Following pressure by solar thermal manufacturers, plumbers, home owners, green organisations and trade bodies, the government has now amended that planning permission rule to allow installation of solar thermal systems without the need for a planning permission.
Caroline Flint, the Planning Minister said: “We want to make it easier to help people reduce their carbon footprint. Solar panels can make a real difference, but homeowners can be put off by the time and expense of getting planning permission. We think it is right that people have more freedom to make these changes, providing it has no impact on others.”
Plumbers that install solar thermal systems have welcomed the change, which came into effect in April 2008. Andrew Cooper, Head of on-site renewable for The Renewable Energy Association (REA) said: “This is a small but important first step in making solar thermal renewable energy an option for many householders. What is desperately needed now are suitable financial incentives for householders to install solar technology in their homes. This means providing a suitable financial reward for the energy that is produced at home. We also need to address the capital cost of installation.”
The government has indicated that further legislation will allow free standing and building mounted wind turbines on detached properties and air source heat pumps to be installed without the need for a planning permission. This change is awaiting clearance from the European Commission.