Devon Solar Together

Devon Solar Together

Devon Solar Together is a solar panel group buying project from the Devon Climate Emergency response group. It offers homeowners across Devon the chance to buy high quality solar PV panels more cheaply than if they were buying alone and hopes to help reduce carbon emissions from grid purchased electricity.

The scheme’s details are available on the Solar Together website.

The scheme is open to registrations until 6 October 2020.

If you have registered and are interested in purchasing solar panels you will need to check whether planning permission is needed. You should do this before agreeing to to proceed with your solar installation.

When is planning permission required?

The installation of solar PV panels on roofs is normally “permitted development” which means in many cases planning permission is not required. You should be aware that some building types do not benefit from permitted development rights and will require planning permission.

These include:

  • Listed Buildings
  • Scheduled Monuments
  • Buildings in Conservation Areas where the Solar PV equipment is installed on a wall which fronts a highway
  • Buildings which have had permitted development rights removed

To benefit from permitted development rights, the installation must meet certain criteria:

  • the system should be installed in such a way that the effect on the external appearance of the building and the amenity of the area is minimal;
  • when no longer needed, equipment should be removed as soon as reasonably practicable;
  • the system cannot be higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding any chimney); and
  • the system cannot protrude more than 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the roof slope.

There are circumstances where these requirements cannot be met, such as flat roofs which require a frame to angle the panels towards the sun. Just because planning permission is required does not mean it will not be approved. DNPA continue to approve the vast majority of planning applications we receive and we are supportive of renewable energy schemes in principle.

Need further advice?

If you are unsure whether you need planning permission or you want advice on whether you will likely receive planning permission, seek advice from our Planning Officers via our Planning Advice Service.

The following fees apply to planning advice for installation of solar PV panels on domestic properties:

Initial advice: Free

Site visit (at Officer’s discretion): £130

Additional meetings: £65 per meeting