New "Permitted Development Rights" for Domestic Wind Turbines and Air Source Heat PumpsThursday 29th September 2011
New planning regulations coming into force later this year will allow households to install small-scale wind turbines or air source heat pumps (which extract heat from outside for use in domestic heating and hot water systems) without having to apply for planning permission.
The regulations amend the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, which currently provides "permitted development rights" to certain small-scale development. This removes the need for planning permission, provided the development meets certain criteria.
Until now, small domestic wind turbines and air source heat pumps have not had permitted development rights, unlike other small-scale renewable energy technologies such as solar. This was primarily due to issues such as noise. However, from 1 December 2011 both technologies will have permitted development rights provided they conform with the new regulations and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme's planning standards. The technologies may be attached to a house or free-standing within the grounds of a house or block of flats.
Restrictions under the regulations include locating the turbine or pump a certain distance from the boundary of a property and restrictions on the height of turbines and the area "swept" by the blades. Turbines or pumps within the boundary of a listed building or at the site of a scheduled monument will not be given permitted development rights.
The regulations also bring in permitted development rights for installing charging points for electric cars in a lawful off-street parking area from 1 October 2011, allowing individuals to fit charging points at home without planning permission.
The new regulations are to be welcomed as a way of encouraging the use of small-scale renewable energy technologies, adding to the success of the rapidly growing solar PV industry.
Ashfords LLP is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The information in this note is intended to be general information about English law only and not comprehensive. It is not to be relied on as legal advice nor as an alternative to taking professional advice relating to specific circumstances.