Do you need planning permission for an air or ground source heat pump?

We often get asked questions regarding whether planning permission is required to install ground and air source heat pumps into domestic properties. In fact for most new build properties the installation of renewable energy technologies, such as heat pumps is considered favourable and can help you achieve planning permission approval for the construction of the property.

For all our heat pump installations we identify whether the heat pump is suitable for permitted development at the proposal stage of our service. However we always recommend that you check with your local planning office to confirm whether there are any additional local requirements. For your clarification we have detailed the main conditions below:

Ground source heat pumpGround source heat pumps and water source heat pumps

Typically ground source and water source heat pumps are considered to be permitted development. However, if you are considering installing a ground or water source heat pump in a listed building or a conservation area, you will need to contact your local council to double check local requirements.

Air source heat pumpsAir source heat pump


Domestic air source heat pump systems will be classified as permitted development, as long as they comply with the following criteria;

  • The air source heat pump must comply with the MCS planning standards, as an MCS accredited installer we ensure that we meet this requirement at the proposal stage.
  • There should be no wind turbine or existing air source heat pump installed at the property prior to the air source heat pump installation, unless this is a replacement – additional air source heat pumps at the same property will require planning permission.
  • The unit must be more than 1m from the property boundary.
  • The unit will not be installed on a pitched roof or near the edge of a flat roof.
  • If installed in a conservation area, World Heritage Site or similar, additional criteria must be met.
  • If you would like more information please see the full government legislation website.


Domestic air source heat pump systems will be classified as permitted development, as long as the installation complies with the following criteria;

  • This is the only air source heat pump to be installed in the land immediately surrounding the property.
  • The air source heat pump must be situated more than 100m from the curtilage of another dwelling.
  • The air source heat pump should not be visible from the road in a conservation area.
  • The air source heat pump is not installed within a World Heritage Site or the curtilage of a listed building.
  • If you require more information please see the full Scottish legislation.


All air source heat pump installations will require planning permission.

If you would like to discuss whether you would need planning permission to install and ground or air source heat pump in more detail, please call us on 0800 865 4328 to speak to your local area sales manager, alternatively please request a call back using the form on the right.