Do you need planning permission for solar panels UK?

People are increasingly looking for new, more cost-effective ways to generate power for their businesses and homes as energy prices rise. Solar panels continue to be a popular alternative to fossil-fuel energy sources.

Do I need planning permission to fit solar panels?

The installation of solar systems and batteries on residential homes and land may be considered "permitted development," requiring no planning permission from the Local Planning Authority. However, there are important limits and conditions that must be met in order to benefit from these permitted development rights, which you can find out more about below.

Do you need planning permission for solar panels UK?

Solar PV Roof Installation Guidelines

  • Solar panels must be installed in such a way that they do not alter the appearance of the building or the surrounding area.
  • The highest point of the roof should not be exceeded by solar panels (excluding any chimney)
  • Solar systems should not protrude more than 200mm from the roof's edge.
  • The panels should be taken down from the roof when they're no longer used to generate electricity.

If your solar system will be installed on your property but not fastened to your roof:

  • Permitted Development applies to one ground-mounted solar PV installation. Any additional solar panels will necessitate planning permission.
  • The solar panels must be located at least 5 metres from the edge of your home and in a way that has the least impact on the appearance of the area.
  • The highest part of the system must not be taller than 4m and must not cover more than 9m2.

Do solar panels need planning permission on listed buildings?

You will need planning permission if your home is a listed building.

You will also need planning permission if your home is located in a conservation area.

Planning permission may be granted in these cases, but only at the judgement of your Local Planning Authority.

Our solar panels planning permission tips:

As you don’t need planning permission, you can add solar panels straight onto your home should you decide to go solar. We recommend as with any home improvement to check the condition of your roof before adding solar panels. Check your building regulations to make sure panels will safely fit on your roof slope.

As we are MCS solar installers, your panel installation team at Smart Energy will professionally check the condition of your roof for you.

 If your property is in a conservation area or in a world heritage site, we will handle your planning application for you. Applications are included in your installation of solar panels package.


To summarise, you don’t need planning permission for solar panels as long as your house isn’t a listed building or the panels would affect the amenity of the area.

If you would like to check regarding your house, contact the planning portal for more information.