Planning Permission For Solar Panels: The Process Explained

Lisa Foran | June 10 | News

If you are thinking about installing a solar panel arrangement for your home, there are several things to consider In certain circumstances, you may need to acquire planning permission from a building manager or landlord before any installs can go ahead.

In this blog post, we are going to be discussing some of the main talking points for planning permission in the UK, the types of people who may need planning permission and the best way you can go about acquiring said permission.


Why Do Solar Panels Need Planning Permission?

Planning permission is simply the formal approval you need from your local planning authority for certain types of development. In some cases, you might need to get planning permission for installing solar panels since they are a major development plan that can majorly affect costs and prices in and around your place of residence.

Getting the right permissions not only keeps you on the right side of the law but also helps you avoid any fines or legal headaches later down the line.


Who Might Require Planning Permissions?

Usually, when it comes to putting solar panels on your home, you won’t need special permission as they’re usually considered “permitted development.” But, there are some exceptions. For example:

  • If you live in a listed building
  • If you live in a conservation area
  • If your panels are especially large

If you’re thinking about putting solar panels on a commercial property, there’s a good chance you’ll have to get planning permission. It’s very important to look up the rules in your area to see if you need to get approval for your project.


Getting Permission: The Process

When you are set on buying a solar panel arrangement, the next step is to gain the planning permission you need to ensure you can install solar panels on your property. This, of course, only needs to be done if you fall under a certain category of property.

To gain planning permission, you will need to construct a complete application that explains your planned installation at length before sending it off to your local planning authority. You will need to inform them of:

  • The solar panel size
  • Where you plan to install the solar panels
  • What this may mean for the surrounding areas



The first thing you should do is check the local rules and guidelines for installing solar panels. Take a look at your city council’s website or planning department to know exactly what you need to do and if there are any limits on what you can do with your property.


Pre-Application Advice

Getting pre-application advice can help you long term. If you speak with the planning office early on about your project, you can figure out any potential problems and get advice on how to deal with them. It’s especially useful for bigger or more complicated installations.


Preparing and Submitting Your Application

When planning to submit your application, make sure to include all the necessary documents. This usually means:

  • Site Plans – Maps that show exactly where your property is and where the solar panels will go.
  • Elevation Drawings – Pictures of what the panels will look like from different views.
  • Design and Access Statement – A document that explains the design, materials used, and how the panels will be accessed and taken care of.

To boost your chances of approval, be sure to give detailed and correct information, address any worries that may come up, and emphasise the positives of having solar panels installed.


What If My Application is Refused?

If your application gets denied, don’t panic! Reasons for refusal usually include how it looks, possible effects on historical places, or not following local rules. You can fix these problems and send in your application again, or you can challenge the decision. The appeals process includes having an independent inspector take another look at your application.

If you do wish to appeal, your local planning authority will have an appeal process that you must follow, this is usually done through a written appeal.

There are several grounds for your appeal that are important to take note of before submitting it – you will only be able to appeal if:

  • It goes against the local planning rules or policies.
  • There are conditions that you think are unnecessary, hard to enforce, unclear, unreasonable, or unimportant.
  • The local planning authorities haven’t made a decision on your application after 8 weeks, or after a deadline that was agreed upon.


What To Do Once You Have Approval

Once you have planning permission, you can proceed with installing your solar panels. Ensure that the installation complies with any conditions set by the planning authority. Regular maintenance and inspections will help keep your solar panels in optimal condition and ensure continued compliance with regulations.


Solar Installations With ESOLAR

At ESOLAR, we’re proud to be the top choice for solar panel installations. We were voted the National Solar PV Contractor/Installer of the Year 2023 at the Energy Efficiency Awards, so you know we’re the real deal.

As a multi-award-winning installer, we’ve been named the North West Installer of the Year for four years in a row (2021-2024). We can guarantee to have solar panels installed nationwide within 14 days of your survey and will beat any genuine quote you find.

You can choose your own survey date and get instant online quotes, making the whole process super easy and stress-free. Our many happy customers can vouch for the excellent customer service we provide.

We’re approved by the FCA and accredited by MCS, NAPIT, NICEIC, Trustmark, and RECC, ensuring top-notch installations. Plus, we install some of the most attractive panels on the market.

You can get in touch with us today at 0800 130 3985 or email us at and we will be sure to answer any questions or queries you may have.