At least two councils are requiring householders to apply for planning permission to install solar photovoltaic systems on roofs, despite them being permitted developments.
Solar panels were made permitted developments in England in April 2008 by an amendment to the Town and Country Planning Order (ENDS Report 395, p 42).
But Poole council in Dorset and Guildford council in Surrey require planning applications.
The decisions have been taken because of uncertainties in the 2008 order, a spokesman for Poole said. The order says panels are permitted if they are sited to minimise impact on “the external appearance of the building” and “the amenity of the area”. But the spokesman said there is a lack of guidance.
The government will extend permitted development rights to micro-wind turbines and air-source heat pumps by the summer recess (see p 46).