Planning Portal

Draft PPS 18: Renewable Energy
Policy RE 2  Justification & Amplification: Micro-Generation

4.29. Micro-generation is widely accepted to be the production of heat (less than 45 kW capacity) and/or electricity (less than 50kW capacity) from low or zero carbon energy sources. In addition to the carbon benefits, increased use of micro-renewables plays an important part in diversifying our energy mix and ensuring security of energy supply. It can allow energy to be produced and consumed locally, help alleviate fuel poverty (especially in off-gas network areas) and play a part in meeting renewable energy targets.
4.30. Some forms of micro-generation development currently benefit from permitted development rights under the Planning (General Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 1993 and therefore do not require an application for planning permission. These existing permitted development rights mostly date back to before the 1990s and were not designed to facilitate micro-generation development.
4.31. The Department recently consulted on a review of existing householder permitted development rights and overall is seeking to provide a simplified regulatory regime for micro-generation development that will facilitate such development5. Following the outcome of this review, further amplification will be provided to this policy.
4.32. In the meantime, Planning Service Information Leaflet 12 published in August 2006 provides guidance to householders on the extent to which small scale renewable energy development could currently be ‘permitted development’.
4.33. The Department will encourage developers to consider the opportunity for incorporating renewable energy projects in all new developments. Small scale renewable energy schemes utilising technologies such as solar panels, Biomass heating, small scale wind turbines, photovoltaic cells and combined heat and power schemes can be incorporated both into new developments and some existing buildings.
5 Further information about the consultation on householder Permitted Development rights for small-scale renewable energy (micro-generation) can be found on the Planning Service website
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