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Do I need Planning Permission for an Air Source Heat Pump?

Do I need Planning Permission for an Air Source Heat Pump?

If you're considering installing a heat pump in your home, you may be wondering if you need planning permission. The good news is that in many cases, you won't need to go through the hassle of gaining permission for this type of system. 

Air Source Heat Pump Planning Permissions

Air source heat pumps are considered a permitted development right. In most cases, meaning you can install them without seeking approval from your local planning authority. Though it may depend on the specific criteria from the country where you plan to install it.

For example, in Scotland, there are planning regulations which states the external unit must not exceed 3 metres in height. Whereas in England, the unit mustn't be larger than 0.6m³.

How do I apply for planning permission?

Applying for permission to install an air source heat pump can be straightforward and relatively stress-free.

The first step is to contact your local planning authority and provide them with detailed information about the installation location, size, and purpose of the unit. Your local authority will then review the planning application and decide whether a permit is necessary or not.

What is permitted development?

The installation of an air source heat pump unit on domestic premises is considered to be a permitted development. Meaning it does not require planning permission. However, there are certain limits and conditions that must be met for this exemption to apply.

These rights allow individuals to install, modify, or replace an air source heat pump in various locations. This includes houses, apartments, and their respective gardens or grounds.

It also applies to a building within that garden or grounds. However, it should be noted that a block of flats must only consist of flats and should not include any commercial premises.

Permitted development terms and conditions

The terms and conditions for permitted development are made to ensure that the installation of an air source heat pump on domestic premises is safe, efficient and aesthetically pleasing. The rules are simple but there are several key points to consider:

  • The heat pump must be at least one meter away from the property boundary.
  • The unit must not have an impact on neighbouring properties or the environment.
  • The installation must compile with Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) planning standards or equivalent.
  • Maximum volume of 0.6 cubic metres for the outdoor compressor unit of the heat pump, including housing.
  • Installations on pitched roofs are prohibited according to the development regulations. For a flat roof installation, all parts of the heat pump are at least one meter away from the roof's edge.
  • Cannot be installed on a wall above the ground floor level, if it fronts a highway.

 Under these guidelines, the heat pump must be:

  • Used for heating purposes only.
  • Remove when no longer needed.
  • Placed to blend in and not disrupt the surroundings.

Can you install a heat pump in a flat?

In most cases, you can install a heat pump in on a block of flats, however this is subject to certain conditions. It must be within a block of flats that are fully residential and not mixed with any commercial property. If this is the case then it can be installed under normal permitted development rights which apply to other types of properties.

Unitherm is here to help

At Unitherm Heating Systems, we understand the complexity of installing an air source heat pump in your home. That's why our team is here to ensure you have a stress-free experience when it comes to planning permission and installation.

We offer a MCS Design & Sign Off service to help you each step of the way. From obtaining planning permission to properly installing the heat pump unit. Most of all we ensure your unit meets all the required MCS regulations. For more information, please Contact Unitherm for a quotation.

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