Scottish Government
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Householder green energy help

More people will be able to generate their own green energy under new Scottish Government proposals.

At present, many homeowners are able to install equipment including solar panels and ground and water source heat pumps without planning permission.

But, under fresh proposals set out in a consultation launched today, there would also be scope to install wind turbines or air source heat pumps without a requirement for planning consent.

Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"We want to make it easier for householders to cut their energy bills and play their part in reducing emissions through the installation of small-scale micro generation equipment.

"These proposals are in addition to technologies we have already allowed under permitted development rights - but we can and want to go further.

"Cutting red tape in the planning system and making it easier for people to generate clean, green energy can boost Scotland's renewables sector and support jobs.

"Our proposals strike the right balance between powering ahead with renewables and safeguarding the quality of our environment."

Mike Thornton, Scottish Director of the Energy Saving Trust, said:

"Micro wind turbines and air source heat pumps have the potential to play a significant role in generating sustainable energy and contributing to Scotland's climate change targets. Permitted development rights for these technologies are an important step in reducing the barriers for their uptake."

Under these proposals, householders will be able to - with the exception of those in conservation areas or World Heritage Sites - install the following technologies through permitted development rights (without planning permission) in certain circumstances:

  • Wind turbines on buildings - Permitted if height above roof ridge does not exceed 3m (including blades) and subject to a maximum diameter of 2.2m or swept area of 3.8 sq.m - subject to meeting noise requirements with one turbine permitted per dwelling
  • Free-standing wind turbines of up to 3.5m diameter or 9.6 sq m swept area - Permitted if height on mast (including blades) does not exceed 11.1m, and is installed at a distance of more than 100m from the edge of the neighbour's property - subject to meeting noise requirements with one turbine permitted per dwelling
  • Wind turbines (free-standing) of up to 2.2m diameter (or 3.8 sq m swept area) - permitted if height on mast (including blades) does not exceed 11.1m. Must be installed at more than 11.1m from the edge of the neighbour's property - subject to meeting noise requirements with one turbine permitted per dwelling
  • Anemometer masts for wind trials - not to exceed 3m above roof if building-mounted or 11.1m free-standing. Subject to a 12-month limit and removal thereafter
  • Air source heat pumps - permitted if not visible from road in a conservation area. Subject to vibration attenuation installation and meeting noise requirements.

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