• Home
  • Air Conditioning Planning Permission UK

Air Conditioning Planning Permission UK

Air Conditioning Planning Permission UK

Making changes to the property and its structure may require the owners and developers to obtain planning permission and approval. While there are different types of permissible improvements and developments you can make, some of these require planning permission, including installing climate control systems, like an air conditioning unit. 

The following information should not be considered legal advice, but only highlights the requirements and related aspects of planning permission for air conditioning. You will learn how to obtain planning clearance for air conditioning, how to ensure your system is compliant, and more about air conditioning rules.

What is Air Conditioning Planning Permission?

In essence, it refers to the formal approval required for specific sorts of building projects. Conservatories, orangeries, and any construction that expands your land into a public place are typical examples of developments that may require planning permission. Planning permissions are intended to keep any developments or expansions from becoming dangerous, indecent, or difficult for nearby neighbours or the public at large.

How Does AC Unit Planning Permission work?

Planning permission is a mechanism in the United Kingdom that regulates the sort of building work that individuals conduct. This is to ensure that new or remodelled buildings complement their surroundings and do not negatively impact the people who live in and around them.

There are two categories of projects: those that are authorised and those that require planning authorisation. Authorised developments are projects that can be carried out without previously obtaining permission. 

It includes

  • Constructing a conservatory
  • Installing solar panels
  • Making interior alterations to your home

Air Conditioner’s Location

Other non-regulatory aspects should be addressed when positioning your external box. Newer versions can be quiet, but you should consider any potential noise pollution and position the box as far away from neighbouring houses as possible. 

It’s also worth thinking about putting the box within a fence or in a garden to avoid any visual conflicts and keep your property’s value up.

Size of Air Conditioners

Planning authorisation is required for larger air conditioning systems with big-size and numerous external components. This is due to the fact that the installation and operation of the system may create disruption to your neighbours or the environment around you. 

Larger systems may also affect the outside aspect of the property or require more invasive construction, and a minimum safe distance between the external compressor and the structure is necessary. 

 The UK government makes decisions on authorised development laws, but it is your local council that grants or rejects planning permission. This implies that you ought to contact your local authorities if you have any issues concerning planning authorisation. 

Planning Permission for Air Conditioning Installations in Homes 

Most minor air conditioning systems do not require planning permission. This simply implies that you don’t have to file a planning permit application prior to air conditioning installation; you can simply install it.

 However, you must ensure that your exterior air conditioning equipment complies with the following regulations:

  • It is no larger than 0.6m3.
  • It’s more than a metre distant from any property lines.
  • It’s located more than a metre away from the flat roof’s edge. 
  • You must also confirm that there are no wind turbines on the land.

 Before proceeding with an installation, it’s a good idea to contact your local authorities for air conditioning planning permit assistance. They will be able to advise you on how to ensure that your air conditioning meets requirements and whether you will need to request planning permission.

Air Conditioning Planning Permission Exceptions

In rare cases, your air conditioning system may require additional planning authorisation when the residence is on a protected piece of land, such as 

  • A Natural Area of Immense beauty
  • It’s a national park
  • A UNESCO world heritage site

 If you are contemplating a more extensive commercial air conditioning installation, you may be required to follow additional restrictions.

Other Air Conditioning Regulations You Might Need to Follow

Before proceeding with your installation, it is critical to understand the air conditioning planning approval regulations. However, there are other air conditioning rules to be followed. 

  • Pollution Caused By Noise

There are no specific air conditioner noise rules, but if you install an outdoor unit that causes your neighbours to complain about noise pollution, you may be required to relocate or remove it. To avoid this problem, place your exterior unit as far away from neighbouring houses as feasible. There are quieter systems available, as well as systems with a ‘soft-start’ feature that helps to reduce noise production. 

You should also be mindful of listed building consent laws. If your property is categorised, you may need to obtain permission before installing air conditioning. Make contact with your local council to see whether you need to apply for listed building approval or not, as requirements vary depending on location and building.

  • F-Gas legislation

F-gases are refrigerants found in air conditioning systems. According to air conditioning laws, anybody who instals or works on a system must be a qualified and experienced person. The engineer must be certified to work on F-gas-containing equipment, and their firm must also be certified.

How To Make Sure You Get the Correct Air Conditioning Planning Permission?

Don’t be anxious about the process of planning permission. If you do have any issues, please contact your local council. They will be able to provide you with further information and assist you in ensuring the success of your project. Finding a qualified, dependable air conditioning technician for your property is also a brilliant idea.

When it comes to air conditioning companies in London, Hamilton Air Conditioning is the firm to go with. We provide air conditioning system solutions that are personalised to your particular demands – we are helpful, experienced, and dedicated to providing you with the most excellent services that meet your needs. 


UK’s Planning Permission is a checks and balances system put in place to oversee and administer the building works. It helps ensure that no building’s work is initiated without proper analysis of its impact on the surrounding environment. From fitting solar panels to building a small conservatory to installing an air conditioning system, planning permission approval is required. Take advantage of Hamilton’s exceptional customer service as we go above and beyond your usual air conditioning service provider to get you the ideal air conditioning equipment for your home or business. 


Matthew Connery
By: Matthew Connery

Matthew Connery is the Director of Hamilton Air Conditioning in London. He is a skilled Business Strategist who delivers energy-efficient and cost-saving solutions to commercial and domestic clients from leading air conditioning brands. 

Jan 08 2023