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Planning and Building Permission

Solar power and heating systems can generally be installed without planning or building permission; they are not referred to in the Building Law Book. However, there has always been conflict with the protection of historic buildings because solar power and heating systems can change the outward appearance of a building and therefore interfere with the character of a protected building or other structure. Legal permission to build and legal permission to make changes to a historic building or monument often fall on the competence of the same (local) officials.

Whether or not a solar power or heating system is given the go-ahead depends mostly on the discretionary authority of the local authorities. The submitter should be able to state that any adverse appearances are not substantial and that such solar power and heating systems belong to today’s standard equipment for buildings, just like antennae, noise-blocking windows or garages.

Submitters can especially appeal to the Changes to Building and Space Arrangement Law of 1998. After that it is one of the tasks and principles of urban land use planning. “The concerns of environmental protection, also through the use of renewable energies” to take into account (§1 Paragraph. 5 Sentence 2 Nr. 7 Building Law Book).

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