Air source heat pumps take warmth from the air and use an evaporator coil to supply heating or hot water to a building.
Ground source heat pumps consist of pipes underneath the ground which extract warmth to supply heating or hot water to a building. This requires a certain amount of space externally.
Heat pumps need planning permission in the following circumstances:
Air source heat pumps
You only need to apply for planning permission if:
- the volume of an air source heat pump unit (including housing) exceeds 0.6 cubic metres
- there is an existing air source heat pump on a building or within the gardens or grounds
- it is within 1m of the property boundary
- it is on a pitched roof or less than 1m from the edge of a flat roof
- on a wall which fronts a highway, and any part of that wall is above the level of the ground storey
- in a conservation area, it would be on a wall or roof which fronts a highway, or be nearer to any highway which adjoins the property than any part of the building
- your house or flat is a listed building, or within the garden or grounds of a listed building
- a wind turbine is installed on the same building or within the curtilage of the dwelling house or block of flats
- a stand-alone wind turbine is installed within the curtilage of the dwelling house or block of flats;
Additionally the following conditions must be met:
- the air source heat pump is used solely for heating purposes
- the air source heat pump is, so far as practicable, sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building
- the air source heat pump is, so far as practicable, sited so as to minimise its effect on the amenity of the area
- the air source heat pump is removed as soon as reasonably practicable when no longer needed
In addition, as air source heat pumps can be noisy you must comply with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standards (MCS 020) or equivalent standards in order to be permitted development.
If you live in a listed building, you will need both planning permission and listed building consent.
Ground source heat pumps
Installation within the curtilage (the garden or grounds) of a house or block of flats does not require planning permission, but if the property is listed, listed building consent may be required.
Heat pumps are best suited to buildings with good insulation levels. If homes do not already have good levels of insulation, this may need to be added internally or externally depending on local circumstances.