For Oral Answer on : 23/06/2022
Question Number(s): 19 Question Reference(s): 32887/22
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if community buildings will be included in proposed changes to planning rules to facilitate the easier installation of solar photovoltaic panels; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department, in the context of the Climate Action Plan and in consultation with the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, has undertaken a review of the solar planning exemptions set out in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, with a particular focus on facilitating increased self-generation of electricity. This review is now complete. Included in the exemptions set out in the Regulations are those applying to the installation of solar infrastructure on a variety of building types, including houses, businesses, industrial and agricultural to which specific conditions are attached. Substantial changes to the current planning exemption thresholds for solar are proposed, as well as the introduction of new classes of solar panel planning exemptions for apartments and educational/community/religious buildings.
A public consultation on the draft solar regulations as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process was launched on 15 June 2022. The consultation will run until 13 July 2022. Further information in relation to the consultation, including the full suite of documentation such as the SEA Environmental Report and details regarding how to make a submission, is available on my Department’s website. Written submissions or observations will be taken into consideration before the finalisation of the draft regulations.