Government waives planning permission for commercial rooftop solar

Barrier for solar rooftops up to 1MW first raised by the STA over a year ago falls away

The Government have confirmed that they are extending permitted development to all rooftop solar up to 1MW, meaning that as long as certain requirements are fulfilled there will be no need to apply for planning permission. This includes both solar PV and solar thermal installations.


Currently, solar installations up to 50kW benefit from permitted development and don't need to go through planning permission. With this move this will now apply to all installations up to 1MW, which is roughly the size of a large warehouse or distribution centre (roughly a rooftop the size of an average football pitch).

STA Business Analyst David Pickup commented:

"Getting planning permission is an extra hoop to jump through, and we are delighted that this is one more barrier to getting solar on roofs that has been removed."

"We told DECC and DCLG that the lack of permitted development was an issue more than a year and half ago and that if they want to see more solar on roofs – which is a central part of the Solar PV Strategy - then this would be an easy fix. It is great to see they have listened and actioned it. It's also good to see that solar thermal as well as PV is included, as we pushed for in our response."

"Extending the threshold from 50kW to 1MW is a boost for commercial solar. So many warehouses, factories and offices could save money on their energy bills by having solar PV on their roofs. However, there isn't enough room for this market to grow before the Feed-in Tariffs drops to zero, killing the market completely. Our upcoming Solar Independence Plan will show a way to allow more growth in this crucial sector."

Featured Product

Solar FlexRack - TDP Turnkey Tracker

Solar FlexRack - TDP Turnkey Tracker

Solar FlexRack TDP™ Turnkey Trackers are the next generation, single-axis solar tracker solution, complete with comprehensive services and support. What sets this tracking solution apart is its updated tracking technology bundled with a full suite of best-in-class project services and support for commercial and utility-scale solar customers. The TDP Turnkey Tracker offers the lowest total cost solution by providing the only tracker in the industry that includes full design, installation, commissioning, and support services bundled in one contract. Solar FlexRack's TDP Solar Tracker solution is supported by an in-house team of experts that includes mechanical, structural, civil, electrical and geotechnical engineers and geologists. To learn more about Solar FlexRack's TDP Turnkey Tracker, one of the most cost-effective and comprehensive tracker solutions available, please visit: http://solarflexrack.com/products/tracker.