Lewes District Council
Tel: 01273 484420
Fax: 01273 484452
Minicom 01273 484488
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 as well as houses.
The following criteria apply to the installation of solar panels to a house or flat or a building within the curtilage of a house or flat:
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 or flat:
A standard planning application for solar panels takes up to 8 weeks to determine and is subject to the usual consultation requirements.
In addition to the standard requirements above, there may be other factors affecting permitted development rights for your property and the need for planning permission.
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 in the above areas, planning permission is required in the following circumstances:
Planning permission is required for any solar equipment installed on a wall or roofslope of a residential building, or within the curtilage of a residential building, where it 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.)
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.
The above criteria only apply to dwelling houses and flats and do not apply to commercial, industrial, agricultural or any other business premises. For solar development at these premises, full planning consent is generally required.
In addition to the standard requirements for submitting a valid application you need to ensure that you also send:
Statutory Instrument 2011 No. 2056
Installation of Domestic Microgeneration Equipment (0.07mb)