Solar panel permits not needed in Flanders

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People keen on building solar panels on their roof tops will no longer have to apply for permits, say planning Minister Van Mechelen.

8 September 2008

FLANDERS -- The Flemish Government has decided that people who want to put solar panels on the roof of their home will no longer have to apply for a building permit.

Until now, planning permission was needed if the solar panels covered more than a fifth of the surface of the roof.

Flemish Urban and Countryside Planning Minister Dirk Van Mechelen says the change in policy is to encourage people to use solar energy.

 “In Flanders, we think putting up solar panels is good for the environment. We want to promote it through tax incentives. Some people also experienced difficulties obtaining planning permission. We want to do something about this."

The only exception for the new policy is if there are local planning restrictions valid in a particular estate.

In future, people who want to apply for an exemption will be able to do this at the municipal hall. Residents will also no longer have to seek permission from all their neighbours.

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