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 the 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.