Planning Portal

Planning rules eased to help reduce home heating costs - Durkan

Published on Wed, 19 Feb 2014 by
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today announced a boost for people seeking to save on their energy bills.
From 10 March homeowners will no longer need planning permission for installing, altering or replacing air source heat pumps in homes. These pumps absorb heat from the outside air and help save money by reducing heating costs. They are also better for the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and using a sustainable energy source.
Mark H Durkan said: “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 homeowners 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 homeowners to install, alter or replace these pumps whilst putting in place safeguards to protect neighbours and the wider environment.”
The Minister concluded: “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.”
Notes to editors:
  1. In Northern Ireland, the Planning (General Development) Order (NI) 1993 (S.R. 1993 No. 278 as amended) (the “GDO”) sets out what type of development can be undertaken without requiring a planning application. These are referred to as permitted development rights and often relate to minor works that are generally non-contentious and have minor impact to neighbours and on the environment.
  2. The Planning (General Development) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2014 (S.R. 2014 No. 31) which comes into operation on 10 March 2014 amends the GDO by introducing new permitted development rights for domestic air source heat pumps. You can view the the Statutory Rule here
  3. The extension of permitted development rights will reduce the number of planning applications that need to be submitted for minor development. This will contribute to further streamlining the planning system and ensure that it concentrates resources on those applications that require detailed examination.
  4. All media enquiries should be directed to the DOE Press Office on 028 9025 6058 or for out of office hours, contact the duty press officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
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