Peace of Mind in a Conservation Area

A query from a householder within a Conservation Area within the Dartmoor National Park regarding whether their proposed PV array and replacement sash-windows with double glazed equivalents required permission yielded a ‘just in case’ application to the Dartmoor National Park Authority for a Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development (CLOPUD) earlier this summer.

We went through the proposed works with the Local Authority and explained to them how they accorded with the provisions of the General Permitted Development Order, in particular that:

  • ​Paragraph A.3 to Part 1 which clarifies that; “Development is permitted by Class A subject to the following conditions – (a) the materials used in any exterior work (other than materials used in the construction of a conservatory) must be of a similar appearance to those used in the construction of the exterior of the dwellinghouse:
  • Schedule 2, Part 4, Class A where ‘permitted development’ is described as “The installation, alteration or replacement of microgeneration solar PV or solar thermal equipment on- (a) a dwelling house…
  • The GPDO allows the installation of PV arrays to dwellings within Conservation Areas insofar as the equipment is not situated on a wall fronting a highway and does not project greater than 200mm when measured perpendicular from the existing roof slope.

The Local Authority agreed with our conclusions and granted the certificate. 

The GPDO is open to interpretation. In this instance where a householder is investing a significant sum in their property, it pays to ensure that it is lawful.