General guidance for wind turbines

Planning permission for wind turbines depends on which region you live in the UK. If you live in England or Scotland, then certain wind turbines are permitted without planning permission, but they require adherence to strict conditions.

In England building mounted wind systems were relaxed as part of 2011 legislation, but in Scotland you will still require planning permission for this.

Permitted development for wind turbines in England

It is possible to install a wind turbine as a permitted development, although it needs to fulfil all of the following criteria:

A wind turbine mounted on a building:

  • Need to be detached house and be surrounded by other detached houses in the vicinity
  • Must comply to the MCS planning standards
  • One turbine is considered permitted development and the property must not have an Air Source Heat Pump installed already. Otherwise you need to ask for planning permission.
  • Including the blades, no part of the turbine should protrude more than 3 metres above the highest part of the chimney, and the overall height of the house + wind turbine should not exceed 15m.
  • The distance between the ground and the lowest part of the wind turbine needs to exceed 5m
  • A minimum of 5m needs to be between your turbine and the boundary of your property.
  • The swept area of a building mounted wind turbine cannot exceed 3.8m2.
  • A wind turbine cannot be sited on the roof of a building within the grounds of a listed building.
  • If you live in a conservation area / world heritage site, you are not allowed to position the turbine on a wall that would make it visible from a highway.
  • The wind turbine must be removed as soon as practically possible when no longer needed for Microgeneration
  • Be sited as far as practically possible to limit the impact on amenity of the local area.
  • The installation must not be sited on safeguarded land.

 A wind turbine installed as a stand-alone installation:

Can also be considered as a permitted development if the following criteria are adhered to:

  • The Wind turbine must adhere to the MCS planning standards
  • The installation must not be sited on safeguarded land.
  • One turbine is considered permitted development and the property must not have an Air Source Heat Pump installed already. Otherwise you need to ask for planning permission.
  • The highest part of the wind turbine blade must not exceed 11.1 metres
  • The distance between the ground and the lowest part of the wind turbine needs to exceed 5m
  • The turbine’s height + 10% is the distance that the wind turbine needs to be from the boundary of your property.
  • The swept area of the wind turbine cannot exceed 3.8m2
  • If you live in a conservation area / world heritage site, the closest part of the wind turbine needs to be further away from any highways than the closest part of the house.
  • Permitted development rights are not applicable for an installation on a listed building or on a building in a conservation area / world heritage site.
  • The blades cannot be coated in a reflective material.
  • When no longer needed for Microgeneration, the wind turbines are removed as soon as practically possible.

Permitted development of wind turbines for Scotland

In Scotland a building mounted development requires planning permission, but a standalone development on the other hand doesn’t, unless it contravenes the following points:

  • It is not the only wind turbine within this property
  • It is situated less than 100metres from your next door neighbour
  • It sits on a world heritage site; is on scientific research land; considerably near a listed building or is near land for archaeological purposes.

You also need to make sure that the developer that is building the wind turbine speaks to the local authority and gets clearance for the size and type of wind turbine being installed.

Planning permission for Wales & Northern Ireland

If you live in Wales or Northern Ireland you will require planning permission no matter what the type of system you are going for.

Concluding comments on planning permission

With any wind turbine it is worth checking with your local planning authority to find out whether your proposed installation will require planning permission.

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