The Scottish Government is consulting on measures that could make it easier for businesses to install renewable energy equipment.

Permitted Development Rights (PDR) grant permission for certain types of development through national legislation, meaning they can go ahead without a formal planning application. The Scottish Government said the proposals would make it quicker and cheaper for businesses and homeowners to install equipment, including solar panels and heat pumps, helping reduce bills and cutting carbon emissions.

The consultation, which runs until August 23, seeks views on a range of issues such as removing the 50kw output limit of solar panels fitted to buildings such as barns and other agricultural structures.

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A phased review of PDR is being undertaken by the Scottish Government as part of a wider programme of planning reform. The Phase 3 consultation focuses on PDR for the installation of renewable energy equipment for non-domestic and domestic properties.

Planning Minister, Joe FitzPatrick, said: “Reforming planning rules to make it easier to install renewable energy equipment on business properties and homes will save people money and benefit the environment.

“This consultation’s focus on streamlining the planning process for zero and low carbon technologies is consistent with the strong climate focus in our recently adopted National Planning Framework 4. We must make best use of our planning system to promote and enable the kinds of development that will support our journey to net zero.

“The Scottish Government recently launched a New Deal for Scottish Business that will provide an opportunity to discuss how we can better support businesses using the limited policy levers available. By proposing measures to reduce costs, our review of Permitted Development Rights is an example of the Scottish Government doing what it can to help businesses.”

Andrew McRae, Scotland policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses added: “We’re delighted to see these proposals being brought forward, reflecting the campaigning FSB and others have been doing on the issue for some time.

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“We know that small businesses are very much aware of the role they have to play in tackling the climate emergency, yet two-fifths don’t feel that enough support is in place to help them make the necessary changes.

“At a time when the cost of doing business crisis is making it harder for businesses to stay afloat, it will come as a great help for smaller firms to remove a barrier to decarbonising and, ultimately, reduce their energy costs.”