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Installing Wind Turbines for the Home

Wind Turbine, Windmill

Residential wind turbines are an effective way to harness the power of the wind and turn it into household electricity. Most home wind turbines are fitted to the roof of your property.


Although a domestic wind turbine can be somewhat costly to install initially, they can be a good long-term investment once they are up and running. In windy old UK, you’ll never be short on supply!


Do I need planning permission to install a wind turbine?

Under permitted development rights in certain cases it is possible to install domestic wind turbines without the need for an application for planning permission, so long as the limits and conditions below are met.


Wind turbine: building mounted

The installation, alteration or replacement of a building mounted wind turbine can be considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, provided the limits and conditions listed below are met:

- Permitted development rights for building mounted wind turbines apply only to installations on detached houses (not blocks of flats) and other detached buildings within the boundaries of a house or block of flats. A block of flats must consist wholly of flats (e.g. should not also contain commercial premises).

- Development is permitted only if the building mounted wind turbine installation complies with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standards or equivalent standards

- The installation must not be sited on safeguarded land. An Aviation Safeguarding Tool can be used to check whether the installation will be on safeguarded land.

- Only the first installation of any wind turbine would be permitted development, and only if there is no existing air source heat pump at the property. Additional wind turbines or air source heat pumps at the same property requires an application for planning permission.

- No part (including blades) of the building mounted wind turbine should protrude more than three metres above the highest part of the roof (excluding the chimney) or exceed an overall height (including building, hub and blade) of 15 metres, whichever is the lesser.

- The distance between ground level and the lowest part of any wind turbine blade must not be less than five metres.

- No part of the building mounted wind turbine (including blades) must be within five metres of any boundary.

- The swept area of any building mounted wind turbine blade must be no more than 3.8 square metres.

- In Conservation Areas, an installation is not permitted if the building mounted wind turbine would be on a wall or roof slope which fronts a highway.

- Permitted development rights do not apply to a turbine within the curtilage of a Listed Building or within a site designated as a Scheduled Monument or on designated land* other than Conservation Areas.

In addition, the following conditions must also be met. The wind turbine must :

- use non-reflective materials on blades.

- be removed as soon as reasonably practicable when no longer needed.

- be sited, so far as practicable, to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building and its effect on the amenity of the area.

- Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and World Heritage Sites.


Wind turbine: stand alone

The installation, alteration or replacement of a stand alone (not building mounted) wind turbine within the boundaries of a house or block of flats can be considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, provided the limits and conditions listed below are met.

- Development is permitted only if the stand alone wind turbine installation complies with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standards or equivalent standards.

- The installation must not be sited on safeguarded land.

- Only the first installation of any wind turbine would be permitted development, and only if there is no existing air source heat pump at the property. Additional wind turbines or air source heat pumps at the same property requires an application for planning permission.

- The highest part of the stand alone wind turbine must not exceed 11.1 metres.

- The distance between ground level and the lowest part of any wind turbine blade must not be less than five metres.

- An installation is not permitted if any part of the stand alone wind turbine (including blades) would be in a position which is less than a distance equivalent to the overall height of the turbine (including blades) plus 10 per cent of its height when measured from any point along the property boundary.

- The swept area of any stand alone wind turbine blade must be no more than 3.8 square metres.

- In Conservation Areas, development would not be permitted if the stand alone wind turbine would be installed so that it is nearer to any highway which bounds the curtilage (garden or grounds) of the house or block of flats than the part of the house or block of flats which is nearest to that highway.

- Permitted development rights do not apply to a turbine within the curtilage of a Listed Building or within a site designated as a Scheduled Monument or on designated land* other than Conservation Areas.

In addition, the following conditions must also be met. The wind turbine must:

- use non-reflective materials on blades.

- be removed as soon as reasonably practicable when no longer needed for microgeneration.

- be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building and its effect on the amenity of the area.

*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and World Heritage Sites.

 

What if my wind turbine proposal does not meet the above "permitted development" rights?

Where your wind turbine development proposal does not satisfy the above "permitted development" rights, this does not mean that the development is unacceptable and cannot be built. It means that an application for planning permission needs to be made so that your local Council can consider all the circumstances of the case.

In considering a planning application the Council Planners will assess the impact of the development on local amenity (whether the proposal will create noise or other local nuisance impacts) and the impact of the development on character of the area.


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