No planning application fees for solar in heritage overlays

Thursday 25 February 2021

Yarra City Council is making it easier to install solar panels on a property in a heritage overlay. 

It's long been the case that if your property is in a heritage overlay and your solar panels won’t be visible from the street or a public park, you don’t need a planning permit. For properties in a heritage overlay where the solar panels will be visible from a street or park, Council has waived the fee for a (VicSmart) planning application seeking to install  solar panels.  Council has also created new guidance for installing solar panels in a heritage overlay to assist you before you lodge an application. It’s all part of creating a 100% Renewable Yarra.  

No-fuss rooftop solar on a home in a heritage overlay 

Quinn and his family installed a 3.5kW solar system about three years ago, when a mix of financial and environmental factors motivated them to make the switch. 

Like two thirds of homes in Yarra, his home is in a heritage overlay. However since the solar panels aren’t visible from the street or a park, they didn’t need to apply for a planning permit. Quinn said that having a heritage overlay didn’t impede the process – they just got on with it. “It was very straightforward. It didn’t impact on the heritage appeal at all,” he said.

Since installing solar Quinn has noticed savings on his family’s energy bills. They’ve also made other changes to the way they use energy – they upgraded their insulation, and started using appliances during the day when the solar system is generating power. They’re now considering retrofitting double glazing into the existing windows, and thinking about adding a battery in future. 

Find out more about solar in a heritage overlay 

Since solar in a heritage overlay is often not visible from the street, more of your neighbours than you think could already be enjoying the benefits of solar with lower bills and clean power from the sun. Talk to your friends and neighbours and find out if they’ve installed solar. This could be the year you too join the thousands of Yarra homes powering their homes with the sun. 

Find out more about installing solar in a heritage overlay here. For more information about choosing a solar system to getting the most out of your system, check out our guidance on going solar here


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