Planning permission for wood burning boilers and stoves, and CHP

On the whole these technologies and systems are fitted internally and therefore unlikely to impinge on the planning rules, however where an outside flue is required this will subject to the relevant rules, most likely being permitted development rights.

However, you should always check with your local planning office to ensure that you are within the guidelines.

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General Principles

In general the following guidelines will give you an indication of what is allowed, although they are no substitute for checking with your local authority. And always check if your home is listed.

  • The flue should not exceed 1m above the roof height, excluding the chimney.
  • If it is installed on the principal elevation it should not be visible from a road in buildings in Conservation Areas and World Heritage Sites.
  • In Scotland, there are restrictions within Air Quality Management Areas particularly when CHP is wood fuelled.

If the project also requires an outside building to store fuel or related equipment the same rules apply to that building as for other extensions and garden outbuildings.

Building Regulations for Boilers and Heating

Typically if you are considering a micro-generation scheme you will be fitting a completely new system which should be considered as if the work is being carried out in a new building which requires that the new standards for building regulations be followed. If you’re simply replacing a heating system or hot water system you may not need to apply to the new building regulations. Your installer will be able to advise you specifically and always ensure that you receive the relevant safety certificates once the work is completed.

The new standards for building regulations apply only if you decide to change your existing hot-water central-heating boiler or if you decide to change to one of these boilers from another form of heating system.

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Building Regulations for Condensing Boilers

Condensing boilers have a SEDBUK efficiency rating of A or B should be installed. However, if an assessment carried out by a Gas Safe Register installer suggests that it is not viable to install one, then less efficient boilers with SEDBUK Ratings of C or D can be installed.

Building Regulations Biomass and CHP

Building Regulations will apply so you should consider factors such as ventilation, noise and general safety, as well as electrical installation and plumbing work. Always use a qualified installer.

For micro CHP systems specific guidelines can be found in the ‘Low or Zero Carbon Energy Sources: Strategic Guide (LZC)’, but in summary the equipment, installation and testing must all comply with the relevant standards which are set out in the standard.

The installer should produce a commissioning certificate, such as a Benchmark certificate, for you once the work is complete. They will also notify the local authority building control department and the local authority should supply you with a Building Regulations Completion Certificate that indicates compliance.

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