Planning Application Consultancy

Navigate challenging planning applications for air conditioning with our unique consultancy package

Looking to install air conditioning in your property?

A well-planned air conditioning system is a fantastic way to improve comfort, indoor climate and indoor air quality, but many do not realise that their installation can be subject to a rigorous planning permission process.

These are sometimes challenging and time-consuming to navigate alone. If air conditioning is integral to your project, being held up by planning applications can cause frustrating delays.

Calibre are multi-disciplinary specialists providing Consultancy, Installation and Aftercare for Indoor Climate systems within luxury properties. Our unique planning application consultancy service can support you throughout your project and ensure you get the best air conditioning solution for your property.

External air conditioning condenser unit hidden in roof recess

Why is planning required for air conditioning?

Most properties with air conditioning require external condensers to reject the unwanted heat into the atmosphere. In the majority of cases, planning permission is required for the installation of condensers as they are deemed to be ‘development’ under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

External condenser acoustic enclosure in garden

Is obtaining planning permission for external condensers difficult?

Obtaining planning permission is not always easy as the visual impact of the condensers and the noise generated by them are often an issue in planning terms.

Planning applications can be complex, and usually a Noise Impact Assessment is required which includes a sound survey carried out by an acoustic specialist. There are other documents that may be required including Planning Statements, Design and Access Statements, Environmental Impact Statements, and so on.

External acoustic enclosures for silent air conditioning concealed in the garden in a London conservation area

Can't external condensers be installed under Permitted Development rights?

This is a commonly held myth; the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015 only applies to air source heat pumps and expressly states ‘The air source heat pump must be used solely for heating purposes’.

External acoustic enclosures for silent air conditioning concealed in a London conservation area

How can Calibre facilitate your planning application?

Calibre have a wealth of experience and knowledge in supporting their clients applying for planning permission, and a high percentage of favourable planning decisions have been achieved as a result. Our experience will help determine if planning permission is likely to be required and if there is a realistic likelihood of obtaining planning permission.

We will provide support through the planning application process by advising on possibilities, providing the sound survey and reporting, and suggesting the best wording for your application.

Early engagement with Calibre is essential as the condenser options will largely dictate what indoor climate is achievable. Without clarity around this, it will be difficult to achieve the optimum integration of climate control within the overall design.

What we do for you

Our planning application consultancy service is split into four phases:

Phase 1 – Initial virtual consultation to establish your requirements
We set up a virtual meeting with you to look at your requirements and discuss the property location. This includes looking through any layout plans you have available.
Phase 2 – Background research and feasibility check
We research the property to see if it is Listed, in a Conservation Area or Area of Special Local Character, and if there is any planning history; we check if any of the neighbouring properties have any relevant planning history; we establish local authority planning policy and noise requirements; and finally we gain as much spatial information as possible from satellite imagery and Street View.

We then assess from our experience if there is a reasonable likelihood that planning permission will be achieved.

If at this stage it looks extremely unlikely that planning permission will be gained, we will discuss your options; there are a few other alternative options to look at.
Phase 3 – Site survey and acoustic testing
One of our technical consultants attends site and establishes the best location for the condensers bearing in mind the spatial requirements for any acoustic treatment that may be needed, and then arranges a Noise Impact Assessment survey
Phase 4 – Plant size calculations, planning application documentation and advice
We calculate the required condenser type and size, and then specify the manufacturer and model to be used, and this technical data with local authority planning policy requirements establish what acoustic treatment will be needed to be compliant. We then issue the relevant supporting documentation to you, including the Noise Impact Assessment report, marked up plans, elevations and photos of the condenser location, and the suggested wording for the application document and other associated documents your local planning department may require, including Planning Statements, Design and Access Statements, Environmental Impact Statements etc. We work closely with you or your chosen Planning Consultant to bring about the best possible end result.

Get in touch

To start your planning application consultation, please contact us and our team will be in touch shortly.
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Triple slot diffuser aligned with edge of ceiling in the kitchen for air conditioning and ventilation in a prime Battersea penthouse overlooking the Thames

Our Methodology

How else can we assist in your design?

We also offer an Indoor Climate Consultancy package for projects that require a full design-and-build approach from initial client requirements to Technical pre-project Design. Our planning application facilitation often forms part of this wider package.

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Can I install air conditioning in a Conservation Area?

Conservation areas are often a consideration for London property projects, particularly renovation works. Where air conditioning is a requirement, there are a number of things to consider. What is a conservation area? Many of London’s residential areas are designated Conservation Areas. According to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act of 1990, this is ‘an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. When an area is designated a conservation area by the local planning authorities, this tightens the restrictions around the development and changes to property in that Area. When a planning application is submitted in a conservation area, it undergoes rigorous scrutiny with significant focus on the […]

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