Micro Generation and Permitted Development - Oct. 1st
The governments quest for lowering the carbon footprint within
the UK is partly centred on giving greater freedoms for homeowners to install energy producing or saving
equipment on or within their property. Microgeneration for each property or smaller community is seen
as one solution and allowing this under permitted development is meant to take the control of what you can
install out of the Planners hands.
So, will microgeneration of energy producing equipment installed under permitted
development be the answer? I think not.
So what are the conditions for installing such equipment under permitted development?
A.2. Development is permitted by Class A subject to the following conditions:-
(a) solar PV or solar thermal equipment installed on a building shall, so far as
practicable, be sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the
(b) solar PV or solar thermal equipment shall, so far as practicable, be sited so as to
minimise its effect on the amenity of the area; and
(c) solar PV or solar thermal equipment no longer needed for microgeneration shall be
removed as soon as reasonably practicable.
From 6 April 2008, you will no longer need to apply to your local authority for planning
permission to add certain "green" energy producing microgeneration technology to residential premises.
This is because domestic microgeneration technologies is included as permitted developments under the
General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).
The GPDO grants householders permitted development rights to alter or extend their home in certain
restricted circumstances as long as they meet defined conditions.
However, as always with government legislation its full of restrictive claw back clauses that would then require
formal Planning Consent being obtained with the usual neighbour consultation issues where, in most cases, the
application will be refused.
Download a pdf guide for householder
Changes to Permitted Development Rights for Householder Microgeneration: Impact
Microgeneration is the small-scale production of heat and/or electricity from low carbon
sources. Some microgeneration technologies produce energy using renewable resources such as solar, wind or biomass
- eg wood - and some, like combined heat and power (CHP), may use fossil fuels.
The new rules will permit the installation of the following domestic microgeneration equipment where the
intended installation meets the conditions set out in the GPDO:
- solar thermal or solar photovoltaic systems equipment
- water and ground source heat pumps
- biomass - eg from virgin wood, recycled wood or waste from municipal and commercial sources
- combined heat and power
The changes cover installation on a dwelling house and in gardens. Dwelling houses include buildings which
consist wholly of flats, or which are used for the purposes of a dwelling house. It is interesting to note
that for the first time flats have been considered as having some form of permitted development rights.
Permitted development rights will not apply immediately to wind turbines and air source as further work is being
carried out on the potential impact of noise and vibration on neighbours.
You will have to comply with the conditions set out for that type of technology. For example, you will have to
make sure that solar panels do not protrude more than 200 millimetres beyond the plane of the wall or the roof
slope when measured according to the guidelines.