Do I Need Planning Permission for Aerials?

Aerials are the way that most people receive a digital TV signal. Aerials are usually installed on the roofs of buildings. You can fix aerials to either the chimney stack or the gable end of the roof. Generally, you will not need to apply for planning permission to install an aerial on the roof of your home, or elsewhere on your property. Aerials are covered under permitted development rights. This means you can install an aerial without applying for planning permission. However, there are restrictions on the size and type of aerials that you can install under permitted development. Read on to find out more about these restrictions.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is a system that controls building work in an area. The system means that for some kinds of work, you need to apply for permission from the local authority. The planning permission system makes sure that building work is safe and appropriate for the area. Local authorities enforce the planning permission system.

Some types of work are automatically covered by permitted development rights. These rights mean that this kind of work will not need planning permission.

Permitted development rights and aerials

Aerials are covered by permitted development rights. This means that you will not need to apply to the local authority for planning permission. There are restrictions on the number and size of aerials that you can install under permitted development rights. If you want to install an aerial that does not meet these restrictions, you will need to apply for planning permission.

If you live in a flat, these restrictions apply to the entire building. These restrictions apply to both satellite dishes and traditional aerials.

There are two categories of restrictions. The first applies to houses up to 15 metres high, and the second applies to houses above 15 metres.

Houses up to 15 metres high

Aerials installed on these houses must meet the following restrictions:

  • There can be no more than 2 aerials on the property
  • If you are installing 1 antenna, it can be no wider than 1 metre
  • If you are installing 2 antennas, 1 can be no wider than 1 metre, the other can be no wider than 60cm
  • The cubic capacity of an antenna cannot be more than 35 litres
  • An antenna attached to a chimney stack can be no wider than 60cm
  • An antenna mounted on the roof with a chimney stack should not stick out above the roof any higher than 60cm above the chimney stack
  • If an antenna is mounted on the roof and there is no chimney stack, the antenna should not stick out above the roof

Houses over 15 metres high

Aerials installed on these types of houses must meet these restrictions:

  • There can be no more than 4 aerials on the property
  • Each aerial can be no wider than 130cm
  • The cubic capacity of each aerial is less than 35 litres
  • An antenna mounted onto a chimney stack can be no wider than 60cm
  • An antenna mounted on the roof cannot stick up any higher than 300cm from the highest point of the roof

You will also need to make sure that your aerial installation does not break any other laws or regulations. For example, aerials cannot overhang onto a neighbour’s property.

Conservation areas and listed buildings

In conservation areas, the above restrictions apply. There is one extra restriction:

  • You cannot install an aerial on a chimney, wall or roof which faces or is visible from a road

The way this restriction works can be different in some areas. It’s usually worth checking with your local authority if you’re not sure.

If you live in a listed building, you will usually need to apply for listed building consent to install an aerial. Speak to your local authority for advice on this.

The restrictions on aerial installations can be difficult. It’s usually best to speak to an experienced aerial installer. They can offer you advice on the best way to get a perfect TV signal while still meeting the permitted development rights restrictions. If you need an aerial which does not meet these restrictions, you can apply for planning permission. Aerial installation companies will be able to help you with this process.

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