Domestic Wind Turbines - Permitted Development in Conservation Areas
In a move proposed to demonstrate the Government’s Green Credentials, a major exemption has been given to those seeking to erect domestic wind turbines or install solar panels in Conservation Areas. Whilst other land (Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments, National Parks, etc.) are subject to restraint, the Government has specifically allowed micro generation in Conservation Areas – be prepared for a Localism Backlash, when the good burghers of ‘Little Nestling in the Wolds’ see what’s coming down their street though.
The amendment to Part 40 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order comes into effect on the 1st December 2011 and allows for the installation and replacement of a single wind turbine on a detached dwelling or a detached building within the curtilage of a dwelling house or a block of flats. The key restriction is that the proposed turbine must be less than 15m high or not protrude more than 3 metres above the highest part of the roof, whichever is the lesser. So there won’t be many wind turbines on detached bungalows then! Other restrictions mean that the wind turbine should not be located on safeguarded land, or within 5 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwelling house or block of flats. In each case, the sweep of the blade should not exceed 3.8m2 the distance between the ground level and the lowest part of the blade will be less than 5 metres.
The new Regulations will also permit stand alone wind turbines that do not exceed 11.1m high to be installed within the curtilage of dwelling houses or block of flats (note the absence of the word detached here) where they meet similar criteria.
What is quite surprising is that although the Regulations restrict wind turbines from Article 1(5) land they specifically exclude land within a Conservation Area, where turbines can be installed providing that they are not installed on a roof slope or wall fronting a highway.
It remains to be seen how many new Microgeneration turbines come forward as a consequence of the amended Regulations.