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Thursday, 16th June 2022

New planning exemptions will make it easier to install solar panels

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Green Party representative for Drogheda Rural Anthony Murphy.

New planning exemptions will make it easier to install solar panels on farms, homes, and public buildings in Drogheda and South Louth.

Proposed exemptions published this week will mean planning permission will no longer be required for larger installations of solar panels across farm buildings, schools, community centres, residential rooftops, and a range of commercial buildings. Legislation is expected to pass in the Autumn.

Green Party representative for Drogheda Rural Anthony Murphy said;

The Green Party has campaigned for years to make it easier for people to put solar panels on their roofs, so I’m delighted to see these exemptions open to public consultation. I want to see solar panels on the roof of every farm building, community hall, and school in Drogheda and South Louth and finally see farmers reduce their energy bill and get paid for excess electricity through the Microgeneration Scheme introduced by Minister Eamon Ryan.”

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The proposed expansion of the regulations sees the addition of two new classes of development relating to apartments and educational/community/religious buildings. Exemptions are also proposed for free-standing solar panel installations for houses. The publication of the exemptions comes after years of campaigning by the Green Party to simplify the planning process, including a bill brought to the Seanad by the Green Party in June 2021.

Steven Matthews TD, Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage stated;

“I warmly welcome the publication of the proposed planning exemptions that will finally remove barriers to solar panels on farms, homes and public buildings. Easing planning regulations makes sense in the context of the immediate energy crisis, but also for our longer-term objectives for accelerating our renewable energy objectives and reducing fossil fuel dependency. I hope to see these exemptions come into effect later this year.”

A public consultation as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment process is now open and will run until July 13th.

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