Contact us on 0151 632 0218 or click the icon below to send an email

Fill the form below to get in touch quickly and easily.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

ANTI SPAM

FAQ

Solar Panels - Installation

Solar Panels – Installation

The Wirral Council planning portal website states:

All solar installations are subject to the following conditions:

  • Panels on a building should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the appearance of the building.
  • They should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the amenity of the area.
  • When no longer needed for microgeneration they should be removed as soon as possible.

Roof and Wall Mounted Solar Panels
The following limits apply to roof and wall mounted solar panels:

  • Panels should not be installed above the ridgeline and should project no more than 200mm from the roof or wall surface.
  • If your property is a listed building installation is likely to require an application for listed building consent, even where planning permission is not needed.
  • Wall mounted only – if your property is in a conservation area, or in a World Heritage Site, planning consent is required when panels are to be fitted on the principal or side elevation walls and they are visible from the highway. If panels are to be fitted to a building in your garden or grounds they should not be visible from the highway.

Standalone Solar Panels
The following limits apply to standalone solar panels:

  • Should be no higher than four metres
  • Should be at least 5m from boundaries
  • Size of array is limited to 9 sq m or 3m wide and 3m deep
  • Should not be installed within boundary of a listed building
  • In the case of land in a Conservation Area or in a World Heritage Site it should not be visible from the highway.
  • Only one stand alone solar installation is permitted.

Building Regulations
If you wish to install a solar panel on your roof building regulations will normally apply. The ability of the existing roof to carry the load (weight) of the panel will need to be checked and proven. Some strengthening work may be needed.Building regulations also apply to other aspects of the work such as electrical installation. It is advisable to contact an installer who can provide the necessary advice.

My roof needs replacing

My roof needs replacing

My house is located within Kings Gap or Meols Drive Conservation Area and my roof needs replacing. Are there any constraints on what I can or cannot do?

The roof is one of the most important parts of a property as it makes the building wind and watertight and can bring character to an area. Where possible the original roof (such as clay tiles) ridge tiles and hip tiles should be retained and repaired, or replaced on a like-for-like basis.  Alternatives can sometime be a poor substitute in quality and appearance for clay tiles and detract from the character of a building.

Owners of unlisted dwelling houses do not normally need to apply for planning permission to re-roof their house or to insert conservation roof lights or skylights.

The new permitted development rules introduced on 1 October 2008 allow for roof alterations without the need for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimeters from the existing roof plane.
  • No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • The permitted development regime for solar panels has different limits on projections and in relation to protected areas.

Please check with a Building Control officer that building regulations are not required. (Tel: 0151 6062115/2513).

Do I need planning permission to erect a satellite dish?

Do I need planning permission to erect a satellite dish?

On the Planning Portal Website there is a very useful interactive guide to find out if planning permission is required for a satellite dish. If your building is listed, list building consent is always required to erect a satellite dish.

Houses and buildings up to 15m high in designated areas:
If your house (or the building in which you live) is in a designated area, you do not need to apply for planning permission to install an antenna on your property, as long as:

  • there will be no more than two antennas on the property overall;
  • if you are installing a single antenna, it is not be more than 100 centimetres in any linear dimension (not including any projecting feed element, reinforcing rim, mounting and brackets);
  • if you are installing two antennas, one is not more than 100 centimetres in any linear dimension, and the other is not more than 60 centimetres in any linear dimension (not including any projecting feed element, reinforcing rim, mounting and brackets);
  • the cubic capacity of each individual antenna is not more than 35 litres;
  • an antenna fitted onto a chimney stack is not more than 60 centimetres in any linear dimension;
  • an antenna mounted on the roof only sticks out above the roof when there is a chimney-stack. In this case, the antenna should not stick out more than 60 centimetres above the highest part of the roof, or above the highest part of the chimney stack, whichever is lower; and
  • an antenna is not installed on a chimney, wall, or a roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from, a road or a Broads waterway. (If you are not sure, call the Conservation Officer 0151 6062121.)

Buildings 15 metres high or more in designated areas
If your building of 15m high or more is in a designated area, you do not need to apply for planning permission to install an antenna on your property, as long as:

  • there will be no more than four antennas on the building overall;
  • the size of any antenna is not more than 130 centimetres in any linear dimension (not including any projecting feed element, reinforcing rim, mounting and brackets);
  • the cubic capacity of each individual antenna is not more than 35 litres;
  • an antenna fitted onto a chimney stack is not more than 60 centimetres in any linear dimension;
  • an antenna mounted on the roof does not stick out above the roof more than 300 centimetres above the highest part of the roof; and
  • an antenna is not installed on a chimney, wall, or a roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from, a road or a Broads waterway. (If you are not sure, call the Conservation Officer 0151 606 2121.)

Please Note:
The above advice was correct when going to print (November 2010). Always seek advice from the Local Planning Authority befor carrying out any alterations to your property.

An unauthorised alteration to a Listed Building is a criminal offence and could result in a hefty fine or at worst imprisonment.

I run a business in or adjacent to the Conservation Area. What signs can I erect?

Guidance for Advertisement Consent can be found at the Planning Portal Website.

This guide aims to explain to those wanting to display an outdoor advertisement how the system of advertisement control works in England. The booklet is arranged in separate sections and there are numerous illustrations which may show you how the system affects the type of advertisement you want to display.

The conservation polices below are most relevant:

Policy HE10 in Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment
HE10.1 When considering applications for development that affect the setting of a heritage asset, local planning authorities should treat favourably applications that preserve those elements of the setting that make a positive contribution to or better reveal the significance of the asset. When considering applications that do not do this, local planning authorities should weigh any such harm against the wider benefits of the application. The greater the negative impact on the significance of the heritage asset, the greater the benefits that will be needed to justify approval.

Wirral’s UDP Policy CH2: Development Affecting Conservation Areas
Development located within, adjacent to, or otherwise affecting the setting or special character of a Conservation Area, will be permitted where the visual and operational impact of the proposals can be demonstrated to preserve or enhance:

  1. the distinctive characteristics of the Area, including important views into and out of the designated Area;
  2. the general design and layout of the Area, including the relationship between its buildings, structures, trees and characteristic open spaces; and
  3. the character and setting of period buildings and other elements which make a positive contribution to the appearance and special character of the Area.

The local authority may also use discretionary powers under the terms of varying legislation to require owners to make good the condition of a property or site within a conservation area where neglect is adversely affecting amenity or threatening the preservation of character and significance, e.g. s. 215 notices.

How do I object to a planning application which affects me?

How do I object to a planning application which affects me?

When a planning application is submitted as part of the planning process there will be a consultation period of 21 days.  If a development affects your property (i.e. sits on the boundary of the development) the Council will write to you giving you the opportunity to support or object the planning proposal. All letters of support or objections have to be in written format, quoting the relevant planning application e.g. APP/2010/NUMBER

The details of the proposals, including architects’ drawings, will be available for inspection at Wirral Council Technical Services Department, Town Hall, North AnnexeWallasey.  To discuss the plans with the relevant planning officer an appointment must be made on 0151 691 8454.

What happens if my neighbours object to my proposal?

What happens if my neighbours object to my proposal?

To consider objections on planning applications received from neighbours they have to be valid in terms of adopted policy and guidance.  Most polices can be viewed the Wirral Council website: http://www.wirral.gov.uk/udp/

Applications may be removed from the Scheme of Delegation and subsequently presented to the Planning Committee for decision under certain specific circumstances. The circumstances are as follows;

  • A formal request to remove an application from delegation based on a valid planning concern is made by a Councilor. OR
  • A qualifying petition of objection is received containing signatures from 25 or more different addresses is submitted. OR;
  • 15 individual objections are received.

Should I consult anyone else about my plans?

Should I consult anyone else about my plans?

If your proposal is located on a shared boundary it is advisable to consult your neighbour before plans are submitted to resolve any possible concerns there might be.

It would also be sensible to talk to the Chairman or a Committee member of the Residents’ Association.

Can I convert my property into flats?

Can I convert my property into flats?

Converting a property into flats requires planning permission.  For Flat conversion guidance please follow the link below.
http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/planning/local-development-framework/supplementary-planning-documents

However in central and western Wirral there are restrictions currently in effect where new  housing development is unlikely to receive planning permission.  For more information on the Housing Interim Policy visit the Wirral website: http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/planning/local-development-framework/unitary-development-plan

I would like to start a B&B business in my property. Can I do this without permission?

I would like to start a B&B business in my property. Can I do this without permission?

To convert your property into a business such as a Bed & Breakfast requires planning permission and may well affect Conservation interests.

It is advisable to talk to a Planning Officer (0151 6062324) before a planning application is submitted.

I want to extend my property. What is the procedure?

I want to extend my property. What is the procedure?

  1. Find if your property is located in/affects the settings of a conservation area or a listed building.  (Even if it doesn’t planning permission may still be required.)
  2. Check that the permitted developments have not been removed.
  3. Investigate if the proposed works could be permitted development: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/england/public/tools/

Send in draft sketch of your proposal to builtconservation@wirral.gov.uk and a Conservation Officer will contact you within 15 working days providing advice and guidance.

My property is just outside the Conservation Area. Does this limit what I can do?

My property is just outside the Conservation Area. Does this limit what I can do?

The Local Planning Authority has a duty to pay special attention to the preservation or enhancement of the character or appearance of a conservation area when considering an application for development. This applies to both development within a conservation area and also to development outside it but close enough to affect its setting.

Particular attention will be given to the scale, design, layout and materials proposed for new development and to its wider impact upon the special character of the conservation area. This will require, for example, the use of appropriate doors and windows and often the use of high quality bricks, tiles and other traditional building materials.

Which buildings are Listed?

Property Address Listing
The Kings Gap CA
Old Lighthouse Valentia Road Grade II Listed
St Hildeburghs Church Stanley Road Grade II Listed
Meols Drive
Hoylake Station Station Road Grade II Listed
Hoylake Chapel Station Road Grade II Listed
St Andrews C of E Meols Drive Grade II Listed

Is my property inside the Conservation Area?

Is my property inside the Conservation Area?

To find out if your property is located within or just outside these two conservation areas visit the Wirral Council’s website to view a map of the area or alternatively telephone Built Conservation 0151 606 2121.

The Kings Gap: http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/built-conservation/conservation-areas/-kings-gap

Meols Drive: http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/built-conservation/conservation-areas/meols-drive

Living in a conservation area means the Council will take special care to ensure the character and special interest of that area is protected and enhanced. In order to do this the Council has powers under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, to require property owners to apply for Planning Permission to do certain works. The Local Authority will consider the potential impact of a proposed development and its effect on the character or appearance of a conservation area.

In conservation areas, as elsewhere, owners can carry out small-scale alterations as “permitted development”, without needing planning permission. But in conservation areas the rules are tighter and you will sometimes need planning permission for an alteration or extension which would not need permission elsewhere.

To check whether your proposal will be permitted development in a conservation area, visit the planning portal website: www.planningportal.gov.uk or contact Wirral Council’s Built Conservation Team 0151 6062121.

I want to get graffiti removed, what do I do?

I want to get graffiti removed, what do I do?

Contact Wirral Borough Council ‘StreetScene’ on 0151 606 2004

What work can I do on trees in my garden?

What work can I do on trees in my garden?

Trees in a conservation area have similar protection as those covered by Tree Preservation Orders.  It is an offence to fell or prune such trees without prior written consent from the Local Planning Authority. You need to write to the Council’s Tree Preservation Officer (Erik Bowman Tel: 0151 6062247) giving 6 weeks notice of your intention to carry out work to protected trees in a conservation area.

More tree information and application forms can be obtained from the Council’s website: http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/environment-and-planning/built-conservation/tree-preservation-orders

How do I apply for Planning Permission?

How do I apply for Planning Permission?

To check if your proposal would be acceptable it is always advisable to submit your draft proposal to a Conservation Officer (0151 6062121) or a Planning Officer (0151 6062324) before submitting an application.

Seeking advice beforehand gains a number of benefits:

  • It gives you the opportunity to understand how policies and guidance will be applied to your proposal
  • It gives an early indication if there is a need for specialist input eg urban design, listed buildings, conservation matters,trees, landscape or archaeology
  • It may lead to a reduction in time spent by your professional advisers in working up proposals, identifying potential problems and sorting them out beforehand
  • It may indicate that a proposal is completely unacceptable thus saving you the cost of pursuing a formal application
  • It will ensure that you provide all the necessary information and drawings to enable the application to be accepted

If you need help in filling in the application form or are unsure as to what is required, call the Council’s Technical Support Unit team on 0151 6062297.

I want to replace my windows/install a skylight. What should I do?

I want to replace my windows/install a skylight. What should I do?

I need to replace my windows/install a skylight/put in a dormer window. What factors should I take into account?

Windows:
Windows are an important part of how buildings look. They define the appearance of a building and, when considered with other windows in the street, can add much character to an area. When undertaking any alterations to your windows, it is important to retain the original materials. To keep windows in good condition they need regular maintenance. Sometimes it is necessary to replace them but repair should be considered first. Windows can also be improved in a variety of ways to make your building more energy efficient without harming buildings character.

Few things alter the character or appearance of a building more than changes to windows.  Windows that are out of character can not only spoil its appearance but can also reduce the value of a property. Window types vary widely according to the architecture of the property and the character of the local area.

To alter your windows does not require planning permission, unless the building is listed or permitted development rights have been removed.   All new window installations need to be approved by FENSA; single glazing is no longer acceptable, whilst secondary glazing is usually the best method of improving thermal and sound insulation.

Dormer windows:
All new dormer windows (front, back or side) proposals would require planning permission if your property is located in a conservation area.

My original slate tiles need replacing. What do I do?

My original slate tiles need replacing. What do I do?

The roof is one of the most important parts of a property as it makes the building wind and watertight and can bring character to an area. Where possible the original roof (such as clay tiles) ridge tiles and hip tiles should be retained and repaired, or replaced on a like-for-like basis.  Alternatives can sometime be a poor substitute in quality and appearance for clay tiles and detract from the character of a building.

Owners of unlisted dwelling houses do not normally need to apply for planning permission to re-roof their house or to insert conservation roof lights or skylights.

The new permitted development rules introduced on 1 October 2008 allow for roof alterations without the need for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimeters from the existing roof plane.
  • No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • The permitted development regime for solar panels has different limits on projections and in relation to protected areas.

Please check with a Building Control officer that building regulations are not required. (Tel: 0151 6062115/2513).