Ground source or water source heat pump
The installation of a ground source heat pump or a water source heat pump on domestic premises is usually considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission.
If you live in a listed building or a conservation area you should contact your council to check on local requirements.
Air source heat pumps
From 1 December 2011 the installation of an air source heat pump on domestic premises is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, provided ALL the limits and conditions listed below are met.
These permitted development rights apply to the installation, alteration or replacement of an air source heat pump on a house or block of flats, or within the curtilage (garden or grounds) of a house or block of flats, including on a building within that curtilage. A block of flats must consist wholly of flats (e.g. should not also contain commercial premises).
Limits to be met:
In addition, the following conditions must also be met. The air source heat pump must be:
You may wish to discuss with the Local Planning Authority for your area whether all of these limits and conditions will be met.
Planning permission for heat pumps
Ground and water source heat pumps are permitted developments.
Air source heat pumps are also permitted development as long as they meet a long list of additional criteria. Noise is one of the main issues. To meet the MCS020 planning standards, noise from ASHPs must be below 42dB at a position one metre external to the centre point of any door or window to a habitable room of a neighbouring property as measured perpendicular to the plane of the door or window.
It is a condition of permitted development that the ASHP can only be used for heating purposes.
Other exclusion criteria include:
And there are additional criteria if you are in a conservation area or World Heritage Site.
Installation of either a ground source or air source heat pump will have to comply with the Building Regulations. Make sure that your installer belongs to either the Microgeneration Certification Scheme
Up-to-date advice is available on the government’s planning portal.
For those of you living in Wales, from the beginning of September 2009, the Welsh Assembly Government announced new planning rules to encourage householders to install renewable energy equipment.