More solar panels to be installed without planning permission under proposed changes
More houses and buildings will be able to install solar panels on their roofs without any requirement for planning permission under proposals now out for consultation.
The consultation, which will close on 13 July 2022, follows a review of the solar panel planning exemptions set out in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, with a particular focus on facilitating increased self-generation of electricity.
Draft regulations have been prepared which propose the removal of the rooftop square metre-based limits which currently apply and to instead allow more extensive coverage, subject to certain conditions as well as restrictions in certain areas.
Peter Burke, minister of state for planning and local government, said: “These draft regulations will help facilitate the rollout of rooftop solar energy across the country. They will enable individuals, communities, businesses and farms to play their part in creating a future fuelled by renewable energy and acting against climate change.
“They will help people and businesses to reduce their energy bills and increase Ireland’s energy security, a major challenge given developments in Europe and the need to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels.”
He continued: “Houses, regardless of location, will soon be able to install solar panels on their roofs without any requirement for planning permission, which I know will be very welcome to many homeowners.
“Draft proposals for community/educational/religious buildings will also give institutions such as schools a greater opportunity to reduce their energy bills. By proposing these increased exemptions we are bringing exemptions into line with our renewables ambitions and helping people to play their part in climate action and to reduce their energy bills.
“In finalising these regulations we will implement an important commitment in the programme for government and will help us meet the targets set out in the government’s climate action plan.”