Oxfordshire Director of Legal

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Council forced to apply for retrospective planning permission for ground source heat pumps after thinking it was unnecessary

Northumberland County Council has had to grant itself retrospective planning permission for three ground source heat pump arrays after realising that it had gone ahead in the mistaken belief that permission was not needed.

The affected sites are Ashington Community Association Football Club and Cambois and Seahouses primary schools.

Two pumps were installed at the first two sites and three at the last. The error was discovered when applications were made to the government for Renewable Heat Incentive funding.

A report to the council’s strategic planning committee said the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (amended) set out the circumstances in which ground source heat pumps can be installed without the need for planning permission.

But these three cases fell outside this exemption because more than one heat pump was involved, so requiring permission.

Mark Smulian