public have a right of way.)
Permitted development rights have also been granted for the installation of non-domestic solar panels.
The following criteria apply to a building other than a dwelling house, maisonette or flat such as, commercial, industrial, agricultural or other business premises:
The following criteria apply to the installation of a stand alone solar system within the curtilage of a non-domestic building:
A standard planning application for solar panels takes up to 8 weeks to determine and a major planning application takes up to 13 weeks. Both are subject to the usual consultation requirements.
Further restrictions may be imposed by way of a restrictive condition attached to the grant of planning permission, that removes permitted development rights. These restrictions are often imposed when it is considered that any further development of the site using permitted development would be detrimental to the area.
Restrictive Conditions are specific to a property or development and can vary in wording and the development restricted.
If you own your property, restrictive conditions such as these should have been notified to you by your legal advisor when purchasing the property. If you are unsure whether such a condition affects your property, you should check with us before carrying out any development.
In addition to the standard requirements for submitting a valid application you need to ensure that you also send:
For applications relating to the installation of solar panels at a house, you will need to submit the Householder planning application form.
For applications relating to the installation of solar panels at a flat, maisonette or non-domestic premises you will need to submit the Full Planning application form.
For any building that is listed you will need to submit the Listed Building application form.
Statutory Instrument 2011 No. 2056
Installation of Domestic Microgeneration Equipment (0.07mb)
Statutory Instrument 2012 No. 748
Installation of Non-domestic Microgeneration Equipment (0.06mb)