Wind turbines

Planning Permission: Building mounted wind turbines

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 ALL the limits and conditions listed below are met:

Limits to be 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 (MCS 020) or equivalent standards. Read more about the scheme.
  • 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.
  • 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 for microgeneration.
  • 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.

You may wish to discuss with the Local Planning Authority for your area whether all of these limits and conditions will be met.