Government proposes removing planning barriers to domestic wind turbines and PVs except in extreme circumstances

Planning permission will no longer be required for domestic wind turbines and photovoltaics under new government proposals.

PV house
Credit: Solarcentury
The Garside's PVs generate enough power for all their needs

Communities secretary Ruth Kelly said the proposals would make it easier for householders to produce their own energy using microgeneration technologies.

She said: “I believe that the local planning system should support efforts to tackle climate change rather than acting as a barrier.”

Kelly said local authorities would still have the power to stop the installation of renewables if they offered limited benefits and impacted the local environment. “It is important to ensure that there are clear, common-sense safeguards on noise, siting and size and the unique features of conservation areas are protected.”

Micropower Council’s chief executive Dave Sowden backed the proposals. He commented: “The current planning system says ‘no’ unless there is a good reason to consider otherwise. In the future it will say ‘yes’ within properly considered, pre-defined limits.”

The Royal Town Planning Institute said the proposals should apply to more than just homes. Kelvin MacDonald, director of policy and research, said: “It should be made just as easy to install well designed microgeneration equipment on flats, institutions, and commercial developments in general.”

Closing date for responses to the consultation paper Changes to Permitted Development is 27 June 2007.

The government also published a report by Entec Domestic Installation of Microgeneration Equipment, which fed into the proposals.