DGLG gives green light for commercial rooftop solar installations without planning permission

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published plans to allow commercial rooftop solar installations of up to 1MW in size to be installed on warehouses, supermarkets and commercial buildings without the need for planning permission. The proposal is contained in a new consultation on planning reforms.

Included in the consultation is a proposal to extend permitted development to rights to 1MW solar schemes. This would mean that, providing certain conditions are met, a business in England would not need to apply for planning permission. Currently solar installations up to 50kW are allowable under permitted development.

Paul Barwell, chief executive at Solar Trade, welcomed the proposal. “The poor level of rooftop deployment shows that much more needs to be done,” he said. Reforms in the proposal also include: making it easier to convert empty and redundant buildings into homes; relaxing the rules governing change of use for high street shops to “help high streets adapt to changing customer needs”; a reduction in the numbers of homes that would be screened for environmental impact assessments and proposals for a more flexible and streamlined system can be made where these are beneficial.

Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis said: “Today’s proposals will scrap even more red tape and make it easier to get the homes and shops communities want built, while at the same time breathing new life into our vital industries.”

This article has been adapted from an article published by Building4Change.