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Submitting Planning permission for Solar PV install

  • 15-04-2021 6:20pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 15 Eboneezer


    Hi All,

    I'm looking at installing a Dual string PV setup on a semi-detached house in a housing estate.

    NE Roof(6 x 375W panel (Longi) = 2250kWp)
    SW roof (9 x 375W panel (Longi) = 3375kWp)

    5625kWp total - 15 panels = 27.33m2

    The current planning exemption states that you can put up 12m2 or 50% of Roof size - (whichever is smaller) and be exempt from planning.
    If the Panel area above 12m2 - and a planning application needs to be submitted.

    I am aware of the Lady from Limerick who had an objection filed and was refused retention permission but then appealed to an Bord Pleanala and won her case.
    Proceeding without planning lands issues if for some reason in the future - we need to sell the house. No plans to currently - but who knows what could happen.

    Even if we live in the house for the next 20 years - All its takes is for 1 person in the housing estate to not particularly like the install, object, and then you have to go down the road of retention permission and appeals.
    If you need to sell your house - you are in a similar situation re: retention permission.

    So question is this:
    Has anyone any experience with submitting a Solar PV domestic planning application for a simple roof install ?
    Did you need need 200:1 scaled drawings (plan, side-view, elevation) of the house with proposed panel install?
    Do you need Land sitemap attached?

    The need for scaled drawings would be a real pain.
    I've asked my local planning office the questions above.
    Will let you know how I get on with them.


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,294 ✭✭✭ SD_DRACULA


    Interested in this also and I also think it to be an absolute joke when people are trying to do good by the planet that you limit them based on red tape and bureaucracy.
    On the positive side, in South Dublin at least, if you have it for 7 years and no one complains then you're ok to sell without planning permissions etc - this was actually said to me by someone in city council planning department.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    I've 36m2 and all my front and back roof filled, if anyone objects then within 5 minutes I can go around the estate and take photos of all the multiple satellite dishes, un-capped front walls, metal fencing, un-plastered front walls, more that two parking spaces out front, windows changed, front porches too big etc etc etc and bombard the local planning.
    You got it right with the Limerick lady, she did not need retention, if anyone says anything then just get them to look at that case, since then there has been zero solar panels issues that anyone on Boards here is aware of.
    Solar Panel rules are due to be changed shortly to aid our Climate Change approach.

    By all means do it but there is no (apparent) need


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 Eboneezer


    Yep - probably over thinking it - but all it takes is 1 person to complain.

    If house has to be sold - any solicitor will ask for planning permission or exemptions for any house alterations in the contracts stage and it just gives them another tool to haggle on price.

    If the planning dept come back and say - it's be 34 euro, a sign on the driveway and a notice in the paper, and the drawing from the PV installer are enough - I'd do it.

    If it's a requirement to submit scaled drawings - then thats another level of expense.
    Even to do a DIY drawing, sketchup pro is 274/yr for a license. The free version won't give you the plan/elevation/side-view bit.
    Then you'd need to measure up and learn to use the tool also.

    Not sure what the going rate for an engineering firm to give you drawings - but expensive I'd imagine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,158 ✭✭✭ Ubbquittious


    Id say horse em up anyway. Take down a couple of them if you get a complainer. But you need to have a feel for the area you are in

    Are there any awkward kunts living nearby that you know of? I lived in an estate before where they had a rule against drying clothes in the front and bizzarely, you were not allowed to do any work on your own car in the parking spaces as well. Real oddball sh1te they had going on and of course a very active residents association formed of mainly bored retirees.

    Ireland's premier property crash prediction site




  • Registered Users Posts: 15 Eboneezer


    Ahh here - don't talk to me about the residents association....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15 Eboneezer




  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,292 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Eboneezer wrote: »
    Hi All,

    I'm looking at installing a Dual string PV setup on a semi-detached house in a housing estate.

    NE Roof(6 x 375W panel (Longi) = 2250kWp)
    SW roof (9 x 375W panel (Longi) = 3375kWp)

    5625kWp total - 15 panels = 27.33m2

    The current planning exemption states that you can put up 12m2 or 50% of Roof size - (whichever is smaller) and be exempt from planning.
    If the Panel area above 12m2 - and a planning application needs to be submitted.

    I am aware of the Lady from Limerick who had an objection filed and was refused retention permission but then appealed to an Bord Pleanala and won her case.
    Proceeding without planning lands issues if for some reason in the future - we need to sell the house. No plans to currently - but who knows what could happen.

    Even if we live in the house for the next 20 years - All its takes is for 1 person in the housing estate to not particularly like the install, object, and then you have to go down the road of retention permission and appeals.
    If you need to sell your house - you are in a similar situation re: retention permission.

    So question is this:
    Has anyone any experience with submitting a Solar PV domestic planning application for a simple roof install ?
    Did you need need 200:1 scaled drawings (plan, side-view, elevation) of the house with proposed panel install?
    Do you need Land sitemap attached?

    The need for scaled drawings would be a real pain.
    I've asked my local planning office the questions above.
    Will let you know how I get on with them.

    Yes.
    You need the full suite of drawings for a valid planning application.
    It’s a straight forward application and simple as there’s no design per say.

    But you still have to show existing floor plans, elevations, streetscape S
    And site layout. And also a section through the new works. Normal procedures apply such as newspaper ads, site notice etc

    Where are you based.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,292 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    SD_DRACULA wrote: »
    Interested in this also and I also think it to be an absolute joke when people are trying to do good by the planet that you limit them based on red tape and bureaucracy.
    On the positive side, in South Dublin at least, if you have it for 7 years and no one complains then you're ok to sell without planning permissions etc - this was actually said to me by someone in city council planning department.

    Slightly incorrect but the 7 year rule is the statue of limitations the planning enforcement section have to take proceedings to the courts.

    The site will still be in a state of non compliance and some sales have gone through citing this statue of limitations being passed but it removes all options for the home owners to carry out any exempted development works or apply for other planning applications until the issues is regularized.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 Eboneezer


    Gumbo wrote: »
    Yes.
    You need the full suite of drawings for a valid planning application.
    It’s a straight forward application and simple as there’s no design per say.

    But you still have to show existing floor plans, elevations, streetscape S
    And site layout. And also a section through the new works. Normal procedures apply such as newspaper ads, site notice etc

    Where are you based.

    Thanks for the info. Based in Limerick.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,292 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Eboneezer wrote: »
    Thanks for the info. Based in Limerick.

    Too far away for me sorry. I would have done it for close to cost to set a precedent.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15 Eboneezer


    Gumbo wrote: »
    Too far away for me sorry. I would have done it for close to cost to set a precedent.

    No probs Gumbo, thanks for all the useful info. Much appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 Eboneezer


    Just to follow up, the planning office confirmed what Gumbo said earlier.


    Yes, the planning application fee will be €34.00,


    You will need to submit the following for a valid planning application:

    o Completed planning application form,

    o Completed site notice,

    o Newspaper notice (planning application to be submitted within two weeks of publication)

    o 6 Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) Urban place maps at a scale of 1:1000 with the site boundary marked in Red and the

    position of the site notice marked,

    o 6 copies of the Site Layout plan at 1:500,

    o 6 copies of plans, elevation of the dwelling showing the proposed works at a scale of 1:50 or 1:100,

    o 6 copies of the contiguous elevation at a scale of 1:200,


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    What's the cost of all that does anyone know?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,292 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    slave1 wrote: »
    What's the cost of all that does anyone know?

    Depends on the person submitting and their overheads and costs they charge.

    I know what I’d charge if Dublin based.


  • Registered Users Posts: 200 ✭✭ Caspero


    Today I read into the updates on solar exemptions which Gumbo had mentioned are currently under consideration.

    It appears that progress is well underway on this although details have not yet been finalised: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-03-24/601/


    I would encourage anyone reading this who has views on the topic to contact your local TD, or alternatively Peter Burke, TD whose department is overseeing the update, to share your thoughts on what should be included in the update. There's probably a window here before the new rules are finalised which will close once the legislation is published.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭ mp3guy


    Caspero wrote: »
    It appears that progress is well underway on this although details have not yet been finalised: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-03-24/601/

    And they say:
    The process for finalising the interim solar panel planning exemptions as referred to above, with exclusion zones around airports and aerodromes, is now expected to be completed early in Q2 2021. These interim regulations will allow for the vast majority of the country to be covered by the solar panel exemptions apart from those areas in close proximity to airports and aerodromes.

    The overall process for updating the solar panel planning exemptions to include the completed aviation safeguarding maps for airports and aerodromes is still expected to be completed by Q4 2021.

    Wonder how big the buffer zones will be? Could impact *a lot* of people in Dublin.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,293 ✭✭✭ TheBoyConor


    SD_DRACULA wrote: »
    Interested in this also and I also think it to be an absolute joke when people are trying to do good by the planet that you limit them based on red tape and bureaucracy.
    On the positive side, in South Dublin at least, if you have it for 7 years and no one complains then you're ok to sell without planning permissions etc - this was actually said to me by someone in city council planning department.

    After 7 years, the planning authority cannot make you do anything or change anything correct. But to have a smooth sale to a mortgage buyer, you'd have to regularise your affairs which means getting retention permission. Usually they give retention, unless what you have done is grossly out of line.

    You are ok to sell whenever, planning authority cannot block a sale anyway. The issue is that for a buyer, a bank will not let them draw down a mortgage for a property where there are planning irregularities. It really is a buyers problem rather than a sellers problem per se.
    You could however, sell to a willing cash buyer without a bother. But they are much fewer in number.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,292 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    mp3guy wrote: »
    And they say:



    Wonder how big the buffer zones will be? Could impact *a lot* of people in Dublin.

    Can anyone explain the airport buffer zones and why they can’t be exempt?


  • Moderators Posts: 6,744 ✭✭✭ Spocker


    Gumbo wrote: »
    Can anyone explain the airport buffer zones and why they can’t be exempt?

    It's glint & glare I think? According to this, the DAA have requested oversight of installations within 15km of Dublin or Cork, but I'd assume there is some kind of cutoff between domestic and commercial


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,292 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Spocker wrote: »
    It's glint & glare I think? According to this, the DAA have requested oversight of installations within 15km of Dublin or Cork, but I'd assume there is some kind of cutoff between domestic and commercial

    I would be within 5km of DAA alright myself. Have a 4.7kw array but I’ve never heard of the buffer zone!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭ mp3guy


    Spocker wrote: »
    It's glint & glare I think? According to this, the DAA have requested oversight of installations within 15km of Dublin or Cork, but I'd assume there is some kind of cutoff between domestic and commercial

    I'd be within 15km of Cork, would be a bit wild though if DAA were scrutinising all domestic PV installations within those two radii, the population sizes within those two circles are enormous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 200 ✭✭ Caspero


    Do all modern PV panels have anti-reflective coatings in order to improve efficiency? I believe that those coatings are used to reduce reflection and improve PV generation due to increased transmittance (source https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0038092X20300918).

    From the discussion in the Oireachtas it does look like there are going to be limitations around the airports under the currently planned legislative changes. This would definitely be something to send feedback on to your TD / Peter Burke if the glint and glare issue is a thing of the past.

    Quote:
    "The main outstanding issue that remains to be addressed in the current review is the potential for "glint and glare" impacts for aircraft and the need to ensure that they do not result in any real or potential threat to aviation safety. Accordingly, my Department is presently engaging with the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications as well as the Irish Aviation Authority, in order to find a safe and workable solution in relation to this particular aspect of the review. The Department has begun the tendering process for this project, which will involve the development of aviation safeguarding maps for each airport/aerodrome in the country... my Department has decided to adopt an interim measure which would allow revised regulations to be introduced prior to the completion of these maps, but with defined exclusion zones around airports and aerodromes for solar installations. My Department is consulting with the Irish Aviation Authority on this matter"


    The time would be now to give feedback to TDs /Peter Burke who heads the department overseeing the review because quote:
    "The process for finalising the interim solar panel planning exemptions as referred to above, with exclusion zones around airports and aerodromes, is now expected to be completed early in Q2 2021."

    Source: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-03-24/601/

    You can find Peter Burke's email address for any feedback / suggestions you may have on the update here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/member/Peter-Burke.D.2016-10-03/


    Personally I'm hoping for:
    i Complete removal of size restrictions for installations at the rear of a property or on the rear roof. Alternatively increase the limit to say 50 square metres (which is the existing limit for farmers). That would be enough for an 11kWp system which is the largest you can get with a 3-phase power supply due to ESB Networks restrictions.

    ii A simplified online planning process for requests for permission or retention of solar PV. If any size restrictions do remain that the planning process will be greatly simplified in cases where someone is adding solar to an existing house. It should also be moved online like the SEAI grant application process to make it easy for people to complete themselves. The idea here would be that you don't need to add several thousands of EUR in expense to hire an architect and solicitor in order to add solar to your house. All the drawings would have been submitted when the house was built anyway so I think a simple site map showing where the panels are going should be enough. I don't see the need for drawings given panels are really low profile and fairly standardised in size. Info on where they're being placed, the size of each panel, the number of panels and the number of rows should be enough.

    iii A streamlined planning approval process for solar. The standard planning process is that roads authorities, water, environment etc. are all consulted (which is why you have to submit 6 copies of everything if I understand correctly). For a simple addition of solar to a house none of those authorities are relevant. A site inspection shouldn't be necessary either if the site was previously inspected when the house was built. Removing all of those unnecessary processes should speed planning approvals up from the c. 2 months it takes now to a much more reasonable time-frame.

    iv. Relevant to many boards readers from what I read here - exemption for all previously installed panels where the home-owner didn't request planning even though the installation was over 12 square metres in size, but where the installation meets the new exemption criteria!!!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Really it should be a case of keep within the SEAI 20cm/50cm rule and that's it for panels.
    If ESB want to keep up their 6kWp export limit that's a separate argument, in other countries there are greater limits so I cannot see why it can't work here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭ mp3guy


    slave1 wrote: »
    Really it should be a case of keep within the SEAI 20cm/50cm rule and that's it for panels.
    If ESB want to keep up their 6kWp export limit that's a separate argument, in other countries there are greater limits so I cannot see why it can't work here.

    Agree re: panels. There's no limit on the amount of rainwater barrels you can put in your back garden, why should sunlight be any different?


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭ fael


    slave1 wrote: »
    Really it should be a case of keep within the SEAI 20cm/50cm rule and that's it for panels.
    If ESB want to keep up their 6kWp export limit that's a separate argument, in other countries there are greater limits so I cannot see why it can't work here.

    What is the 20cm/50cm rule? Had a quick look on the SEAI website but didn't see anything.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,292 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    fael wrote: »
    What is the 20cm/50cm rule? Had a quick look on the SEAI website but didn't see anything.

    Distance from eaves and boundaries of other properties.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,767 ✭✭✭ remoteboy


    Just wondering whether the OP applied for planning permission in the end and if so how long it takes to get a decision. I've been quoted for a 12 panel setup which I reckon is about 20m2. Local authority is Fingal County Council.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭ quentingargan


    Just in case you are waiting for the exemptions to happen, they have been kicked into a consultation process.

    According to the Dept.,

    These draft regulations have now been reviewed under the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive 2001/42/EC, and it has been determined that they are likely to have significant effects on the environment, necessitating the undertaking of a full SEA on the draft proposals, which will include public consultation as part of the process. This process is expected to take between four and five months to complete.

    The process for finalising the interim solar panel planning exemptions with exclusion zones around airports and aerodromes, is now expected to be completed in Q4 2021.


    Well, of course a panning exemption would have significant effects on the environment... reducing CO2 etc. D'oh! :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,767 ✭✭✭ remoteboy


    So what are people doing in general. Just ignoring the rules and hoping for the best? Or sticking to the 12m2?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭ quentingargan


    remoteboy wrote: »
    So what are people doing in general. Just ignoring the rules and hoping for the best? Or sticking to the 12m2?

    Most seem to be hoping for the best. There was a sort-of precedent here where Bord Pleannala overruled the planners.

    This is not a legal precedent, but I haven't heard of any more cases being taken


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