Standby Diesel generators, especially those in inner-city or urban areas, can often require planning permission. With stricter guidelines around air quality and environmental health, planning for generators is a complex topic.

Requirements vary regionally, but the guidance below will help you find local contacts and answer some common questions to find out how standby generator planning impacts your project requirements.

Factors that influence planning permission:

It may be difficult to obtain planning permission if the property requiring standby power is in a city-centre location or adjacent to residential properties.

Factors to consider are:

  • The local area
  • Visibility of external elements, including the generator and associated pipework
  • Size of generator
  • Noise of generator
  • Emissions
  • Local air quality requirements
  • Environmental health considerations
  • Diesel generator or CHP system with standby function?

Circumstances which usually require planning:

  • Listed building
  • Conservation area
  • Inside the M25
  • City centres
  • Retrofit to industrial/business parks

Circumstances that rarely require planning:

  • When the generator is part of a new build project
  • When a generator is part of a scheme or development
  • End user/ residential installations

How can I find out if I need planning?

The safest way to find out if a standby generator requires planning permission is to contact Local Authority Building control. As the requirements differ by both region and council it’s important to make sure you have the correct information.

A list of contacts for regional (and then within the map) council contacts can be found here at :

generators-17What information do I need for a generator planning application?

If the site requires planning permissions your generator supplier should take care of this during the design process, including electrical drawings and plans. Ask the supplier to liaise with your local authority on planning permission and design approvals. This should be done as part of a complete project management package, including co-ordination with your utilities companies about LV and HV shutdowns. Where relevant, this should also include managing all communications between building and premises landlords, architects and design authorities.

Standby power can also be provided through the use of a CHP system in relevant applications.

To find out more about standby power solutions, download the white paper ‘Protecting your business with the right type of standby power’ or request a site survey here

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