April 23 In the Press

The future just got brighter! Minister extends permitted development for solar PV

By Eleanor McGillie

FARMERS in Northern Ireland will no longer have to apply for planning permission to put solar panels on the roofs of farm buildings.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood made the announcement on Monday about the changes which will come into effect on April 30 and follow on from permitted development rights previously introduced for the installation of domestic solar panels on homes.

The changes will also benefit schools and businesses who had previously had to apply for planning permission.

Alex Attwood said: “This is a good boost for a cleaner, greener Northern Ireland. By removing red tape around having to make a planning application, schools, businesses and farms will be able to enjoy the benefits of solar energy much more easily. For them it will mean cheaper, greener, cleaner energy. A win for consumers and a win for the environment.

“Increasing the range of development that no longer needs planning permission will make it easier for businesses and other non-domestic properties to install renewable energy technologies. Technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps, biomass boiler housing and fuel storage containers all contribute to reducing the impact of climate change.

“It is also little appreciated that much of Northern Ireland is in a ‘solar belt,’ where the quality of light and sun makes commercial solar feasible. I want to see domestic and commercial solar grow. Renewables can be one of, if not our biggest economic opportunity.”

Dwyer O’Neill,  managing director of leading solar PV suppliers Amber Green Solar, said this is an exciting development and has been much anticipated by those involved in delivering green energy solutions to farmers, business owners and schools and is one less barrier for those embracing a cleaner, greener future.

He said: “We are delighted that Minister Attwood has made these planning amendments as it sends a clear signal that our Executive is backing up its commitment to make Northern Ireland a leading green economy within Europe with positive, progressive actions.

“We work with farmers and agri-food businesses across Northern Ireland and we know that planning permission has been an obstacle for some. Farmers understand the benefits of installing solar panels because of the long-term revenue and carbon saving benefits it will bring. Now that it has become permitted development it’s time to take the next positive steps to achieving their goals.

Amber Green Solar, a subsidiary of Amber Green Energy, has been running a series of information road shows across the Province for farmers during the Spring. The final road show of the series will take place in the Valley Hotel in Fivemiletown on Wednesday May 1st, 12pm – 3pm.

Amber Green has exciting plans for the upcoming Balmoral Show at the Maze and will be engaging farms and businesses with their new interactive renewable energy stand which will be situated within the Agri-Pavilion.

Mr O’Neill added: “The Minister’s announcement is very timely ahead of the Balmoral Show and will be very welcome news for farmers and businesses. We want to assist everyone seeking to embrace green energy solutions and look forward to sharing how renewable energies such as Solar PV, wind and anaerobic digestion can benefit us all in the years to come.”

Anyone wishing to attend Amber Green Roadshows or the Balmoral Show are advised to book early by calling 028 9073 9076.

ENDS:

For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | www.mgmpr.co.uk | Renewable Energy PR  Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Experts | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK

Notes To Editor:

  • Amber Green Energy is an industry leader in green energy solutions in Northern Ireland. The company has bases in Armagh and Belfast. It adopts a dynamic approach to project funding, combined with proven technologies, ensuring excellent returns on investments from renewable power generation. Amber Green helps clients navigate green energy legislation and access to sustainable energy revenues. Amber Green Energy helps clients with the planning and design of sustainable green energy technologies for anaerobic digestion, wind power generation, combined heat and power and solar panels . Amber Green Solar is a subsidiary of Amber Green Energy.
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