In recent years, a change in regulations has made it more straightforward for homeowners to install low emission heating systems in their home. Air source heat pumps are now considered a permitted development, as are ground source heat pumps, unless you live in a listed property or conservation area. This means that you shouldn’t need to submit a planning permission application when installing one at your home or business. It is still worth clarifying with your local authority before you proceed to give you peace of mind that you are not in breach of any regulations. Allow us to explain the different regulations for both air and ground source heat pumps.

Planning permission for air source heat pumps

You should be able to install your air source heat pump without applying for planning permission. There are varying criteria in different parts of the UK. In Scotland, the heat pump unit can be no higher than 3 metres, however in England it must be no larger than 0.6m³. It is always worth checking with your local authority before installation takes place so that you can rest assured you are following the rules. Specified rules for Permitted Development include:

  • Your air source heat pump must only be used for space heating and hot water.
  • Installation must follow Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) planning standards. Your installer should make sure that this is the case.
  • If you decide to install a second air source heat pump at your property, you must submit an application for planning permission.
  • Once the air source heat pump is no longer in use, it must be removed.
  • It must be installed on a flat surface. If installed on a flat roof, it must be at least a metre from the edge of the roof. This is worth clarifying with local council.
  • If your home is a listed building, or within a conservation area or World Heritage Site, you will need to receive special consent or check with your local authority before progressing with your plans.
  • In England, your new air source heat pump must be at least 1 metre from your property’s boundary.
  • The unit cannot extend more than 1 metre from the outer wall, roof, or chimney of your property.

Planning permission for ground source heat pumps

Ground source heat pumps fall under Permitted Development rights in England, Wales and Scotland. This means that if the heat pump is within the land of your property and does not exceed 0.5 hectares, and is also removed if no longer in use, it falls under Permitted Development rights. You will also need to apply for planning permission if you choose to install more than one ground source heat pump.

If you want to begin the process of installing an air source or ground source heat pump at your property, contact our team at JP Air Conditioning. We are fully qualified installers of air and ground source heat pumps, and other renewable energy systems so can arrange a comprehensive installation at your property at a time that suits you. We can help you to take advantage of government grants so that you can make maximum savings on your new unit. To discuss installation, call now on 0208 333 1191 or email and we will provide further information.