Planning rules to be relaxed for Scotland’s solar roof projects

Scottish planning rules for commercial solar rooftop schemes look likely to be relaxed.

A nine-week consultation was launched on 22 June proposing to give permitted development rights (PDRs) to non-domestic solar rooftop and domestic air source heat pump installations.

See also: Permitted development rights extended for solar projects

The solar rooftop move follows a similar change in England earlier this year (for schemes of up to 1MW) and will bring lower planning fees and cut the timescale for getting projects up and running.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) Scotland has welcomed the consultation, saying that it went further than in England as it imposed no upper limit on the size of schemes.

STA Scotland has also welcomed the fact that the proposed permitted development rights will not require prior notification, will apply to solar thermal as well as solar PV and will also apply near airports.

However the PDRs will not extend to certain protected areas such as archaeological interest sites, listed buildings, National Scenic Areas, historic gardens and landscapes, conservation areas and national parks.

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