Shedding Light on Solar Panels: Do You Need Planning Permission?

As more and more homeowners look to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy bills, solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular option. But, do you need planning permission to install solar panels in the UK? In this informative article, we’ll explore planning permission requirements, common questions, and how our Architectural Designer services can help you navigate the process.

Is Planning Permission Needed for Solar Panels?

In most cases, solar panels can be installed without the need for planning permission, as they are considered “permitted development.” However, there are some restrictions and conditions you must adhere to:

  • Panels should not be installed above the highest part of the roof (excluding the chimney).
  • Panels should not protrude more than 200mm from the roof plane.
  • The installation should not be on a listed building or within the curtilage of a listed building.
  • The panels should not be visible from the highway if the building is in a conservation area or World Heritage Site.

Always check with your local planning authority to confirm whether planning permission is required for your specific project.

Can Neighbours Object to Solar Panels?

While solar panels are generally considered a positive addition to a property due to their eco-friendly nature, there may be instances when neighbours have concerns about the installation. It’s important to understand your rights and your neighbours’ rights when it comes to solar panel installations.

Neighbours can express their concerns, but they can’t necessarily prevent you from installing solar panels, provided your project adheres to planning regulations and Permitted Development guidelines. However, it’s essential to consider their concerns and attempt to address them where possible. Common concerns may include:

  • Visual impact on the neighbourhood or street
  • Reflection or glare from the solar panels
  • Noise generated by the inverter or other equipment
  • Potential impact on property value

While most solar panel installations don’t require planning permission, if your project does, your neighbours will have an opportunity to voice their concerns during the public consultation process. Planning authorities will then consider these objections alongside other factors when making their decision.

To avoid disputes and maintain good relations with your neighbours, it’s a good idea to inform them about your plans before beginning the installation process. You may also want to consult with an Architectural Designer like Shear Architectural Design, who can provide expert guidance and help you address any concerns your neighbours may have.

Solar Panels in Your Garden and on Your Land

Can I Put Solar Panels in My Garden UK?

Yes, you can install solar panels in your garden in the UK. However, there are specific requirements and restrictions you need to be aware of before proceeding with this option. Installing solar panels in your garden typically involves mounting them on a ground-mounted solar array or a free-standing solar panel structure.

When installing solar panels in your garden, you need to consider the following guidelines:

  1. Permitted Development Rights: Solar panels in your garden are generally considered Permitted Development, provided they meet certain conditions. The installation should not exceed 4 metres in height, should not cover more than 50% of the garden area, and should be at least 5 metres away from any property boundary.
  2. Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas: If your property is a listed building or located within a conservation area, you may need to obtain planning permission before installing solar panels in your garden. It’s crucial to consult with your local planning authority to confirm if any additional restrictions apply.
  3. Efficiency and Orientation: Keep in mind that the efficiency of your solar panels depends on their orientation and exposure to sunlight. When installing solar panels in your garden, ensure they have maximum exposure to sunlight and are not shaded by trees or buildings.
  4. Maintenance and Security: Solar panels require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure they function effectively. When installing solar panels in your garden, consider ease of access for maintenance and security measures to protect them from theft or vandalism.

If you’re considering installing solar panels in your garden, it’s recommended to consult with an Architectural Designer like Shear Architectural Design. Our team can guide you through the planning process, design considerations, and potential regulations to ensure a successful and compliant solar panel installation in your garden.

Can I Put Solar Panels on My Land UK?

Similar to garden installations, you can install solar panels on your land, but size restrictions apply. For land outside the residential curtilage, solar panels should not exceed a total area of 9 square metres or 4 metres in height. Always consult your local planning authority for guidance on your specific project.

Planning Permission for Solar Panels on Roofs and Garages

Do I Need Planning Permission for Solar Panels on My Roof UK?

In most cases, you do not need planning permission for solar panels on your roof, as they are considered permitted development. However, restrictions and conditions apply, as mentioned earlier in this article. It’s essential to check with your local planning authority before proceeding with any installation.

Do You Need Planning Permission to Put Solar Panels on Your Garage Roof?

A common question homeowners have is whether they need planning permission to install solar panels on their garage roof. In most cases, solar panels on a garage roof are considered Permitted Development, meaning you won’t need planning permission, provided certain criteria are met.

However, you should still verify if your garage falls within the parameters of Permitted Development. Some key points to consider include:

  • The solar panels should not project more than 200mm from the roof surface.
  • The installation should not be higher than the highest part of the roof, excluding the chimney.
  • The solar panels should not be installed on the front of the garage if it faces a highway.
  • If your property is a listed building, in a conservation area or within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), additional restrictions may apply, and planning permission may be required.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable Architectural Designer to ensure that your solar panel installation on your garage roof complies with any local planning regulations. Shear Architectural Design can help you navigate any planning requirements and provide guidance on the best approach for your solar panel installation project.

Structural Engineers and Qualifications for Solar Panel Installation

Do I Need a Structural Engineer for Solar Panels?

A structural engineer may be required to assess the roof’s ability to support the weight of the solar panels and ensure the installation is safe. It’s a good idea to consult with an Architectural Designer, like Shear Architectural Design, to help determine if a structural engineer is necessary for your project.

What Qualifications Are Needed to Install Solar Panels UK?

Solar panel installations should be carried out by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited installer. This ensures the installer is qualified and adheres to industry standards, which is essential for government grants and incentives.

Maximising Your Solar Panel Installation

What is the Maximum Number of Solar Panels I Can Have?

There is no specific limit to the number of solar panels you can have on your property, but you must adhere to the size restrictions and permitted development conditions mentioned earlier in this article. Your available roof or land space, as well as your energy consumption needs, will help determine the optimal number of solar panels for your project.

How Many Solar Panels Can I Have on My House UK?

The number of solar panels you can install on your house depends on the available roof space and your energy requirements. An Architectural Designer or a qualified solar panel installer can assess your property and recommend the best solar panel system to meet your needs, while adhering to the size restrictions and permitted development conditions.

How Shear Architectural Design Can Help

As an experienced Architectural Designer, Shear Architectural Design can guide you through the planning permission process for solar panels and other home improvement projects. Our expertise extends to:

By partnering with Shear Architectural Design, you can ensure your solar panel installation and other home improvement projects adhere to planning permission requirements and maximise the potential of your property.

Related Posts

For more information and inspiration, explore these related posts:

  1. Understanding Permitted Development: A Guide to Building Without Planning Permission in the UK
  2. How to Build Your Own Eco House: A Step-by-Step Guide
  3. Innovative Heating Systems for the Modern Home: What’s New in the Market?
  4. The Impact of Biophilic Design on Health and Well-being in Modern Homes
  5. Eco-Indulgence: Mastering the Art of Building a Feel-Good Sustainable Sanctuary

Embrace the benefits of solar energy and enhance your home’s sustainability with confidence, knowing that Shear Architectural Design is here to support you throughout the planning permission process and beyond.



Get in Touch with Shear Architectural Design Today


Ready to embark on your solar panel installation journey? Contact Shear Architectural Design for expert advice and guidance on planning permission, building regulations, and design considerations for your solar panel project. Our team of skilled Architectural Designers will ensure that your installation is compliant with UK regulations while maximising your property’s energy efficiency.

In conclusion, solar panels offer a fantastic opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint, lower energy costs, and enhance your property’s value. By understanding the planning permission requirements and working with a reputable Architectural Designer, you can seamlessly integrate solar panels into your home improvement project, creating a more sustainable and energy-efficient living space.



At Shear Architectural Design, we’re passionate about helping our clients bring their vision to life. From gaining planning permission to providing expert advice on design and materials, our team is here to support you every step of the way. Explore our portfolio for more inspiration and get in touch with us to start your journey towards your dream outdoor space today.

Working with an Architectural Designer can help you to achieve your goals and ensure that your project is a success. Shear Architectural Design is a reliable and experienced company that can help you with your home renovation, building project or garden project, in Sussex.

Our Services

At Shear Architectural Design, we offer a range of services to help you bring your Passive House vision to life:

We assist with gaining planning permission and building regulations, ensuring that your project meets all necessary requirements.

Contact us today, on 01273 740642 to learn more about how we can help you create the home of your dreams!

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