Installing Solar Panels on your roof

Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Construction, Design, Home, Planning | 0 comments

This useful article about Solar Panels appeared in the Times Home & Property Section recently:-

‘Roof-mounted solar panels are still popular despite the recent reduction in feed-in tariffs. Many specialist firms will install panels for nothing and lease the airspace above a roof for a period of (say) 25 years. If this is your intention, the arrangement would be a lease of more than seven years — so it would have to be formally made by deed and registered with the Land Registry.

Whether you enter into this kind of arrangement or install panels yourself, you must consider planning constraints. Under amendments to the planning regulations in 2008, the installation of solar panels on most houses outside conservation areas is treated as permitted development. You will not require planning consent if the panels have a minimal effect on the external appearance of your home and do not protrude more than 200mm above roof level. You will also have to check the Land Registry title records to check if the panels would breach any restrictive covenant affecting your house.

The other issue is whether your neighbours could object to the solar panels as a common law nuisance. In a recent case, two homeowners on a new development near Sheffield installed 18 large black solar panels on the roof of their homes, covering virtually the whole front pitch. A leasehold valuation tribunal decided that this was not a “nuisance or annoyance” under the terms of the lease of the houses, stating that a “reasonable person” would not find the panels any more annoying than satellite dishes. Although a different decision might be reached in other cases, this suggests that neighbours are unlikely to be able to object on nuisance grounds. Provided you comply with these requirements, you should be able to put solar panels on your roof.

Article written by Mark Loveday, a barrister at Tanfield Chambers.

If you need to apply for any Planning Approvals don’t forget to contact for your plans & application documentation.


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