Dáil Éireann - Volume 621 - 13 June, 2006
Written Answers. - Planning Issues.
Mr. Gormley Mr. Gormley
Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the lack of consistency between planning authorities on the question of whether solar panels require planning permission is hindering uptake of the technology and if he will consider issuing planning guidelines setting out the conditions in which the installation of solar panels is exempt from planning permission. [22580/06]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche:Many domestic  renewable energy developments, including the placing of solar panels to the rear of houses, would be exempted development. Section 4(1)(h) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, provides that development consisting of the carrying out of works for the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of any structure is exempted development if the works affect only the interior of the structure or do not materially affect the external appearance of the structure so as to render the appearance inconsistent with the character of the structure or of neighbouring structures. I have also asked my Department to review the exempted development regulations to ensure that they support the use of renewable energy for domestic and small business users.
There has been a very high level of interest in the Greener Homes grant aid package for individual domestic householders which was launched by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on 27 March this year. In the eight week period since the scheme was launched Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) has received 500 applications for grant aid for solar panels.
Dáil Éireann 621 Written Answers. Planning Issues.