Do I need planning permission?
Guidance on Renewable Energy in the home.
Renewable energy generation in a household (or 'micro generation') can be environmentally friendly way to reduce your energy bills. The government is committed to ensuring that 10% of UK energy will come from renewable sources by 2010 and has made grants available to help householders to install such technology. Further information is available on the following website www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk However, the Council does not provide such grants. Furthermore, the cost of micro-generation is expected to fall dramatically in the next few years, whilst utility bills are anticipated to rise sharply. This will make the technology more attractive to householders.
Some types of micro generation fitted to houses do not need planning permission. This Guidance Note has been produced to give some general advice regarding solar and wind power, as they are the most common technologies employed. Advice regarding the planning considerations for other technologies such as biomass, ground source heat pumps or micro CHP (combined heat and power) can be obtained by writing to the Planning Design and Control Service Unit with details of the proposal. This advice only applies to houses and it does not apply to flats, maisonettes, listed buildings, buildings in conservation areas or any type of commercial property. It also does not necessarily apply to every house. Therefore, before you start work, you should always first check with the Council that no planning permission is required.
You will need to make a planning application to install solar panels (either photovoltaic or solar water heating) to your house if:
- They are of an unusual design
- They project significantly beyond the roof slope
- Your house is a listed building or in a conservation area.
Should permission be required, you should include the following information with an application:
- Details of the dimensions of the panels in metric, including the projection above the roof slope.
- Their colour
- Plans showing their position on the building
- Brief technical specification such as power output which the manufacturer normally supplies.
There are currently no 'permitted development' rights for micro-wind turbines; however this is likely to change in the near future. Therefore at present a planning application will be required. An application should include the following information:
- Details of the dimensions of the turbine in metric, including the length of rotor blades.
- Height above ground or building.
- Plans showing the position on the ground or building
- Brief technical specification such as power and noise output which the manufacturer normally supplies.
Remember - always check with the Council before you start work. Please use the 'Householders Permitted Development Enquiry Form' available to download from the web-site. There is a fee of £46 for this service which you should send with the form. Please provide as much detail as possible, including dimensions, positioning and, if possible, pictures.
Building Regulations Approval
This is not the same as planning permission. Building regulations deal with technical matters such as structural stability, fire resistance, thermal insulation and electrical safety. Installation of solar or photovoltaic panels or wind turbines may require building regulations approval and you are strongly advised to contact 01202 633250 to seek advice before carrying out any installation. If you are going to carry out works close to your property's boundaries you will need to take account of the requirements of The Party Wall Etc. Act 1996. This is your responsibility. It is up to you to ensure that you have all the necessary consents before starting work. You can telephone 01202 633250 to find out more about Building Regulations Approval and the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996.
It is always a good idea to talk to your neighbours about your proposal before starting work.
The advice in this Guidance Note is not an authoritative interpretation of the law. It is based on the provisions of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 and the guidance contained in the Department of Communities and Local Government publication - Planning: A Guide for Householders. There may also be conditions on a previous planning permission that mean planning permission will be required. There may also be covenants or other restrictions in the title to your property or conditions on the lease that may require you to get someone's agreement before carrying out works to your property even if you do not need to apply for planning permission. You can check this yourself or consult a Solicitor.