Northern Ireland Planning Service support Air Source Heat Pumps?

Planning Service NI promote Air Source heat pumps?


Welcomed announcement by Environment Minister?

Below is an edited press release from the Planning Service.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan announced that  from 10th March 2014, home owners will no longer need planning permission for installing, altering or replacing air source heat pumps in homes.

Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air, and use it to heat your home or office. They work like a fridge in reverse, and help you save money by reducing heating costs by reducing energy use. In the process this also lowers carbon dioxide emissions.

Mark H Durkan stated,

“This really is a win-win, a boost for the environment whilst removing red tape to help households enjoy the benefits of renewable energy and cheaper heating bills. Increasing the range of renewable energy technologies which home owners can install, without the need for planning permission, should encourage more people to turn to a more sustainable energy supply. This will all help create a cleaner, greener, more energy efficient Northern Ireland.

These new rights strike an essential balance by freeing up home owners to install, alter or replace these pumps, whilst putting in place safeguards to protect neighbours and the wider environment.”

However when you read the Statutory Rule you find the following;

G.1 Development is not permitted by Class G if—

  1. it would result in the presence within the curtilage of more than one air source heat pump;
  2. any part of the air source heat pump would be less than 30 metres from a dwelling house (other than the dwelling house on which the air source heat pump is being installed, altered or replaced);
  3. any part of the air source heat pump would be situated on land forward of a wall which—

    (i) faces onto a road; and

    (ii)forms either the principal elevation or a side elevation of the original dwelling house;

  4. in the case of a dwelling house within a World Heritage Site or conservation area any part of the air source heat pump faces onto and is visible from a road;
  5. the external unit of the air source heat pump would exceed 2 metres in height;
  6. the air source heat pump would be installed on a roof;
  7. the air source heat pump would be situated within the curtilage of a listed building unless listed building consent for the development has previously been granted.

Conditions G.2 Development is permitted by Class G subject to the following conditions—

  • the air source heat pump would be used to provide heat for use within the curtilage of the dwelling house; and
  • when no longer used to provide heat it shall be removed as soon as reasonably practicable.”

So as with all such pronouncements important to check the detail. How many of you could locate 30m away from an adjoining dwelling house?


The Minister then concluded by stating that,

“I have already cut through much red tape and these rules announced today are further evidence of this as they will speed up planning decisions by reducing unnecessary applications. Just recently I announced a consultation on a shorter, simpler planning policy for the North, which will make the planning system clearer and easier to use. This is all part of my vision for a fast, fair and fit for purpose planning system that will create a better environment and a stronger economy.”

At A.L.D.A. Architects Belfast we hope he succeeds in that endeavour!