Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)

Categories



Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!


powered by Surfing Waves




Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.




    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeJul 10th 2010 edited
     
    I know the owner of a farm in the south east of England. I have interested her in installing PV for FiTs and to save the planet, etc, and she has lots of outbuilding roof space, not even visible from the road in her rural location. These outbuildings have no listing protection though the main house does and already has solar thermal as it happens (on non-visible roof space).

    Her local planners are claiming that (a) she needs to send them £45 to ask them if she needs planning permission and (b) they would not look kindly on solar panels on a farm building and that the present govt offer they think only applies to one's home.

    Both of these I take to be poppycock or worse, IMHO!

    What does anyone else think?

    Rgds

    Damon
    •  
      CommentAuthorted
    • CommentTimeJul 10th 2010 edited
     
    The permitted development changes which allow solar panels under GPDO, for England, relate to a dwellinghouse and buildings within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse. It sounds like these planners are indicating that they would categorise a farm building as something else. The £45 fee is for them to provide a determination as to whether the GPDO applies in this case.

    The FITs payments would be payable irrespective of the roof they are on but tax may be payable on the income if the generation is not 'incidental' to domestic electricity requirements.

    DCLG have consulted on changes to permitted development rights for non-domestic premises in England that seeks to allow the same rights for renewable installations as those that are in place for domestic property. The consultation closed back in February but no changes to law have yet been made.
  1.  
    Posted By: DamonHDThese outbuildings have no listing protection though the main house does

    Outbuildings in the curtilage of a listed building (if they are contemporary with the listed building or of some age, i.e. not modern) are automatically listed as well, so you would need listed building consent to alter them.

    In terms of solar PV, and Part 40 of the GPDO, if the outbuildings are considered to be within the curtilage of the listed building then they will need permission, so it is of no benefit that the buildings are considered to be within the domestic curtilage anyway.

    There you go I have just saved you £45.

    Needing permission does not mean that you will not get permission, just that technically it needs it. You will have to pay the planning fee. If it needs Listed Building Consent there is no fee for this.

    If they are not in the curtilage and therefore not listed, in determining the planning application they will have to assess whether the panels affect the setting of the listed building. If they are more modern farm buildings, I think it would be hard to justify refusal on these grounds.


    Posted By: DamonHDthey would not look kindly on solar panels on a farm building


    This is utter crap. It will depend entirely on the circumstances of the site, visibility etc., as well as the effect on the setting of the listed building(s), and whether there are any other material considerations e.g is it a Conservation Area, or and AONB, or a World Heritage Site? Put in a planning application and if it is refused appeal against it. Let the Planning Inspectorate decide what is more important - renewable energy, or the appearance of the roof of an agricultural building that nobody can see anyway (you say that they are not visible from the road).
    Put together some evidence of the energy needs of the farm and how the panels will contribute to providing renewable energy replacing fossil fuel derived power. If the farm house already has a solar panel then it will probably help your case as it was clearly acceptable on the listed building itself, so why not on an outbuilding?
    • CommentAuthorbella
    • CommentTimeJul 11th 2010
     
    May I butt in here? - and ask whether solar panels (either sort) still require planning permission for houses in countryside and National Park? If "No" are there any set limits on size? A Planning Officers report on a refused application makes a big play of the "dominating" effect of panels without actually stating whether the presence of panels contributed to the refusal. They speak in code.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeJul 11th 2010
     
    Thanks for your feedback so far; very helpful.

    Rgds

    Damon
    •  
      CommentAuthorted
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2010
     
    The cut-off date for the automatic listing of outbuildings within the curtilage of a listed building is 1st July 1948. If they are newer than this then they wouldn't need planning or listed building consent to install solar on them.

    The main question is - are they within the curtilage? That is what you would effectively be paying the planners £45 to tell you and there are no black and white guidelines when it comes to awkward places like farms where the location of walls, hedges and fences will have an effect. Each case is going to be different. There is also no guarantee that the planners would give you the right answer but you would, at least, have a piece of 'legal' paper from them.

    If the buildings are older than 1948 then you will need planning permission whether they are inside the curtilage or not as they will be excluded from permitted development and paying the £45 will be a waste of time as all the planners can do is tell you that planning approval is required.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2010
     
    Reasonably good summary of the rules on permitted development here. Just pick your interest..

    http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/england/public/buildingwork/projects/

    The section on wall or roof mounted solar leads to...

    http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/england/public/buildingwork/projects/workcommonsolar6apr/workcommonmoreppsolarwallroof6apr


    The following limits apply to roof and wall mounted solar panels:

    •Panels should not be installed above the ridgeline and should project no more than 200mm from the roof or wall surface.
    •If your property is a listed building installation is likely to require an application for listed building consent, even where planning permission is not needed.
    •If your property is in a conservation area, or in a World Heritage Site planning consent is required when panels are to be fitted on the principal or side elevation walls and they are visible from the highway. If panels are to be fitted to a building in your garden or grounds they should not be visible from the highway.

    All solar installations are also subject to the following conditions:

    •Panels on a building should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the appearance of the building.
    •They should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the amenity of the area.
    •When no longer needed for microgeneration they should be removed as soon as possible.

    These permitted development rights apply to houses. If you live in a flat and are considering fitting solar panels you are advised to contact your LPA for guidance.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2010
     
    Posted By: bellaMay I butt in here? - and ask whether solar panels (either sort) still require planning permission for houses in countryside and National Park? If "No" are there any set limits on size? A Planning Officers report on a refused application makes a big play of the "dominating" effect of panels without actually stating whether the presence of panels contributed to the refusal. They speak in code.


    So the answer is in both cases that PP is not normally required unless also a conservation area. Check local rules for the specific area as PDR can be removed on a local basis.
  2.  
    Posted By: tedThe main question is - are they within the curtilage? That is what you would effectively be paying the planners £45 to tell you and there are no black and white guidelines when it comes to awkward places like farms where the location of walls, hedges and fences will have an effect. Each case is going to be different. There is also no guarantee that the planners would give you the right answer but you would, at least, have a piece of 'legal' paper from them.


    I always go by the wording of the actual statutory instrument:
    Development not permitted
    (d) the solar PV or solar thermal equipment would be installed on a building within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse if the dwellinghouse is a listed building.

    The point I was trying to make (probably without explaining clearly as usual!) was that even if you can establish that the building in question is within the curtilage, it wouldn't help if it was modern because it would still fall foul of this criteria.

    Also bear in mind that the £45 document is not a legal document, there will be a disclaimer on it.
    If you want a legally binding document you will need a Certificate of Lawful Development which costs half the price of the relevant planning application fee, e.g. if householder development half of £150

    BUT this also would be a waste of money in this case - even if they decide the building is within the curtilage, it will still require permission because the dwellinghouse is listed.

    That is why I have saved you the £45
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2010
     
    Well spotted Dominic.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2010
     
    Thanks Dominic: I am trying to speak to the local Conservation Officer today...

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthorwindy lamb
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2010
     
    Your planners are completely at odds with mine. I'm wishing to install a small wind turbine on farm but the planners want me to put PV on the barn roofs instead. Easy to show that, for me, wind is far better. Wish they all went to the same training course!:devil:
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2010
     
    Well, as it happens, I just spoke to someone on the council's conservation team who was positively helpful. None of wants to bugger up an fine old building but saving the human race to appreciate it (or at least not come out rioting and burn it down) is good too of course.

    So I think a way can be found, though I suspect pre-application enquiry then listed-building consent and planning permission *are* going to have to be done. (Thanks again Dominic for those magic words: Google and you did make things much clearer over the course of 30 minutes or so...)

    However, when I got the conservation bloke to explain his reasoning to me it actually gave me an idea or two which might just allow us to *double* the size (kWp) of array we could put up and keep the listed-building happy and get the top whack of FiTs, let's see. B^>

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthormike7
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2010
     
    How's it going with your farm friend's site, Damon?

    I'm interested because I have a similar situation - a modern (70's) barn next to a listed barn, itself next to the listed house. The arrangement of these buildings is such that not only would one not see the panels from the road, you could hardly see them from anywhere else either. So.... I'm wondering if it might not be an option to install them anyway, with the assumption that it is highly unlikely that anyone would notice or care. If they did what would be the consequences?

    Re doubling the size of the array - I was told by one firm that as I had a second metered supply to the modern barn (a workshop) I could have a second 3.9 kW arrangement. I'd have to take a deep breath re. the outlay, but it is an attractive idea if it's possible, as the extra capacity would be useful here, never mind the extra FIT payments.

    B^> ??? Wassat?

    Mike
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2010
     
    Well, the conservation people said that putting PV on the roof surfaces we were looking at wasn't likely to work from a planning perspective (a similar request had just been refused), but they suggested that we look at ground mount again (they are still very supportive of the renewables project in general), and we've had a couple more ideas.

    No one is going to rush into this until we find out next week if FiTs have been crippled, but since it now looks to us as if small domestic ground mounted should be entitled to the top tariff, if FiTs stay, then we'll push on and have another round with the conservation people.

    Be wary of the concept of 'curtilage listed' BTW...

    And yes, I have a similar 'doubling up ' idea if would could run a second array for the worker's bungalow next door.

    Rgds

    Damon
    •  
      CommentAuthorted
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2010
     
    Check the definition of 'site' very carefully before installing two sets of PV at one location. It has been left deliberately vague and includes a condition that allows OFGEM to do just whatever they want. I would try to get some written confirmation from your electricity supplier that they would, in fact, treat this as two separate <4kW installations.

    Site - means the premises to which are attached one or more Accredited FIT Installations or Eligible Installations in close geographical proximity to each other, to be determined as required by the Authority by reference to:
    (a) the relevant Meter Point Administration Number for electricity supply;
    (b) street address;
    (c) OS grid reference;
    and any other factors which the Authority at its discretion views as relevant;

    From 'MODIFICATIONS TO THE STANDARD CONDITIONS OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY LICENCES'

    http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/what%20we%20do/uk%20energy%20supply/energy%20mix/renewable%20energy/policy/fits/1_20100331172153_e_@@_fitlicencemodification.pdf
    • CommentAuthormike7
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2010
     
    Thanks chaps.

    From Ted's excellent reference:
    10.3 In the event a Site:
    10.3.1 contains separate Accredited FIT Installations, Owned by the same FIT
    Generator, using the same Eligible Low-carbon Energy Source; and
    10.3.2 their output is not being separately measured,
    in calculating FIT Payments, the Mandatory FIT Licensee shall pro-rate the Smallscale
    Low-carbon Generation by reference to the Total Installed Capacity of each
    Accredited FIT Installation.

    From this it looks to me as if doubling up would be OK since the two would be separately measured. As it happens the supplies are also from different companies (and the single-phase portion of the workshop supply is on a different phase than the 1ph supply to the house).

    The investment required is giving us some pause, but it has been suggested that given a bit of time a market may appear for FIT arrangements where owners want to recoup some of their cash outlay sometime later.
    •  
      CommentAuthorted
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2010
     
    I think 10.3 covers a slightly different situation - i.e. that 'separate' installations have already been accepted and accredited - even though only a single generation meter has been used.

    It is getting the two installations to be accepted as 'separate' in the first place that should concern you. But if you have two supply companies involved then this may be easier. Be prepared for a site visit from someone checking that you actually have two systems and not just one that has been registered with two suppliers though.
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
 
   
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   
Logout    

© Green Building Press