Solar Together

We are working in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and independent experts iChoosr to give homeowners the opportunity to invest in renewables through a group-buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage with Solar Together Wiltshire.

This group-buying scheme offers solar panels with optional battery storage and EV charge points, as well as offering battery storage for residents who have already invested in solar panels and are looking to get more from the renewable energy they generate, as well as increase their independence from the grid.

Solar panels, planning permission and other consents

As part of our commitment to tackling the Climate Emergency,  Planning policy encourages the use of sustainable options for powering your home, wherever possible and appropriate. One common way to make use of renewable energy is to install solar panels on your property, fixed to a wall or rooftop, or in a ground-mounted, standalone installation.

Use this page to check if you will need to make an application for planning permission or other consents for different types and locations of solar installation, and to understand the principles we will follow when assessing applications. Select a topic below to read more.

Circumstances where you might need planning permission

The regulations which apply depend on where you are proposing to locate your solar panel installation.

The above would only apply if permitted development rights have not been removed via a planning condition or Article 4 Direction. You can clarify whether permitted development rights have been removed from a property by requesting a free permitted development rights check by emailing requesting a 'Permitted development rights check' and giving your full address.

The link below will take you to The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 'PART 14 Renewable energy' which outlines in full the criteria that would need to be met for different forms of renewable energy installations, including solar panels. This link includes the current regulations, however it is worthwhile to note that the regulations are frequently changing.

Circumstances where you would need Listed Building Consent

Solar panels on listed buildings or curtilage listed buildings will nearly always require listed building consent. Those on buildings within their curtilages require usually require planning permission as this would not be considered Permitted Development.

Different legislation applies for planning permissions and listed building consent and so these have different statutory tests. Do not assume that if you have gained one permission, you will automatically also gain the other.

More information on making Listed Buildings more energy efficient

Improving the energy efficiency of an older building can be done sympathetically and without compromising its historic character. Historic England also provide guidance as to how to go about it, including downloadable practical guidance on draught-proofing, insulation and ways of generating your own energy.

Should you require written confirmation as to whether permission or listed building consent would be required then you can use our Do I need planning? service which attracts a fee of £55.00. This will provide you with an informal view as to whether permission would be required for the proposal for your records we would aim to respond within 15 working days. More details about this service and the appropriate forms can be found on planning advice.

Protection of wildlife and biodiversity

As a planning authority, we have a statutory duty to conserve biodiversity, and to take into account protected species, such as nesting birds and roosting bats. These duties will be part of our consideration for any proposed works to roofs, when planning permission or listed building consent is required. However, where no application is necessary, it is the responsibility of the property owner to comply with the relevant legislation, and not to do so could be an offence.

We base our assessment of any planning application on both national and local planning policies. View guidance about construction and protected species.

Permitted development

Due to the various provisions of the Town and Country (General Permitted Development) Order, not all solar panels will require permission. This may lead applicants to perceive that decision-making in this area is inconsistent. However, this is a result of national permitted development regulations, rather council policy.