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  • TP Editorial Team

Bring Me Sunshine

Under the provisions of The General Permitted Development etc. (England) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2023, a raft of amendments to existing permitted development rights (PD) will come into force on the 21st December 2023 to permit solar equipment in a wider range of settings, allow solar canopies in off-street parking areas, expand the capacity of open prison buildings, together with minor changes to the right for electronic communications.

Solar Equipment

Up until now, solar panels installed on homes could not protrude more than 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the wall or the roof slope and no higher than the highest part of the roof – so the rights did not extend to flat roofs. However, the amendments will permitsolar equipment to reach up to 0.6 metres above the highest part of the roof, to allow them to be installed on flat roofs.

Standalone solar equipment will also be allowed within the curtilage of domestic buildings in conservation areas where it is installed closer to the highway than the dwellinghouse. The solar equipment can be no higher than two metres and is subject to prior approval with regard to the impact of the appearance of the solar equipment on the character of the conservation area.

There will also be a similar right to install standalone solar equipment within the curtilage of non-domestic buildings in conservation areas.

A new PD right has also been introduced to allow the installation of solar canopies in non-domestic off-street car parks at ground level and is subject to the prior approval of the local planning authority. The main limitations include a restriction on the height of such canopies up to a maximum height of four metres from ground level and they cannot be within 10 metres of the curtilage of a dwellinghouse or block of flats, or be used for displaying advertisements.

Open Prisons

The permitted development rights for extensions and alterations for schools, colleges, universities, prisons and hospitals is expanded to include open prisons, with a requirement to notify the local planning authority before commencing development and to consult the Environment Agency where the development is in an area within Flood Zone 3.

Electronic Communications

The amendments relate to Class A (electronic communications code operators) of Part 16 (communications) of Schedule 2 to the GPDO and limit some of the conditions to ground-based masts only, ensure that height calculations for masts exclude any antennas, and adjust the definitions of “safeguarding map” and “small cell system”.

More changes are anticipated so please keep an eye on our ‘News’ page for more updates.


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