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Planning permission not needed from April 6th 2008

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 15-Mar-08 01:49:18 PM

I thought this would be useful to know when chatting to homeowners (in case it went un-noticed on budget day).

From April 6th 2008, homeowners will no longer require planning permission to install the following methods of microgeneration:

  • solar photovoltaics (PV)
  • solar thermal
  • ground and water source heat pumps
  • biomass heating
  • combined heat and power systems

They can be installed on, or within the grounds of, the dwelling so long as there is no obvious impact on neighbours.

Solar panel limitations

There is a size limitation for solar panels: they must not protrude more than 200 millimetres from the roof slope; and stand alone panels must not exceed four metres above ground level or more than five metres from the boundary.

Wind turbines and air-source heat pumps

The Government is also awaiting clearance from the European Commission (expected later this year) to relax planning permission rules for free-standing and building-mounted wind turbines on detached properties as well as air-source heat pumps (presumably not restricted to detached homes) which meet the microgeneration certification scheme standard.

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

The microgeneration certification scheme - in the case of air-source heat pumps and wind turbines - aims to ensure noise levels do not exceed 45 decibels. The government intends to review this after two years.

Aerobatic breasts

The thing about these micro-wind turbines that strikes me as potentially hazardous is that, in a climate change world of turbulent and unpredictable weather patterns, is it not potentially hazardous to have such structures strapped to chimney breasts?

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Posts: 1
Microgeneration / Planning Permission
Reply #1 on : Sun March 16, 2008, 09:55:57
The Micropower Council ( has been campaignig on this for several years (starting with a Private Members Bill that became law in July 2006), so this marks a major victory for the industry and removes what is probably the biggest regulatory barrier to mass market uptake of microgeneration tecnologies.

As a point of clarity, the inclusion within the permitted development system of micro-wind turbines in a few months' time will only apply to free standing turbines and those mounted on detached properties. We should therefore expect a further change to the law to include these in the summer of 208.

For so-called "conjoined" propertes (mainly semi-detached and detached houses), the government has told the industry it wishes to build a research and evidence base on structure-borne noise and vibration before extending permitted development rights to include these. Work on this is due to commence shortly and is expected to take a further year.
Posts: 1
Re: Planning permission not needed from April 6th 2008
Reply #2 on : Mon March 17, 2008, 10:35:36
Congrats on your efforts, Dave.

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