Permission not needed for homeowners to install solar panels and similar green technology

Changes to planning laws will make it easier for homeowners in Wales to install micro-renewables.

The new rules, which come into force in September, will mean that planning permission will not be required when certain types of micro-generation equipment such as solar panels are installed on homes.

The aim is to make it easier for homeowners to install equipment that will contribute to tackling climate change and lowering energy bills, as well as removing the burden of planning fees.

Solar panels
Solar panels are among the micro-renewables that will be exempt from the usual planning process

Environment, sustainability and housing minister Jane Davidson said: “Micro-generation has a major role to play in decarbonising energy supply and helping tackle climate change. Wales in particular has a large share of off-gas-grid, hard-to-heat and hard-to-treat homes. In these cases, micro-generation can be the most effective method of removing people from fuel poverty and providing energy security.”

The changes will enable householders to install certain types of domestic micro-generation equipment, including solar thermal panels, ground and water source heat pumps, and flues associated with biomass and combined heat and power systems, on or within the boundary of houses and flats, subject to certain criteria.

The measures go further than the authorities in England by allowing standalone solar panels up to the boundaries of properties, provided they satisfy certain height and highway criteria.