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Planning permission for wind turbines: Regulations and Tips

Wind turbines are becoming ever more popular among homeowners with the great source of renewable energy being ever more useful in the current energy market. With this addition to any property, understandably many TESUP customers who would like to install wind turbines on their house are concerned about the legality of such an operation. This is mostly covered by planning permission for domestic properties to install domestic wind turbines. The planning permission rules and laws vary from country to country and even locally within different districts of a given country. Due to this variability of laws and rules it can be difficult for anyone looking to install a wind turbine to make sure their installation complies with their local rules.

This blog will highlight a few things you should look into and consider if you are looking to purchase yourself a wind turbine to install on your property. We will particularly focus on the planning permission constraints put in place by governments and local governing bodies in the countries of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Germany. We will also look at some general tips for those outside those countries to get you started with some planning permission considerations when installing a small domestic wind turbine on your property. First we will look at the United Kingdom. Within the UK different requirements for wind turbines are applied depending on which country you live in: England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Island, it is always necessary to get planning permission to install a turbine. In England it is usually required to get planning permission for a wind turbine, however there are exceptions where planning permission is not needed. Planning permission is not needed if the turbine is classed as ‘permitted development’. Generally this applies when the property has not already had a wind turbine or heat pump installed. More information on these cases can be found at this link: In terms of what requirements need to be met to achieve planning permission, these also vary by country within the UK. Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish planning permission requires: That the wind turbine must be the only one present on the property; That the turbine is situated 100m from the boundaries of another property and that the wind turbine is not located in an area of special interest such as a conservation area, world heritage site, area of scientific interest or on the grounds of a listed building. More information can be found here:

England has requirements specific to the type of wind turbine. For building mounted turbines the requirements are that: the property must be detached; the top of the turbine blades should not be more than 3 metres taller than the height of the property or 15 metres above the ground; the turbine is at least 5 metres from the boundaries of the property. For pole mounted turbine installations the top of the turbine must not be more than 11.1 metres off the ground and the turbine should be at least 1.1 times its