Planning Portal

Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Ground Source Heat Pumps: Planning Issues

H7. Any enlargement, improvement or other alteration to a dwelling house, or the provision, alteration or improvement of any building or enclosure within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse, required to facilitate heat pump development may be permitted development under Schedule 1 Part 1 Classes A and D of the Planning (General Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 1993. However, heat pumps are considered to be plant and machinery and where all or part of the equipment is not installed within an existing dwellinghouse or building permitted under the existing Part 1, could require a planning application. The Department has recently consulted about new permitted development rights for small scale renewable energy development associated with dwellinghouses. The definition of development also includes ‘engineering operations’. Examples of activities held to fall within the definition of engineering operations include drilling of exploratory bore holes. Although, it should be noted that following the drilling and installation of heat pumps the ground can be returned to the previous state.


H8. As the installation of ground source heat pumps will require the excavation of trenches or deep boreholes it is important to consider in advance whether archaeological remains exist on the development site and what the implications of the development might be. The needs of archaeology and development can usually be reconciled, and much potential conflict reduced. Further details on archaeology can be found in Planning Policy Statement 6, Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage. Information on the location of scheduled monuments, and other known archaeological sites or areas with archaeological potential is held by the Department’s Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) Built Heritage.


H9. Applicants should be aware that the construction or extraction of a borehole or well for the purpose of abstraction, or the abstraction or discharge to the water environment may require an authorisation from EHS Water Management Unit. Applicants should contact EHS for further details. Care should be taken when constructing boreholes to prevent contamination of the borehole itself and of the groundwater resource in general.
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