Do Air Conditioning Units Need Planning Permission?

If you live in a listed building, the question you will more than likely be asking is do air conditioning units need planning permission?

A listed building is a property that cannot be modified without the consent of a local authority because it has a special architectural or historic interest.

Living in a listed building can offer great experiences and many advantages. These buildings often have special designs, are located in lovely surroundings and have their own unique personality. However, it is not that easy to bring additional changes to a listed building, especially if those modifications are related to the exterior aspect. One of the most common issues for people who live in a law-protected construction is installing air conditioning.

As the installation of conventional air conditioning requires the drilling of holes and the placing an outside unit that can affect the exterior design, you will have to seek planning permission and guidance from your local government authority to install air conditioning to a listed property. There are many possibilities when it comes to installation settings and circumstances but they all have to follow the rules imposed by the authorities.

Whilst conventional air conditioning systems will require planning permission, with the fully internal air conditioning systems we offer at Cool You UK, you will not need to seek planning permission from your local council.

No permission is required because our air conditioning does not have an external box which needs to be fixed to the exterior of your property. Instead, there are two components installed: a slim wall-mounted room unit and a small condenser connected by discreet refrigeration pipework, both of which are fitted fully internally in the same way in which a washing machine or dishwasher would be.

To find out more about this, please see the below video from our Technical Director, Savva:

Even though the rules regarding air conditioning installation have changed and have become more flexible for the majority of buildings, there are still a few stipulations that must be met when it comes to listed buildings. Therefore, before deciding which air conditioning company you will employ, you have to be aware that the installation is not permitted if:

  • When air conditioning is installed, the development would result in the presence of more than one air source pump on the same building

  • A wind turbine will be set up on the same building or block of flats

  • The volume of the outdoor compressor unit would exceed 0.6 cubic metres
  • The air source heat pump would be installed on a pitched or a flat roof and within one metre of the external edge of that roof
  • The unit will have an impact on the external appearance of the building

You can find more details and conditions on the gov.uk website.

With all this in mind, there is a chance that your local authorities will not give you consent to install your air conditioning unit as they will want to preserve the natural, original look of the building structure.

Moreover, if you decide to do it without the consent, you must be aware that failure to comply with the stipulations can lead to the enforced removal of the air conditioning facilities and rehabilitation of the property back to the original condition.

In this case, you may want to refocus your search on air conditioning without an outside unit. We have significant experience in dealing with difficult requirements of installing air conditioning in law-protected buildings. Find out more about our air conditioning for listed buildings.