Planning Permission for Wind Turbines

By Katie Anderson on August 4th, 2011

Planning permission for installing wind turbines in England can be rather complicated, but it is an issue that is evolving.

As a general rule, in the majority of cases you will need planning consent if you are thinking of installing a domestic wind turbine to your property, or in the grounds surrounding your home. This especially applies if the building is in a “designated area”, for example in a Conservation Area, a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Currently it is up to each individual local authority to determine what information you will need to submit with your application, therefore it’s important to contact your local authority before you apply, to check the issues surrounding planning consent.

Since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22), local authorities in England are expected to “encourage and promote” the development of renewable energy, including the development of small scale wind energy.

The PPS22 provides local planning authorities with guidance from the Government concerning micro generation schemes. The policy states that planners can only object on environmental grounds, which can be subjective, and will take into consideration things like the physical natural dangers to wildlife, serious noise and serious visual impact.

Deciding factors

Other issues taken into consideration include:

  • Noise and visual effect
  • Access to the site
  • Turbine height and location
  • Electrical interference (with TV aerials)
  • Vibration
  • Safety

Planning authorities are not allowed to reject applications for the installation of wind turbines based solely on neighbours objections. However it is always beneficial to consult your neighbours beforehand.

The bottom line when it comes to planning permission for wind turbines is to always check with your local authority about planning issues before you go ahead and install the technology.

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