Wind turbines

Planning Permission: Stand alone wind turbines

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 ALL the limits and conditions listed below are met.

A block of flats must consist wholly of flats (e.g. should not also contain commercial premises).

Limits to be met:

  • Development is permitted only if the stand alone wind turbine installation complies with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standard (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.
  • 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.

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