July 2010 saw the welcome decision from the Planning Inspectorate effectively preventing local authorities from demanding an application to install rooftop solar panels. Despite the change in law in 2008, some local authorities such as Guildford and Poole failed to adopt the spirit of the legislation. They insisted that homeowners applied for consent; apparently because panels may have been too big or visible to other houses or a street.

The Inspectorate disagreed with such stances and now provided the installation is not significantly larger than a standard domestic installation, or is unusual in appearance, no specific application needs to be made to install solar panels (unless an exception at Part 40 Class A of the 1995 Order (as amended) applies). Consequently, local authorities who previously required consent have reconsidered or are reconsidering guidance to their planning officers.

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