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Scots make renewable energy easier

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 February 2009 at 11:06 am

The Scottish Government has made it easier for people to get renewable energy for their home following a consultation on planning reform. The aim of the consultation was to increase renewable energy generation and cut carbon emissions. The result is that anyone living in Scotland will be able to install most of the renewable energy technologies without planning permission.

Solar panels, biomass systems and ground and water source heat pumps are now counted as Permitted Development, meaning that planning permission is not needed, unless you live in a conservation area or world heritage site and the development is on a principal elevation or visible from a road. There are also restrictions for listed buildings and for flues or panels mounted on the walls of buildings containing flats.

The Scottish Government found that it needs to do further work before it brings in permitted development rights for air source heat pumps and wind turbines. Ministers have commissioned an independent study to look at the issues in more detail, and it should report before the end of the year.

This simplification of the planning process for renewables in Scotland is most welcome. Let's hope that the rest of the UK follows suit. And do let us know about your own planning stories - both the nightmares and the successes.

Scottish Government press release

Photo by roland

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