The Government published its technical consultation on Planning in July 2014, the consultation included proposals to increase permitted development rights for solar power.
Everyone wants to do their bit to help save energy, in particular by using clean, renewable energy sources. The government is proposing to allow development of non-domestic solar panels generating up to one megawatt without planning permission.
The consultation is not clear as to whether this new right will replace the existing right whereby permitted development rights exist to allow the installation of PV panels on non-domestic buildings with a capacity of no more than 50kW, or to create a wholly new right for those proposals above 50kW but under one megawatt. Clarifying this issue with CLG, they have confirmed that a new right, in addition to the existing right, is proposed. This new right (for proposals above 50kW but under one megawatt) will require prior approval, where the LPA is to consider siting and design to minimise impact of glare, other typical conditions (i.e. extending beyond the roof line, excluding Article 1(5) land, and heritage assets) will apply.
This is a step in the right direction, a new proposal to allow up to one megawatt capacity without planning permission. Not only would this be of great benefit to those new, and refurbished, commercial buildings, seeking to add to their green credentials, but also to those parish and town councils that often receive community benefit funding to develop solar panels on buildings within their area, taking away the extra red tape of having to obtain planning permission.