Policy Guidance - Wood Biofuel - England

English Policy

It is recommended that for any installation it is advisable to contact your local planning department to inform them of your intentions. The following points, however, should be considered:

• Biomass boilers are allowed as ‘Permitted Development’ under the Government’s new legislation which came into force in April 2008, as long as the flue does not rise more than 1m above the roof line and/or faces into and visible from a highway in a conservation area or World Heritage Site.

• If you live in an urban area you should check if it is in a smoke control zone. If this is the case the biomass boiler you install must be an exempted appliance. Follow this link to find out if you live in a smoke control zone: http://uksmokecontrolareas.co.uk/locations.php. Also check to see if the appliances you are considering are exempt: http://uksmokecontrolareas.co.uk/appliances.php.

• Outside smoke control areas there is no legislation other than a general prohibition on not creating nuisance, and a requirement to not emit ‘dark smoke’. Burning dry wood on well designed appliances should give no cause for concern.

• Some sites have to get planning consent for change of use of an agricultural building when placing a boiler in an out building. If you think this could be an issue it is best to contact your local planning officer and have an informal discussion.

• Visual impact. If you live in a listed building, conservation area, AONB, National Park or other designated area then you will need to consult your local planning authority about the installation and construction of a chimney flue, fuel storage silo or boiler house.

• Fuel deliveries. For larger installations the number of vehicle movements may be a planning issue, as might the size and type of delivery trucks.