Property Clinic: Does my neighbours’ solar panel breach regulations?

Your property queries answered

The installation of a solar panel arrangement which is at a height greater than 50 cm would not be classed as exempt within the regulations.

The installation of a solar panel arrangement which is at a height greater than 50 cm would not be classed as exempt within the regulations.

 

I was hoping you could offer some clarification on the topic of planning for a solar panel on a flat roof. I am referring to the exemption: “3. The distance between the plane of a flat roof and the panel shall not exceed 50cm” to mean the angle of the panel cannot be higher than 50cm.

My next door neighbours have recently installed a solar panel and it is at least 1.5m from the top of the solar panel to the roof.

My neighbours are adamant they do not need planning. I would greatly appreciate your input as I want to avoid conflict.

Answer Specific conditions must be satisfied in order to allow for the placement of solar panels on a domestic home roof without the requirement to apply for planning permission. Such works are considered ‘exempted development’ where the following conditions (Planning and Development (Amendment) Regulations 2007) are met:

1. The size of any such panel together with any other such panel previously placed on or within the said curtilage, shall not exceed 12 sq m or 50 per cent of the total roof area, whichever is the lesser;

2. The distance between the wall or a pitched roof and the panel shall not exceed 15cm;

3. The distance between the plane of a flat roof and the panel shall not exceed 50cm

4. The solar panel shall be a minimum of 50cm from any edge of the wall or roof on which it is mounted.

Therefore, in relation to your specific question (assuming that the structure is a domestic property), the distance between the top of the flat roof and the top of the solar panel installation shall not exceed 50cm in height.

The installation of a solar panel arrangement which is at a height greater than 50 cm would not be classed as exempt within these regulations. It is advisable to contact your Local Authority Planning Department for further advice.

Andrew O’Gorman is a Chartered Building Surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie