Do You Need Planning Permission for Commercial Air Conditioning?

Do You Need Planning Permission for Commercial Air Conditioning?

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Commercial Air Conditioning & Planning Permission

Installing a commercial air conditioning unit provides a welcome relief from the heat and humidity that plagues the summer months, whilst also offering a cosy escape from the annual cold and icy weather in the winter season. However, when looking to install a new system, it’s important to find out if you need planning permission for your commercial air conditioning unit. We understand this may feel like an unnecessary headache, however planning permission is an important step to follow as it could affect you and your property when it comes to future selling plans or paying hefty penalty fines.

In this blog we’ll look at why and when planning permission is required, the exceptions to the rule and how to go about applying if you fit the criteria.

Why is Planning Permission Required for Commercial Air Conditioning?

You’ll be happy to hear that in many cases, planning permission will not be required to install your commercial air conditioning unit. It is only necessary for those that significantly alter the external appearance of a building. So, if you’re planning to place the external unit in any of the following locations, it is very likely that planning permission will be required.

  • On a pitched roof
  • Within one metre of the edge of a flat roof
  • Less than one metre away from the property’s boundary

Commercial Air Conditioning: Does It Need Planning Permission?

However, the size and noise of your external unit will also need to be taken into consideration. If the volume is more than 0.6m3 , then again planning permission should be sought out. This is because larger units have greater noise outputs and are more visible from the street, all of which could impact nearby neighbours. Also, if there is a wind turbine on your property or in close proximity, you should speak to your local council. The planning permission process assesses the potential noise impacts on neighbours as well as ensures commercial AC systems meet aesthetic standards.

What Exceptions Are There for Commercial Air Con Planning Permission?

Although each council and local authority will have its own exemptions, some general factors affect whether you should seek out planning permission for your commercial air conditioning system. For one if you are replacing or upgrading a current system, in most cases permission should already be granted. On top of this if your commercial property lies within a non-residential area or your AC unit is for personal use, again planning permission is likely not needed as noise pollution is unlikely to affect local residents. If the AC unit is not visible from the street or does not impact the exterior like those hidden on rooftops, you may also be exempt.

To find out more about our commercial air conditioning units, feel free to get in touch with a member of the team at MAC. We have a specialist team of air conditioning experts ready to help you unlock the full benefits of our commercial systems.

How To Apply for Planning Permission for Your Commercial Air Conditioning Systems?

Again, the application process varies slightly depending on your local council but generally, it involves submitting a form and the provision of supporting documents that should be sent to your local council’s planning department. You’ll also need to provide details on the unit specifications, noise levels, proposed placement, and potential visual impact. Any evidence that supports the necessity of your AC unit should be included too. It typically takes anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks before you hear anything back and should your request be rejected, there is always the opportunity to appeal.

Looking for a Commercial Air Conditioning Solution? Get Your FREE Quote Today

If you’re currently looking for a commercial air conditioning unit, or maybe we’ve piqued your curiosity and you would love to learn more, then why not get in touch today? Simply call, email or book an in-person visit with a member of the team. You can also contact us through social media for a speedy response. Finally, fill out our quick commercial fixed price calculator for a free no-obligation quote and let us do the rest.



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