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Welsh ease planning rules for renewable energy

Welsh planning rules for domestic renewable energy installations have been changed to make it easier for homeowners to generate their own heat and electricity.

Following Scotland’s lead, the Welsh Assembly has announced new regulations which mean that some microgeneration technologies will no longer need planning permission from the beginning of September this year.

Environment, sustainability & housing minister Jane Davidson said: “Micro -generation  has  a  major  role  to  play  in  decarbonising  energy  supply  and  helping tackle climate  change. Wales  has  a  large  share  of  off  gas-grid,  hard  to  heat  and  hard  to  treat  homes.  In  these  cases,  micro-generation  can  be  the  most  effective  method  of  removing  people  from  fuel  poverty and providing energy security.

The technologies covered by the new rules will include solar thermal panels, ground and water source heat pumps, flues associated with biomass and combined heat power systems on, or within, the boundary of houses and flats (although, of course, they will still be subject to "certain criteria").

On a competitive note, Jane Davidson added: "I am particularly pleased that we have gone further than the authorities in England by allowing stand alone solar panels up to the boundaries of properties, providing they satisfy certain height and highway criteria."

We’ll bring you the detail of the new rules as soon as they are announced.

Photo by Milena Mihaylova

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