The Government is to cut planning restrictions on micro-renewable technology
as a new report proposes streamlining the planning system for household applications.
Ministers today announced the Government will reduce planning restrictions
for small scale micro-generation - including solar panels and small wind-turbines
- as part of measures to simplify the planning system around minor developments.
The new report published today by the Governments Householder Development
Consents Review Steering Group says certain householder applications and those
for small scale micro-renewable technology - such as solar water heating and
small wind turbines - should be allowed to go ahead without the need for a planning
application. The Government will publish detailed proposals on micro-generation
which take account of size and the impact on neighbours in the autumn.
The review also proposes streamlining the planning system for household extensions
that require planning permission but where neighbours do not object. The number
of household applications has more than doubled over the last ten years yet
the vast majority of these are approved with no objection at all. These planning
applications create unnecessary costs and delays for householders as well as
taking up time and resources for local planning authorities.
The review also says that the need for applications for extensions should be
judged on their impact rather than volume or size. Current rules say that if
you have already extended your home you may need planning permission for a simple
dormer window or conservatory. These rules can also permit developments that
overshadow or intrude on privacy simply because they meet arbitrary volume limits.
Following the report the Government is now examining ways to streamline and
simplify the system. By focussing on impact, the Government is looking to remove
unnecessary applications whilst increasing protections for neighbours. This
means the planning system can focus more resources on major developments.
Yvette Cooper said:
It is absurd that you should be able to put a satellite dish up on your
house but should have to wrestle with the planning process for small scale micro-generation
which is no more obtrusive and can have a real impact on tackling climate change.
We want far more micro-generation to be treated as permitted development and
we also should be able to simplify the system for small developments such as
The Government plans to consult on detailed proposals in the autumn. Any changes
to the system will come into effect in 2007.
The Householder Development Consents Review (HDCR) Steering Group Report includes
eleven recommendations for making planning controls more proportionate, improving
the customer experience and providing greater choice for householders through
alternative service providers. Further reforms will be announced in due course.
The Government is also welcoming Kate Barkers interim report on Land
Use Planning today which makes clear that further changes are needed to increase
the global competitiveness of the UK economy.