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Owners of listed buildings often approach us to find out what options they have for installing solar panels at their property. Although having panels on the roof of the house may not be appropriate, there are always alternatives.

Here are some feasible options we can help you to assess.

On the Roof

If the property is not listed and does not lie within a conservation area, solar panels can be installed on the roof and are considered ‘permitted development’. However, for listed properties ‘listed building consent’ is required in order to install solar panels on the roof. This does not mean all hope is lost, as in our experience, permission is sometimes granted depending on circumstances, location and your local conservation officer.

If part of the property has a flat roof, especially one with a parapet around it, there are often no problems with installing some solar panels on the roof. If the panels are not visible from the ground, the aesthetic impact of installing the panels may be outweighed by the benefits to the environment so permission may be granted.

On outbuildings

A good alternative is to look outside the curtilage of the listing. It is possible to mount panels on the roofs of outbuildings just outside the listing as a permitted development. These are also often relatively easily connected up to the electrical supply meaning that the electricity can be used in the house to reduce energy bills. It is also possible to split a solar panel array across multiple roofs increasing the output and therefore the payback.

On the Ground

A further option is to install a ground-mounted system, which only requires planning permission in order to be installed. Ground-mounted systems are cost-effective and can be located out of sight of the house or the highway making permission relatively straightforward to obtain.

We have installed solar panel systems on a number of listed properties already this year. If you have questions about installing solar panels on your listed property then get in touch and we can discuss the possibilities. It is also worth exploring this soon as there is only a year until the Feed-in Tariff closes for new entrants.

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