Installing a log burner is going to cost you a fair amount of money, and of course, we would always say that it is a worthy investment with several benefits. However, with extensive work often needed to install this type of equipment, a lot of homeowners are left wondering whether planning permission is needed for a log burner.
Provided that your flue or chimney does not extend above one metre from the top of the property and that it meets other criteria, you wouldn’t typically need to obtain planning permission for the installation of a log burner. That being said, this will very much depend on who is installing the stove. If you use a HETAS registered installer, you will need to take no action. However, if you are going to be fitting the log burner yourself, you will need to give notice to your local Building Control.
Of course, there is often a fine line when it comes to building regulations and permission, so it is important to fully understand your responsibilities as a homeowner. In this guide, we will be taking a closer look at log burners and planning permission and what to expect before your installation can take place.
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What Are The Laws Surrounding Planning Permission For Log Burners In The UK?
You could be forgiven for thinking that installing a log burner, particularly if you need to also install a vent or chimney, may require planning applications and a lot of complicated paperwork. In some cases, you may need to speak to your local authority as there could be unique rules and regulations that apply in your area.
However, as a rule of thumb, in the UK, planning permission is not required when installing a log burner, provided that the installation meets certain criteria. One of the first things to keep in mind is that what we will be discussing in this section will relate to houses. Other types of buildings may vary when it comes to what is and isn’t allowed, so it is always important to check this before you commit to making an installation. With this in mind, if you are planning to have a log burner in any of the following, what we will be discussing will not be relevant:
- A flat or maisonette
- Houses that have been converted in accordance with ‘change of use’ or ‘new dwellings.’
- Buildings that are situated in areas where there may be further restrictions outside of the permitted development rights.
If you are in any doubt, get in touch with your local authority who will be able to give you more information on your property.
However, if you live in a house, you will find that, for the most part, the installation of a chimney, vent or flue will fall within your permitted development rights. These rights are a set of predetermined regulations, as laid out by the UK government, which cover certain types of (re)development on properties where homeowners do not need to be granted permission.
When we are talking about a log burner, there are certain restrictions that apply. But in the main, these conditions will be met and therefore, a planning application is unlikely to be needed.
The first condition is that any flues are not placed on the front portion of the property, nor can they be on the same side as a highway. Secondly, you must ensure that any flue placed on the rear or side elevation of the property does not extend more than one metre above the highest part of the roof. Finally, homeowners should ensure that the flue or chimney is going to be fitted on a listed property, you should check with your local authority to ensure that there are no special restrictions.
What If My Log Burner Will Be Installed By A HETAS Registered Installer?
When you employ a person or a company to install a log burning stove in your home, it is always advisable to choose someone who has the relevant qualifications and certifications. In the case of a HETAS registered installer, you can feel confident that all building regulations will be met with the installation.
A HETAS certificate can only be acquired by installers who are considered competent by the Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme. Once your wood burning stove has been installed, you will receive a HETAS certificate that proves the installation follows all of the relevant building regulations.
What Are The Building Regulations?
There is a lot to consider when you are installing a log burner; where you are going to put it, what style you would like and who is going to install it. Alongside this, you also need to think about the UK building regulations. But most homeowners aren’t familiar with these and so this can often feel like just another headache.
But, understanding the entire UK building code isn’t necessary just for the installation of a single log burner. Instead, you will only need to familiarise yourself with the parts that concern the installation of a chimney or flue.
There are a lot of parts to these building regulations and official documents containing all of the relevant information can be found here. However, in a nutshell, your flue installation will need to take into consideration fire safety, ventilation and using the correct materials. One of the best ways to ensure that all of the building regulations are met is, as we have already discussed, to use a HETAS registered installer.
What If It Is A Self-Installed Log Burner?
Many people choose to install their own log burners, and there is no law against this. If you are looking to save money on installation costs or you would like to challenge your DIY skills, then this is a viable way of doing that.
However, there is a huge downside and this comes in the form of those pesky building regulations again. Whether you are a fully qualified and registered HETAS installer or a regular homeowner, the building regulations do not change. When you are installing your own log burner, you must make sure that it adheres to these regulations.
Before you can fit your own log burner, you will need to contact your local Building Control to submit your application. Provided that your property and the installation meet the requirements in the permitted development rights, you shouldn’t have any issues. You should also keep in mind that while this is more of a ‘notice of building work’ there is still a fee attached. This fee will vary depending on the overall cost and scale of the work but you can typically expect it to be around £100-£120.
When you have fitted your log burner, you must contact your local authority to have the Building Control department check your work. If it is satisfactory, it will be signed off and deemed fit for use. However, there are a lot of homeowners who fit a log burning stove in their homes and fail to have it signed off; we cannot stress enough how much bother this could land you in, so we would always advise doing things by the book.
Installing a log burner can give your home a new lease of life and make it much cosier. However, it can sometimes be a big job and a flue may need to be installed. This often leads people to wrongly believe that they need to obtain planning permission for their log burner.
The good news is that if you are using a HETAS registered installer, you will likely be able to fit the stove under the ‘permitted development rights.’ However, if you are going to be fitting the stove yourself, you will need to notify your local authority Building Control department with your intent to carry out the work. After this, you will then need to have a HETAS or other registered installer sign off your work.