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October 5, 2018 Written by: Glossop Town Planning

Changes to VPPs to protect existing rooftop solar panels

The Statement government has made changes to the Victorian Planning Provisions to protect existing roof top solar panels from developments.

What’s changed?

For developments in a Neighbourhood Residential Zone, General Residential Zone, Residential Growth Zone, Mixed Use Zone, Commercial 1 Zone and Township Zone, the responsible authority is now required to consider the impact of overshadowing on existing rooftop solar energy facilities on dwellings on adjoining lots. 

Clauses 54 and 55 have also been updated dated to give consideration to existing rooftop solar energy facilities. In particular, Standards A7, B10 and B35 have been amended to including an additional requirement as follows:

Buildings should be .. sited and designed to ensure that the capacity of existing rooftop solar energy facilities on dwellings on adjoining lots in a General Residential Zone, Neighbourhood Residential Zone or Township Zone are not unreasonably reduced.

The decision guidelines for these Standards have been amended to include additional considerations as follows:

  • The extent to which an existing rooftop solar energy facility on an adjoining lot is overshadowed by existing buildings or other permanent structures.
  • Whether the existing rooftop solar energy facility on an adjoining lot is appropriately located.
  • The effect of overshadowing on an existing rooftop solar energy facility on an adjoining lot. 

What does this mean in practice?

All future Planning permit application drawings (including Levels and Features Survey) should clearly show the location of any existing solar panels on adjoining land.

Where applicable, shadow diagrams should clearly identify what impact the proposed development may have on existing solar panels. In some cases, this will likely require detailed survey information relating to the location, size, height, pitch of the solar panels. We would recommend that sectional shadows are included in town planning drawings to confirm the extent of impact.

At Glossop Town Planning, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver smart and effective planning solutions. If you would like further information regarding the above, or have any queries with your project please contact the Glossop team on (03) 9329 2288.