Planning permission rules relaxed on EWI to help boost Green Deal

The Government announced the decision to relax planning rules for solid wall insulation yesterday in a move to encourage the take up of the Green Deal.

Energy minister Greg Barker and his department agreed a clarification to planning rules with colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which will mean that the majority of solid wall insulation installations will not require planning permission.

Mr Barker commented: “It’s really the solid wall market that is going to be most impacted by the Green Deal. From the get go we will have a transformation in solid wall installation numbers.”

He went on to say that one of the main drivers for householders to choose to adopt solid wall insulation as a viable energy saving solution, was that it was clearly visible to neighbours and would almost certainly attract further customers to the scheme as they would see the improvements it can bring.

There had been concerns from industry that installing solid wall insulation would need planning permission because planning rules state you are not allowed to extend a building past its principle front elevation without permission. However DCLG has now clarified that installing the insulation will be deemed to be an improvement to the property not an extension meaning it falls within the scope of permitted development, which requires no permission. However, planning permission will still be required for a small selection of properties such as listed buildings.

The latest technical guidance can be downloaded in PDF format here.

The Green Deal will fully launch on 28 January when finance plans under the scheme will become available.