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Planning regulations for small AD and biomass structures made easier

Planning regulations to build structures housing biomass boilers, anaerobic digestion plants on farms could be made easier, after a new consultation document designed to cut red-tape for small scale projects was published on 17 November.

Housing and planning minister John Healey launched a consultation of the planning system to simplify the installation of small scale renewable and low carbon energy technologies for homeowners, developers and businesses.

If agreed to, the consultation will mean that any structures housing anaerobic digestion plants or biomass boilers to be built on agricultural and forestry premises would not need planning permission. The proposals also include the systemss associated waste and fuel stores, although this is limited to the farm or forestry holdings waste and fuel only.

Another low carbon project discussed in the paper includes allowing homeowners, developers and businesses to install on-site wind turbines and air source heat pumps.

Energy minister Lord Hunt said: Weve already had an overhaul of the planning system for big energy projects and now were working on the smaller scale. Small scale renewable generation will contribute to us meeting our renewable energy target for 2020 and making sure we cut our carbon emissions.

However, safeguards to mediate the noise levels, size, location and impact on the area will also be put in place.

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