Solar panels & rainwater tanks

Development approval for solar panels

You need development approval to install, alter, repair or maintain a solar panel (photovoltaic) system on the roof of an existing building if any of the following applies:

  • the panels can be seen from the street in a historic conservation area
  • the panels have a total weight exceeding 100 kilograms
  • the building is listed as a heritage place.

If none of the above applies to your solar (photovoltaic) system you do not need development approval.


Solar (photovoltaic) systems exceeding 100 kilograms in weight

Subject to the criteria listed above if the total weight of the solar photovoltaic system exceeds 100 kilograms development approval is not required if the following applies:

  • the weight load is distributed so that it doesn’t exceed 100 kilograms at any one point of attachment to the roof; and 
  • the panels and any associated components don’t overhang any part of the roof; and 
  • the panels are fitted parallel to the roof with the underside surface of the panels being less than 100 millimetres above the surface of the roof; and 
  • the panels are installed by a person accredited under a scheme recognised by the Minister.

Find our more about accredited installers call the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure on 8303 0600.


If you're not sure if your property is a heritage place

Contact us if you’re unsure if your property is:

  • a state heritage place
  • a local heritage place
  • located in a Historic Conservation Area.

Development approval for rainwater tanks

You need development approval for a rainwater tank if any of the following applies:

  • the tank will be part of a roof-drainage system
  • the total floor area of the tank exceeds 10 square metres
  • the tank will be located below ground
  • the tank will be higher than four metres above the natural surface of the ground at any one point.

If the rainwater tank does not fall into any of these categories you won’t need development approval.


New houses and home extensions

New houses and extensions must have at least than 50m2 of the roof catchment area connected to a rainwater tank.

The tank must be also be plumbed to the hot water service, toilet or laundry cold water outlets.


Applying for development approval

When you’re ready to apply for development approval for a solar (photovoltaic) system or a rainwater tank go to the How to apply page for instructions. 

Download the residential development checklist for information about what you need to submit with your application pdf (90KB).


More information

Email the City Development Team or call 8416 6333
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

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