Regulations boost for farm small-scale renewables welcomed

GOVERNMENT plans to exempt small-scale renewable energy generators on farms from planning regulations will be a boost for the rural economy, farmers’ leaders say.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) which has lobbied Government on the issue, has welcomed the move.

It will mean planning permission will no longer be required for farmers who install renewable generators such as solar panels on existing buildings and anaerobic digesters on farming or non-domestic land.

Increased amounts of renewable generators on farm will mean lower energy costs for farmers, while the move is also a significant step on the route to de-regulation by government, the NFU said.

NFU planning policy adviser Ivan Moss said: “This is very good news for our members. The permitted development rights will enable farmers to install small scale renewable energy generation without needing to obtain planning permission. It will reduce their energy costs and make their production greener, making it a win-win for everyone.

“It will also be a boost for the rural economy, so we are pleased that the NFU’s lobbying work has been so successful.

“Although some other installations such as air source heat pumps have been excluded at present, the NFU recognise their value and hope that government will recognise the part they have to play in the future of renewable energy generation.”