Generating energy from renewable sources is good for the environment and good for your pocket as a householder.  But if you are thinking of installing an air source heat pump do you need planning permission or not?

To find out if you do read on, or call Claire on 01282 872570.

Renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar and hydropower, offer clean alternatives to fossil fuels. They produce little or no pollution or greenhouse gases, and they will never run out.

This fifth guide will concentrate on air source heat pumps.  Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home.

An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C. Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the ground, air, or water is constantly being renewed naturally.

The benefits of an air source heat pump are that it could lower your fuel bills, especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating; provide you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI); lower your home’s carbon emissions; no need for fuel deliveries; provide heat and hot water for your home; they need very little maintenance – they’re called ‘fit and forget’ technology; and can be easier to install than a ground source heat pump, though efficiencies may be lower.

Within The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2011 Part 40 relating to the “Installation of Domestic Microgeneration Equipment” includes Class G which relates to the installation of air source heat pumps within the curtilage of a dwelling house.

Class G gives householders “permitted development rights” to install air source heat pumps within the curtilage of a house without planning permission in some instances.  In this class there are 11 criteria and 4 conditions which the installation has to satisfy.

One of the main criteria is that the air source heat pump complies with the MCS Planning Standards.  This 23 page document sets out the standards to enable products to be certified and installation companies to be approved and relates to reflecting surfaces and noise levels.

If you are unsure, here at Kirkwells, we can advise you whether your development needs planning permission or not.  Just give us a call on 01282 872570 or email Claire Parker at

If your installation requires planning permission, we can also handle the submission on your behalf.

Kirkwells also has a network of professionals who are experienced at installing renewable energy systems on houses.  If you wish to discuss this, please give us a call and we will put you in touch with someone who can help you.


©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley
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