The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, has signed into law revised planning exemptions for the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of houses and certain non-domestic buildings. The exemptions are aimed at increasing Ireland’s generation of solar energy and combating climate change. The changes take immediate effect.
Houses, regardless of location, may now install unlimited solar panels on their rooftops without any requirement for planning permission, subject to certain conditions. Solar installations will be able to cover the entire roof of a house, as the previous limits of 12sqm/50% of roof are removed. Exemptions also apply to rooftops of industrial buildings, business premises, community and education buildings, places of worship, health buildings, libraries, certain public utility sites and farms.
Certain restrictions continue to apply, including for developments which are near certain aviation sites, protected structures and Architectural Conservation Areas. Additionally, in the 43 designated Solar Safeguarding Zones, a rooftop limit remains. Solar Safeguarding Zones are areas where rooftop limitations on solar panel installations apply, to mitigate the potential impact of glint and glare near airports, aerodromes, and other sites with helipads like hospitals. The existing exemption of 50 square metres or less for the entire development has been increased to a rooftop limit of 300 square metres.
Exemptions have been introduced for the first time for the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of apartments; educational building/ health centre or hospital/ recreational or sports facility/ place of worship/ community facility or centre/ library/ certain public utility sites, subject to conditions and limitations and the rooftop area limit in solar safeguarding zones where applicable
free-standing solar panel installations for houses are exempted from the requirement to obtain planning permission subject to a 25 square metre area limit and conditions requiring a certain amount of private open space to be maintained for the use of occupants. The exempted area for all other categories except apartments is increased to 75 square metres. In addition, wall mounted solar installations of 75 square metres are exempted for industrial and agricultural.
Uploaded by BPS Planning & Development Consultants LTD
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