The legal right to solar access

Without solar access, your PV panels are just expensive roof tiles.The extent to which the law recognises and protects the right of solar access to solar collectors will determine in a large measure the extent to which people are prepared to outlay capital investments for solar devices.To ensure that solar collector panels are not shaded by obstructions on neighbouring properties and so rendered worthless, the right of solar access must be legally protected. Unfortunately, there is currently no direct legislative or court decision definitively clarifying legal rights in this area.

This note explains the state of the law relating to solar energy, both as to the right of solar access, in particular solar access to solar collectors, and the legal barriers to the use of solar energy.

This note was originally titled GEN 8 and was first published in February 1996. It was reviewed and updated by Adrian Bradbrook in February 2001, and again in 2011.

note summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Legal protection for solar access
  3. Legal barriers to the use of solar energy
  4. The need for law reform
  5. Conclusion