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Wind turbines

The installation, alteration or replacement of a standalone wind turbine which is not building mounted, within the boundaries of a house or block of flats, can be considered to be permitted development. This does not need an application for planning permission.

To benefit from permitted development, all of the following limits and conditions must be met:

  • development is only permitted if the standalone wind turbine installation complies with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standard (MCS 020) or equivalent standards
  • only the first installation of any wind turbine would be permitted development, and only if there is no existing air source heat pump at the property
  • additional wind turbines or air source heat pumps at the same property require an application for planning permission
  • the highest part of the wind turbine, including blades, would either:

    (i) protrude more than 3 metres above the highest part of the roof, excluding the chimney

    (ii) exceed more than 15 metres in height

    whichever is the lesser:

  • the distance between ground level and the lowest part of any wind turbine blade must not be less than five metres
  • an installation is not permitted if any part of the standalone wind turbine, including blades, would be in a position which is less than a distance equivalent to the overall height of the turbine, including blades, plus 10 per cent of its height when measured from any point along the property boundary
  • the swept area of any standalone wind turbine blade must be no more than 3.8 square metres
  • in conservation areas, development would not be permitted if the standalone wind turbine would be installed so that it is nearer to any highway which bounds the curtilage (garden or grounds) of the house or block of flats than the part of the house or block of flats which is nearest to that highway
  • permitted development rights do not apply to a turbine within the curtilage of a Listed Building or within a site designated as a Scheduled Monument, an area of natural beauty or on designated land other than Conservation Areas

In addition, the following conditions must also be met, and the wind turbine must:

  • use non-reflective materials on blades
  • be removed as soon as reasonably practicable when no longer needed for microgeneration
  • be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building and its effect on the amenity of the area

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