Wind turbines

Planning Permission

Permitted development rights do not apply to wind turbines mounted on a dwellinghouse or building within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse. It will be necessary to make an planning application to your local planning authority if you wish to install a building mounted wind turbine. Details of how to do this can be found here.

The installation, alteration or replacement of a stand alone (not building mounted) wind turbine within the boundaries of a dwellinghouse 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:

  • 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. The 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
  • 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 9.6 square metres
  • In the case of land within a Conservation Areas the stand alone wind turbine would be installed so that it is visible from a highway which bounds the curtilage of the dwellinghouse
  • Permitted development rights do not apply to a turbine within the curtilage of a Listed Building or within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a World Heritage Site, or a site of special scientific interest.

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 amenity of the area.

You may wish to discuss with the local planning authority for your area whether all of these limits and conditions will be met. In addition your Local Planning Authority may have Article 4 Directions in place which remove permitted development rights in certain areas. It is therefore the responsibility of the landowner to confirm that permitted development rights do exist and that conditions can be met.

The microgeneration certification scheme

To support the development of the microgeneration industry and to drive the quality and reliability of installations a Microgeneration Certification Scheme has been developed in partnership with the industry and other organisations  representing consumer interests.

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme includes clear standards to support the installation of wind turbines and air source heat pumps. The main purpose of the scheme is to build consumer confidence in microgeneration technologies and to help move the industry to a sustainable position.

It includes certification for products and installer companies, and a code of practice based on The Office of Fair Trading Consumer Code. Permitted development rights for wind turbines and air source heat pumps will only be accorded for equipment installed by an installer who has been certificated through the scheme using a certificated product. The installer is therefore responsible for ensuring that the installation meets permitted development noise standards at the time of installation. For further details, see the microgeneration certification scheme’s website at: http://www.microgenerationcertification.org/

Disclaimer - Wales

This is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information. This guidance relates to the planning regime for Wales. Policy in England may differ. If in doubt contact your Local Planning Authority.

Read the full disclaimer here.