Installing a ground or water source heat pump in your home is usually considered permitted development, so you don’t need to apply for planning permission. If you live in a listed building or a conservation area you should contact your council to check on local requirements.
Installation on, or within the curtilage of, a house or residential block of flats is considered permitted development provided a number of conditions are met:
Development is permitted only if the air source heat pump installation complies with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standards (MCS 020) or equivalent standards.
The volume of the air source heat pump’s outdoor compressor unit (including housing) must not exceed 0.6 cubic metres.
Only the first installation of an air source heat pump would be permitted development, and only if there is no existing wind turbine on a building or within the curtilage of that property.
Additional wind turbines or air source heat pumps at the same property requires an application for planning permission.
All parts of the air source heat pump must be at least one metre from the property boundary.
Installations on pitched roofs are not permitted development. If installed on a flat roof all parts of the air source heat pump must be at least one metre from the external edge of that roof.
Permitted development rights do not apply for installations within the curtilage of a Listed Building or within a site designated as a Scheduled Monument.
On land within a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site the air source heat pump must not be installed on a wall or roof which fronts a highway or be nearer to any highway which bounds the property than any part of the building.
On land that is not within a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site, the air source heat pump must not be installed on a wall if that wall fronts a highway and any part of that wall is above the level of the ground storey.
In addition, the following conditions must also be met. The air source heat pump must be:
For Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) installations in Scotland, a slightly different set of qualifying criteria must be met:
An ASHP must comply with MCS Planning Standards or equivalent standards
Development is not permitted if it would result in more than one ASHP on the same building or within the curtilage of a building
Development is not permitted if it would result in the protrusion of an ASHP by more than 1 metre from the outer surface of an external wall, roof plane, roof ridge or chimney of a dwelling
Development is not permitted on a dwelling within a Conservation Area unless the ASHP is located at ground floor level and on the rear elevation of the dwelling
Development is not permitted within the curtilage of a building if any part of the installation would be forward of a wall forming part of the principal or side elevation of a building where that elevation fronts a road, or if any resulting ASHP structure would exceed 3 metres in height
Development is not permitted in a World Heritage Site or within the curtilage of a listed building
One ASHP is permitted on a building or within the curtilage of a building. A building in this context includes a terraced house, semi-detached house or a block of flats.
This provides potential opportunities for one Microgeneration Wind Turbine (MWT) and one ASHP within the same curtilage, but not more than one of each using permitted development rights. For example, this would allow for a wind turbine to provide the electricity to power a heat pump.
The conditions require that MWT / ASHP microgeneration equipment only be used for domestic microgeneration purposes, and that an ASHP only be used for the purpose of providing domestic heating or hot water. MWT and ASHP equipment must be removed as soon as reasonably practicable where it is no longer needed for, or capable of, being used for these purposes.
MWT installations are subject to prior notification and/or prior approval procedure, and are to be sited to minimise effects on the amenity of the area so far as reasonably practicable. ASHP are not subject to prior notification and/or approval but must comply with MCS Planning Standards or equivalent standards.
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