If you are in any doubt at all you should call you local planning office but here are some general guidelines that are applicable in most cases. Recently changes have been made to the to the permitted development rights for renewable technologies with the aim of encouring domestic micro-generation.
You should decide what kind of project that you want to carry out as a fist step and then check what planning requirements that might restrict you.
What are “Permitted Development Rights”?
You are allowed to make minor changes to your house without having to apply for planning permission. These are called “permitted development rights“. They are effectively pre-agreed types of planning permission.
There are quirks; some rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings. In Conservation Areas, National Parks, and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, there is still a need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which would not normally need permission. If your property is listed then there will be further restrictions.
Check with your Council
In some areas the local council can have the permitted planning rights withdrawn, meaning that you might need to get permission after all.
Always check with your local planning office before starting work. Find your local planning office here.
England and Scotland
Permitted Development and planning policy in general is a devolved responsibility. The Microgeneration Strategy has allowed permitted planning for most onsite low carbon and renewable energy technologies (introduced in April 2008 in England and March 2009 for Scotland).
Provided certain criteria are met, installing solar PV, solar thermal, biomass or a ground source heat pump will not need planning permission, unless one of restrictions applies, for example the installations is situated in a conservation area or on a listed building.
Some green energy technologies do typically require planning permission:
- Micro and small Wind Power
- Air Source Heat Pumps
- Small scale hydro installations – also contact the Environment Agency
Wales and Northern Ireland
Currently if you live in Wales or Northern Ireland you must consult your local authority regarding planning permission. Legislation is currently being considered by both the Welsh Assembly Government and Northern Ireland Government. Changes to rules on permitted developments involving microgeneration technologies are expected later this year.
You should always contact your local planning office if you have any doubts, and particularly in Wales and Northern Ireland, however in England and Scotland it is possible to makes some generalisations.
Before you start your project find out more detailed information.
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