Article

Green light for turbines on city roofs

RESIDENTS in conservation areas could be allowed to erect rooftop wind turbines without planning permission, under plans to encourage people to generate renewable energy. The move could see some of Scotland’s most historic skylines blighted by the generators, which are the size of a satellite dish.

RESIDENTS in conservation areas could be allowed to erect rooftop wind turbines without planning permission, under plans to encourage people to generate renewable energy.

The move could see some of Scotland’s most historic skylines blighted by the generators, which are the size of a satellite dish.

However, ministers are determined to cut red tape to encourage more people to install rooftop turbines, solar panels and other domestic generators.

Currently, all householders have to apply to councils for permission to erect the devices, a process which can take more than six months and cost hundreds of pounds.

The fast-track process is being proposed by Malcolm Chisholm, the communities minister, who has ordered a review of planning rules in order to encourage householders to embrace renewable energy.

“We are very keen to make it much easier for people to install any of the various micro-renewable options that they wish. We are not ruling out waiving planning permission in conservation areas,” said a source close to the minister.

The rooftop turbines, which can produce up to 1.5kw of power, can cut electricity bills by hundreds of pounds each year. Nevertheless, installing them is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

RESIDENTS in conservation areas could be allowed to erect rooftop wind turbines without planning permission, under plans to encourage people to generate renewable energy.

The move could see some of Scotland’s most historic skylines blighted by the generators, which are the size of a satellite dish.
 
However, ministers are determined to cut red tape to encourage more people to install rooftop turbines, solar panels and other domestic generators.

Currently, all householders have to apply to councils for permission to erect the devices, a process which can take more than six months and cost hundreds of pounds.

The fast-track process is being proposed by Malcolm Chisholm, the communities minister, who has ordered a review of planning rules in order to encourage householders to embrace renewable energy.

“We are very keen to make it much easier for people to install any of the various micro-renewable options that they wish. We are not ruling out waiving planning permission in conservation areas,” said a source close to the minister.

The rooftop turbines, which can produce up to 1.5kw of power, can cut electricity bills by hundreds of pounds each year. Nevertheless, installing them is expensive. Mini wind turbines cost between £1,500 and £5,000, while solar panels can cost up to £30,000. Grants of up to 30% are available from the Scottish executive.

Ministers are expected to draw up the planned reforms to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 over the next few months and put them to the vote next year.

Homeowners in some areas must apply for planning permission if they want to lay decking, put up satellite dishes, erect fences or build garden sheds and extensions. The rules are even more strict in conservation areas, where permission may be required to replace original windows or change the colour of frames or exterior walls.

Conservationists have said that they will oppose any changes to planning regulations in historic areas.

“I would have serious concerns about removing planning permission in order to install renewable devices,” said Helen Barnard, of the conservation group Pollokshields Heritage in Glasgow. “Planning permission is essential in conservation areas to minimise the impact of developments on the environment.”

Jane Jackson, deputy director of the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, added: “We would be concerned at any relaxation of planning controls within the World Heritage Site, but would not rule out the possibility of small-scale energy producing measures in appropriate locations.”

Alex Adamson, of the Glasgow-based Scottish Civic Trust which campaigns to protect the quality of the built environment, was supportive.

“We welcome public debate on planning reform in connection with micro-renewable devices for all buildings, including those in conservation areas,” he said.

Last week Chisholm announced that all new property developments in Scotland will need to produce at least 10% of their own electricity through micro-renewable generating plants.


Source: http://www.timesonline.co.u...

JUL 16 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3533-green-light-for-turbines-on-city-roofs
back to top