Do You Need Planning Permission For Commercial Air Conditioning?

May 10 2022

James Patten


You’ve made the decision to invest in your staff and your business and are now ready to install air conditioning at your commercial premises. But before you breathe in all that fresh air, be sure to make the following considerations:

Consult your Landlord

If you are leasing your commercial property it is always worth running any structural changes past your landlord first.  We advise that you seek the agreement of your landlord ahead of any proposed works to the building including commercial air conditioning. Some tenancy agreements request that tenants re-instate the property back to its original condition as it was at the start of the lease. However, it is also worth bearing in mind how an air conditioning unit can add value to a commercial building so you may wish to discuss the option of splitting the installation costs. Likewise, your landlord may also agree to you installing the air conditioning system but amend the tenancy agreement so that you leave the air conditioning units behind if you should leave. 

Contact your Local Planning Authority

Knowing whether you need planning permission will inevitably come down to the location of your commercial premises. There are many deciding factors which come into play for councils when making their decision about planning permission. Is your commercial property listed for example? Are you in an area of outstanding beauty or near a world heritage site? Does your property adjoin or sit very closely to another property? How large is your proposed air conditioning unit and will it make any noise? 

We advise that you speak to your LPA and discuss your proposals. This will ensure that all guidelines are adhered to should there be any complaints. 

Rules and Regulations

Once an air conditioning system surpasses a certain dimension or specification it is inevitable that you will require planning permission before it can be installed. The planners will be focussed on the outer unit and what aesthetic or audible effect it will have on the local neighbourhood.  

Guidelines at present state that:

1) The external air conditioning units must not be installed on a pitched roof.

2) The external air conditioning units must not be installed within 1 metre of the edge of a flat roof.

3) The external air conditioning system must not be bigger than 0.6m3

4) The distance between the boundary of your commercial property and the external air conditioning unit must be a minimum of 1 metre.

5) You must not be in the vicinity of a wind turbine.

Experts in the market

Heritage Heating & Cooling Ltd are the experts when it comes to your air conditioning requirements and will be able to confidently advise you on your choice of air conditioning system and whether planning permission is necessary. 

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To find out more about how Heritage Heating and Cooling can help you find the right air con unit & if you need special planning permissions, contact us today.

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