Planning Permission for Wind Turbines
The planning permission requirements for wind turbines in the UK vary depending on the size and location of the turbine, as well as the specific planning rules in your local area. However, there are some general guidelines that apply across the country.
In some cases, wind turbines may be considered “permitted development” and do not require planning permission. This is typically the case for small, stand-alone wind turbines that meet certain criteria, such as the highest part not exceeding 11.1 metres tall and complying with noise pollution limits.
Even if your wind turbine is considered permitted development, you may still need to notify your local planning authority. This is especially important if your turbine is located in a conservation area or other protected area.
Typically, larger wind turbines will require full planning permission. This is also the case for wind turbines that are not considered permitted development, even if they are small in size.
If you are considering installing a wind turbine, it is important to check with your local planning authority to determine the specific requirements that apply to your area. Our consultants at Collington Winter can assist you with the application process for wind turbines.
Constraints to Permitted Developments
As laid out in The Town and Country Planning Act, there are certain constraints to permitted developments of wind turbines:
I.2 Development is not permitted by Class I if—
(a) in the case of the installation of a stand alone wind turbine, the development would result in the presence of more than one stand alone wind turbine within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse or block of flats;
(b) in the case of the installation of a stand alone wind turbine, a wind turbine is installed on the dwellinghouse or on a building within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse or the block of flats;
(c) in the case of the installation of a stand alone wind turbine, an air source heat pump is installed on the dwellinghouse or block of flats or within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse or block of flats;
(d) the highest part of the stand alone wind turbine would exceed 11.1 metres in height;
(e) the distance between ground level and the lowest part of any wind turbine blade of the stand alone wind turbine would be less than five metres;
(f) any part of the stand alone wind turbine (including blades) would be located in a position which is less than a distance equivalent to the overall height (including blades) of the stand alone wind turbine plus 10 % of its height when measured from any point along the property boundary;
(g) the swept area of any blade of the stand alone wind turbine exceeds 3.8 square metres;
(h) the stand alone wind turbine would be installed on safeguarded land;
(i) the stand alone wind turbine would be installed on a site designated as a scheduled monument;
(j)the stand alone wind turbine would be installed within the curtilage of a building which is a listed building;
(k) in the case of land within a conservation area, the stand alone wind turbine would be installed so that it is nearer to any highway which bounds the curtilage than the part of the dwellinghouse or block of flats which is nearest to that highway; or
(l) the stand alone wind turbine would be installed on article 1(5) land other than land within a conservation area.
Obtaining Planning Permission for Wind Turbines
Planning permission for wind turbines in the UK is governed by a set of regulations and guidelines. The specific process and requirements can vary depending on the location and scale of the proposed development, but usually include:
- Pre-application Stage: Before submitting a formal planning application, it is advisable to engage with the local planning authority and other stakeholders. This can include conducting environmental studies, consulting with the community, and addressing any concerns or issues.
- Planning Application Submission: Once the necessary groundwork has been completed, a planning application needs to be submitted to the local planning authority. The application should include details such as the proposed location, turbine specifications, environmental impact assessments, visual impact assessments, and any other relevant information.
- Public Consultation: The local planning authority will typically undertake a public consultation process to gather feedback from the community and other interested parties. This may involve displaying notices, holding public meetings, and inviting comments on the proposed development.
- Planning Assessment: The local planning authority will evaluate the planning application, taking into account various factors such as landscape impact, noise levels, potential impact on wildlife, aviation concerns, and any objections or concerns raised during the public consultation. They will also consider national and local planning policies related to renewable energy and wind turbine installations.
- Decision: Based on the assessment, the local planning authority will make a decision to grant or refuse planning permission. They may impose specific conditions if permission is granted, such as restrictions on operating hours or requirements for environmental monitoring.
- Appeals: If planning permission is refused, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate, an independent government body. The appeal process involves a review of the application and may include a public inquiry or hearing.
Ecological Constraints Surrounding Planning Permission for Wind Turbines
Wind turbines can have an impact on wildlife, particularly birds and bats. The rotating blades of wind turbines can cause collisions, which can be fatal for wildlife.
Wind turbines can also have an impact on habitats. The construction of wind turbines can destroy or fragment habitats, which can impact the survival of plants and animals. They can also create noise and shadow flicker, which can disturb wildlife.
Additionally, turbines can have a visual impact on the landscape. This is particularly important in areas with designated conservation status, such as national parks, world heritage sites or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The planning permission process will therefore be required if you wish for a wind turbine to be sited on safeguarded land.
How can Collington Winter assist?
Our ecological consultants are fast-paced problem solvers, working with clients to obtain formal planning approval for their developments.
We can help with queries surrounding planning permission for both stand alone wind turbines and building mounted wind turbines.
If you are looking for an ecological consultant to assist you with planning permission for wind turbines, please get in touch today at email@example.com or call the team on 01204 939 608.