Do You Need Planning Permission for Air Conditioning Installation?

Find out if you need Planning Permission for Air Conditioning Installation

Do You Need Planning Permission for Air Conditioning Installation?

Planning permission is a system in the UK where you must apply to your local authority before you begin building work, to make sure that it is safe and appropriate for the area.

Even when your building work is approved, it must be executed in line with your permitted development rights – your local authority will enforce this.

Do You Need Planning Permission for Your Home?

Generally, a standard small unit wouldn’t require planning permission for air conditioning installation. However, this may vary depending on the size of the unit and details for your specific property.

Specifically, you do need to make sure that the external part of your unit isn’t:

  • Fitted on a pitched roof.
  • Bigger than 0.6m³.
  • Closer than a metre to any property boundaries.
  • Closer than a metre to the edge of a flat roof.
  • On the same property as a wind turbine.

Do You Need Planning Permission for Commercial Premises?

This will depend on the size of your project. Larger projects will cause more disruption and so are more likely to require permission. So, whether you need planning permission for your commercial property will depend on the size of your air conditioning system.

Other than the size of your unit, you will also need to apply if:

  • You’re installing the unit onto a pitched roof.
  • You’re installing within 1 metre of the boundary of any property.
  • You’re installing within 1 metre of the edge of a flat roof.

Exceptions to the Rule

If your property is on specially designated land, there might be extra regulations that you have to follow. These considerations will apply whether your premises is a property or for commercial use. These areas include:

  • Conservation areas.
  • National parks.
  • Areas of outstanding natural beauty.
  • World heritage sites.

Other situations to be aware of are if your unit causes noise pollution or if your building is of historic interest. Listed buildings and conservation areas, in particular, are subject to a number of regulations. Plus, if you do not own the premises you will need to seek consent from your landlord.

If your unit isn’t placed on the front of your property and is out of plain view, then you may not need planning permission in some of these circumstances – especially if your unit is quiet. But if in doubt, check with your local authority, as these regulations may vary.

Don’t Get Caught Out!

Nobody is above the law, and your local authority will enforce these rules. In fact, celebrity Gary Lineker was in the news last month for exactly this. He failed to apply for planning permission for the four air-con units he added to his home, as he thought he wouldn’t need it. That’s why, if you’re unsure, we always recommend checking with your local authority.

At MAC our engineers pride themselves on being up to date with current legislation and are fully certified for air conditioning installation. Get in touch today!

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