Are Air Conditioning Units Included in Permitted Development Rights?

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One of things you may need help with when installing an air conditioning unit is whether or not you need planning permission? If you are unsure whether air conditioning units are included in permitted development rights we explain all you need to know below.

What is permitted development?

Permitted development rights grant homeowners the automatic right to make alterations to their homes without the need to apply for planning permission. This is a right offered to most houses, although not to flats and maisonettes. However, it only covers certain types of building work. Even if you believe you have permitted development rights you should always first check with your local authority before any work starts.

Are air conditioning units included in permitted development rights?

In the vast majority of cases an air conditioning unit can be installed under permitted development rights, so planning permission does not have to be applied for. This is true for smaller systems that are being installed in one room.

However, for larger air conditioning systems permitted development rights may not cover the scale of the work required. The deciding factor will likely be the size of the condenser unit and where it is being installed. As long as the system avoids the following you shouldn’t have to apply for planning permission:

Are there any noise regulations?

The installation of the external compressor unit should be positioned in an appropriate location as the component is the most likely to create noise. There are no noise regulations included in planning permission guidelines but you should be aware that a noisy unit could affect the neighbours.

This is why it is advisable to invest in systems that use ‘soft start’ technology. Additional fencing and bushes in the garden can help improve sound proofing and most importantly of all, ensure the compressor is installed an appropriate distance away from neighbouring buildings.

When is planning permission required?

Planning permission for an air conditioning unit is likely to be required if the system is installed in a listed building or in a conservation area. However, if the unit cannot be seen on the front elevation of the house and it runs quietly, planning permission may not be needed. Always check this is the case with the local authority before work begins.

Get a free survey and quote

If you are unsure whether you need planning permission for your air conditioning unit, get in touch with AAC today to arrange a free quote and survey at a time that suits you. Email or call 01707 32 55 66.

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