Your Boiler and Planning Permission

Many homeowners choose to replace or install a new boiler at some point in their lives. This may be because their current boiler is faulty, too old or simply not very energy efficient.

Before you go ahead and install your new boiler, you need to work out whether you need planning permission.

Failing to get planning permission when needed can result in you having to change your boiler back to the one you replaced. This can be frustrating, time-consuming and expensive.

Read on to find out more about planning permission and if you need to apply for it.

What’s planning permission?

Planning permission is something you need before going ahead with specific types of building work. To get planning permission, you need to complete an application and send it to your local planning authority.

When your local planning authority receives your application, they will first check if the work you want to do needs planning permission. If it doesn’t, they will tell you and you can get on with the job. If it does, then they will use local and national planning guidelines to help them decide whether to give it to you. When making this decision, planning authorities usually consider the size, appearance, use and access of whatever you want to build or alter. They will also think about whether it will have any effect on your neighbours.

Do I need planning permission to install a new boiler?

You don’t usually need planning permission to replace or install a new boiler. However, if it needs an external flue this needs to be:

  • No more than 1 metre above the highest part of the roof if it’s on the rear or side of a property
  • Not on the principle or side elevation of a property if it fronts a highway and is on designated land. Designated land includes national parks, conservation areas, World Heritage Sites and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

If you’re not planning on adhering to these rules then you need to apply for planning permission.

If you live in a listed building then we recommend you contact your local planning authority before doing any boiler installation work, even if you’re planning to comply with the above regulations.

How do I contact my local planning authority or apply for planning permission?

You can contact your local planning authority using the details on their website. If you’re not sure who your local planning authority is, then you can use the government’s handy online tool to find out.

You can also apply for planning permission through your local authority’s website.

So now you should know more about planning permission and if you need to apply for it. To find out more about other regulations that apply to boiler installation, take a look at our information on Building Regulations.

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