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In July 2019, Richmond Council declared a Climate Emergency, committing to working towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030. We also want to support our residents to minimise their environmental impact by reducing their own carbon footprint.

About Solar Together

One way to reduce your carbon footprint is by generating your own clean energy. Solar Panels can save you money on your electricity bills and power your home with clean energy. We are working in partnership with the Mayor of London to make the transition to clean energy as cost effective and hassle-free as possible for Richmond residents.

Solar Together is an innovative scheme offering high-quality solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and battery storage. It is a group-buying scheme, which brings households across London together to get high-quality solar panels at a competitive price. If you already have solar panels installed, you can still benefit from the scheme by registering to have battery storage added to your existing solar panels.

Applications for the latest round of Solar Together have now closed, however you can register your interest on the Solar Together Richmond website.

Planning requirements

In most cases planning permission is not required to install solar panels – it is classed as permitted development.

In all permitted development cases, you do still need to meet the following requirements:

  • The system should be installed in such a way that the effect on the external appearance of the building and the amenity of the area is minimal
  • When no longer needed, equipment should be removed as soon as reasonably practicable
  • The system cannot be higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding any chimney)
  • The system cannot protrude more than 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the roof slope
  • If your property is in a conservation area, solar panels must not be installed on the front of the property, i.e on any roof or wall facing the public highway. Check if you are in a conservation area 

The vast majority of installations under Solar Together will meet these conditions and not require planning permission.

Note that if you are installing solar panels on a flat roof, you will need to seek planning permission as they will protrude more than 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the roof.

When you may need planning permission

There are some properties in the borough that may require planning permission. These are listed properties and, in some limited cases, properties in conservation areas with an Article 4 Direction.

If you live in a listed building you would need to apply for listed building consent. In this case you should seek advice from Richmond's Planning team.

An Article 4 Direction is used where there is a street or group of similarly designed properties with a special character, and it has been decided that seemingly minor changes could greatly disrupt the character and appearance of these buildings. Most Article 4 Directions will not prevent you from installing solar panels. Check whether your property is affected by an Article 4 Direction.

Contact

Contact the Richmond Planning team as soon as possible if you are unsure or likely to need planning permission.

Email: planning@richmond.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 8891 1411

You can seek pre-application advice free of charge if your application is specifically related to promoting sustainable development (such as installing solar panels). Where sustainable measures are not the main purpose of the development, the pre-application advice will be chargeable.   

For any other enquiries related to the Solar Together scheme, contact andrew.hagger@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk 

Updated: 12 July 2022

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