Solar panel installation planning permission

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    Solar panel installation planning permission

    Hi we had solor panels by a certified installer. The size of the installation is 3.75 kw consisting of 15 PV panels. The system was fitted in mid eptember 2013, it met all regulations for PV installation. I have now been informed by the Council that a complaint has been made about the effect the panels have on the building which is a 1952 semidetached property in a hammer head. They have now suggested to reduce the amount of panels to 10 which would make 2.5 kw system. I can see no point in reducing amount of panels might aswell take them all off but they have given me 14 days in which to apply for retrospective planning permission so they can then make a decision invioving the size of my system. These panels were fitted undwer permitted development rights so planning permission was not required - any suggestions on how to handle this - the clock is ticking.

    Thanks any help would be appreciated

    #2
    if they were fitted under permitted development and followed the 'rules', I don't see there is a problem. this seems to be supported by the council (tho more likely one person in the council, who may or may not understand the process) who has suggested reducing the amount of panels as opposed to telling you to do so. first thing I would check on is, does the installation comply - if so then no further action by you, if it doesn't comply then you will need to take further action, quite simple really!

    Comment


      #3
      Hi They have stipulated the Town Country Planning Act as amended - unauthorised installation of excessive solar panels. Planning permission is required as it exceeds the limitations set out in Class A Part 40 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development) Order 2008 (as amended as the equipment is not considered to have been sited to minimize its effect on the appearance of the building nor has it been sited in such a way to minimize impact on the amenity of the area. Before installing panels I had quotes from numerous installers each one said 16 panels could be installed for a 4 kw system. The reason it went down to 15 was because of chimney shading. Removal of any panels would make no difference in minimizing the effect on the appearance of the building.

      As stated above this is not in a an area of beauty, but it is just a small residential road. They have not been explicit in how many panels should be on my roof, the number 10 has been a figure of speech, but I have to pay £175 for them to come out and tell me!

      Comment


        #4
        You seem to be confusing the installers advice as to possible size of physical installation with that of compliance with Planning Law. The two are entirely different. I would suspect that there is a footnote in any quotation from the installer stating that it is the Client's responsibility to resolve any Planning issues.

        Is the install on the front elevation?

        Looks like you're going to need to find a Planning Consultant (or other building Professional) who is keen to see PV installs retro fitted and is able to submit your retrospective application.

        I'd start of by searching the 'Green' and PV forums for recommendations or perhaps advice from those that have been in similar situations.

        Unfortunately, there a plenty of members of society who think that 'their' idea of what looks good / right is how everything should be.
        There is always scope for misinterpretation.

        If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

        Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

        Comment


          #5
          chimney shading? I had my 4kw system set up on two different strings, so the chimney shading only affected a couple of panels NOT the whole system and it isn't shaded for too long anyway!

          ok, back to the problem, the regs state 'sited ... so far as is practicable '

          A.2. Development is permitted by Class A subject to the following conditions—
          (a)solar PV or solar thermal equipment shall, so far as practicable, be sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building;.
          (b)solar PV or solar thermal equipment shall, so far as practicable, be sited so as to minimise its effect on the amenity of the area; and.
          (c)solar PV or solar thermal equipment no longer needed for microgeneration shall be removed as soon as reasonably practicable.


          my answer would be that the installation was sited as far as practicable etc, etc in that you had nowhere else to site a 3.75 kw installation that would work efficiently enough !!!! did the installers 'design' the arrays so as to fit onto the roof aesthetically - I am sure they did !!!


          if you do reduce your system can I have your spare panels LOL, of course at a reduced rate !!

          Comment


            #6
            I bet it's not just a question of removing a few panels. Won't a different inverter be required for a lower voltage? Am I wrong?

            Comment


              #7
              Personally - and many people agree with me - I find these hideous things a blight upon our fair country, wherever they be, and massively resent the daft subsidies the rest of us tax-payers end up coughing up.

              Has it ever produced 3.75kw - or was that "optimistic"???

              The newer ones that will be around in a few years time that you'll hardly notice will be a different matter (hopefully appearance-wise & zero daft subsidiy..)

              Cheers!
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

              Comment


                #8
                Yes, I do agree with you Artful.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MisterB View Post
                  if they were fitted under permitted development and followed the 'rules', I don't see there is a problem. this seems to be supported by the council (tho more likely one person in the council, who may or may not understand the process) who has suggested reducing the amount of panels as opposed to telling you to do so. first thing I would check on is, does the installation comply - if so then no further action by you, if it doesn't comply then you will need to take further action, quite simple really!
                  hi the installation does comply the council planning manager is the person has said reducing the panels to ten would resolve problem ,having installed panels under the permitted development act I have not committed an offense ,the person making the complaint could still complain if they do not like the look of ten panels, there is no rule as to how many panels can be installed, the council themselves are installing panels on council properties in this area that are bigger than ten panels, they have not contacted me in person only by mail threatening enforcement or pay 175 pounds for retrospective planning which could be denied.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    it would involve putting up scaffold removing panels refitting the mounting grid and reinstalling panels, not sure about inverter but could be expensive, will go to court with this if I have to

                    Comment


                      #11
                      panels are on front of house

                      Comment


                        #12
                        a blot on the landscape - come on be serious, compared with what? pylons? are we going to remove all those? cyclists, they are are a blot and also a danger blah blah. the panels are on a roof, does it matter what the roof is made of so long as its functional? I do agree that the more unobtrusive 'in roof' do look better, but I don't get offended by solar panels OR non commercial private wind turbines

                        where protections are in place ie conservation areas, then they should be enforced, where the laws allow permitted development then solar panels are the (not so ) new, garlic bread!

                        cid, try the navtron forum, you will got loads of help and assistance on there, this forum is really just for people (me included) who are happy to make money out of others by investing their own money up front, and then getting a 'return' over the life of the investment, a bit like solar panels really, oops !

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Fair point misterB & like solar panels getting MASSIVE subsidies from taxpayers LLs get some taxrelief...

                          Cheers!
                          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            yes, but I REALLY wanted his cheap solar panels, i should have persuaded him to agree with the nice man from the council, then I could have had them cheap !!!!

                            although i have them on my own property, i am actually considering having them on a rental, just trying to get a quote on returns on investment etc. the one on my own home is currently running at over 13% tax free return - this will of course rise slightly over the years and with a 25 year guaranteed subsidy it makes sense to me!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I presume you have seen the news about the new solar panel taxes in Spain, Mister B?

                              http://www.thelocal.es/20131112/spai...k-in-your-door

                              I don't think those British subsidies will last 25 years somehow.

                              Comment

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