Insulation, heat pumps and solar guidance (May 2022)

Wall Insulation, Air Source Heat Pumps and Solar Photovoltaics in a Heritage Context

When considering the installation of wall insulation, air source heat pumps or solar photovoltaic panels for your property, you should be aware that for certain historic buildings or areas, planning approval (in the form of either Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent, or both) will be required from the Local Planning Authority before you carry out that work. In addition, in some circumstances, that approval might not be given, where the character of the property or wider area is considered to be harmed. In all cases, such alterations need to be carefully considered, expert advice may be needed and regular maintenance remains necessary.

Before you apply for grant funding for any of these schemes, it is suggested that you seek advice from the Local Planning Authority’s Conservation Officers where wall insulation, air source heat pumps or solar photovoltaics are proposed. However, in general terms, the following standing advice applies:

Wall insulation

Wall insulation

For unlisted buildings in Conservation Areas:

  • External wall insulation always requires Planning Permission (PP);
  • PP would only be approved where the Conservation Area’s character and appearance is not harmed;
  • Internal wall insulation doesn’t need PP.

For Listed Buildings:

  • Both external and internal wall insulation always requires Listed Building Consent (LBC). External also requires PP in a Conservation Area or on a non-residential building.
  • LBC only approved if special architectural & historic interest of Listed Building is preserved.

Air source heat pumps

Air source heat pump

For unlisted dwellings in Conservation Areas:

  • PP is not required, unless:
    1. it is over 0.6 metres cubed in volume,
    2. there is more than 1 unit proposed,
    3. it would be within 1 metre of the curtilage boundary,
    4. it would be on a pitched roof,
    5. it would be on a flat roof within 1 metre of the roof edge,
    6. it would be on a wall or roof that fronts a highway,
    7. it is located between the dwelling and a highway, or
    8. it would be above ground floor level.
  • PP normally approved where character and appearance of Conservation Area is preserved.

For unlisted non-residential buildings in Conservation Areas:

  • PP is normally required.
  • PP normally approved where character and appearance of Conservation Area is preserved.

For Listed Buildings:

  • LBC is required for any new fixture attached to the Listed Building (including any frame, bracket or pipework);
  • PP is required for any new structures within the curtilage of a Listed Building.
  • LBC/PP normally approved where special interest of Listed Building is preserved.

Solar photovoltaics

Solar panels on roof

For unlisted dwellings in Conservation Areas:

  • PP is not required for roof-mounted units, but is required if on a wall fronting a highway, or if permitted development has been removed.
  • PP is not required for free-standing units, unless:
    1. it is located between the dwelling and a highway,
    2. over 4m in height,
    3. with a surface area greater than 9 metres,
    4. any dimension of the array is over 3 metres, or
    5. it is within 5 metres of the curtilage boundary.
  • PP normally approved where character and appearance of Conservation Area is preserved.

For unlisted non-residential buildings in Conservation Areas:

  • PP is not required for building-mounted units, unless:
    1. it is on a wall fronting a highway,
    2. it would be on a roof slope which fronts a highway,
    3. it would be on a pitched roof and protrude over 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the roof,
    4. it would be on a flat roof and be over 1 metre higher than the roof,
    5. it would be within 1 metre of the edge of the roof, or
    6. it would exceed 1 megawatt in capacity.
  • PP is not required for free-standing units, unless:
    1. it is located between the dwelling and a highway,
    2. it is over 4m in height,
    3. it has a surface area greater than 9 metres,
    4. any dimension of the array is over 3 metres, or
    5. within 5 metres of the curtilage boundary.
  • PP normally approved where character and appearance of Conservation Area is preserved.

For Listed Buildings:

  • LBC is always required where attached to the building.
  • PP is always required, both attached to the building or free-standing.
  • LBC/PP only approved if special interest of Listed Building is preserved.

For further advice, please email Bassetlaw’s Conservation Team: conservation@bassetlaw.gov.uk


Last Updated on Wednesday, May 4, 2022