RainWindSun - Renewable Energy Swindon Wiltshire

Huntersbrook House, Hoggs Lane, Purton, Wiltshire SN5 4HQ - Tel: 01793 772277 - email

Planning Permission &
Building Regulations

Large scale installations which are visible are almost certainly going to require planning permission. Small scale installations MAY require planning permission although there are moves to reduce this need by granting “permitted development” rights to certain products and location types. We recommend contacting your local planning authority and asking them for their specific requirements.

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Permitted development rights for householder microgeneration

Installing certain renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels and biomass boilers, has now been made a lot simpler due to the Permitted Development Rights introduced on 6 April 2008.

Permitted Development Rights

In England, changes to permitted development rights for renewable technologies have lifted the requirements for planning permission for most domestic microgeneration technologies.

The General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) grants rights to carry out certain limited forms of development on the home, without the need to apply for planning permission. The scope of the GPDO in England now extends to the following technologies:

Solar PV and Solar Thermal (roof-mounted)

Permitted unless:

Solar PV and Solar Thermal (stand-alone)

Permitted unless:

Biomass Boilers and Stoves, and Combined Heat & Power:

Permitted unless:

Ground Source Heat Pump


Water Source Heat Pump


Micro Wind

Due to legal technicalities the current statutory instrument does not cover micro wind. Once these issues have been resolved, it is expected that roof-mounted and free-standing micro wind turbines will be permitted at detached properties that are not in conservation areas. Further legislation is expected in 2009, so until then consult with your local authority regarding planning permission.

Air Source Heat Pump

Air source heat pumps are in a similar situation to wind. Once the legal technicalities have been resolved, it is expected that air source heat pumps will be permitted developments.

NOTE Permitted development rights are not extended to listed buildings which are covered by other regulations.

Building Regulations

The Building Control system makes sure that buildings are properly designed and constructed to ensure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people using them.

Building Regulations cover most building work inside and outside of buildings including:

Sources of information: