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Do I need planning permission to install a biomass boiler?

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 29 December 2016 at 12:05 pm

In a few cases you will need planning permission to install a biomass boiler. Biomass heating systems do not generally require planning permission as they are deemed ‘permitted developments’, but in some cases the visual impact of the flue or alterations to the building may be an issue.

You should check with your local council’s planning department whether consent is needed in the following circumstances:

  • if the flue exceeds the height of the roof by one metre or more;
  • if you live in a conservation area or world heritage site and the flue is to be installed on a wall or roof slope which fronts a highway;
  • if you live in a listed building.

Councils which need to improve local air quality may also have air quality management areas. If you live in such an area in Scotland you may need to apply for planning permission to install a biomass boiler.

There are slightly different planning rules for small-scale renewable energy schemes for those of you living in Wales.  

You’ll also need to find out if you live in a smoke control area as extra rules will apply. Your installer should be able to advise you.

Once you have chosen your boiler, you’ll need to check that the boiler installation will meet safety standards which can be found in the Building Regulations.

Thinking about these issues before you install an appliance will make the whole process a lot smoother.

More information:

1. Deciding if biomass heating is for you  (Forestry Commission)

2. Renewable Heat Incentive eligible boilers

3. Smoke Control Areas on YouGen 

4. Building Regulations on YouGen.

Image credit: FreeVector

More about Biomass Boilers and  Energy Saving and Renewable Energy on YouGen.

Find a Biomass Boiler installer

About the author: Trish is a web content writer with the National Energy Foundation.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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