Legislation and planning permission associated with air and ground source heat pumps

Ground Source heat pump planning info

Due to their limited aesthetic impact, ground source heat pumps are likely to be considered ‘permitted development’ by local authorities, which means that no planning permission will be necessary. It is nevertheless always a good idea to check with your local authority prior to installing any renewable energy technology.

Air Source heat pump planning info

In Wales and Northern Ireland, air source heat pumps are not considered permitted development and will require planning permission.

In England, air source heat pump systems will be considered permitted development provided they meet the following criteria:

  • the proposed installation site must not be located in the grounds of a listed building or in a conservation area
  • the pump unit must not be placed on a pitched roof       
  • the unit must be placed more than one meter from the edge of the property
  • the pump unit must be smaller than 0.6 square meters

The permitted development rules for air source heat pumps in Scotland are as follows:

  • the heat pump must be the only one at the property
  • the unit must be 100 meters from any other dwelling
  • the unit must not be visible from a public highway
  • the proposed installation site must not be located in a conservation area or World Heritage site

In England and Wales, you can find out more information on the Government’s Planning Portal website: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/greenerhomes/generation/heatpumps

The Scottish Government’s permitted development information can be found here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/National-Planning-Policy/themes/HouseholderPDR

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