Planning changes for domestic air source heat pumps in Scotland

Published:  12 May, 2016


A change in Scottish planning law means planning permission is no longer required for the installation, alteration or replacement of a domestic air source heat pump, subject to a number of conditions.

Following an amendment of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992, development of air source heat pumps in Scotland is now permitted providing; that the air source heat pump is only used to provide domestic heating or hot water; it is removed as soon as reasonably practical if the air source heat pump is no longer needed or not fit for purpose; and it complies with MCS Planning Standards or equivalent. There are also restrictions on the location of the air source heart pump, including impact on surrounding buildings.

Heat pump manufacturer Dimplex has welcomed the decision and says it could encourage more Scottish homes to take advantage of renewable heat.

Chris Stammers, product marketing director at Dimplex, said: “The climate in Scotland is well suited to air source heat pumps, a proven technology which is helping to drive down to cost of heating for thousands of householders – especially in rural areas which have no access to gas. Unfortunately though, the need to apply for planning permission has understandably put some people off.

“With this change, it becomes easier for installers to sell the benefits of an air source heat pump and I’m confident once they understand the cost-savings that can be generated over its lifetime, many more householders will go green.

“A Dimplex air source heat pump, for example, can pay back in as little as five years thanks to reduced energy bills and income generated through the Renewable Heat Incentive.”

For full details about the amendment of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992, visit http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2016/126/article/3/made.