Planning Exemption for Microrenewables 2007

The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has published amendments to the Exempted Development Provisions of the Planning & Development Regulations 2001, in respect of micro-renewable technologies for domestic use. A summary of the mains points are as follows.

Stand alone wind turbines.

  • 10m maximum mast height
  • 6m maximum rotor diameter
  • The Blades shall be made of a material that does not interfere with telecommunication signals.
  • No exemption for building mounted turbines

Building mounted solar panels

  • 12m2 aperture of 50% of total roof area
  • Located on the roof, front or back of house. Stand alone solar panels must be located behind the house.


  • Where a flue is required, it should be constructed inline with existing building regulations

Ground source heat pumps

  • Max 1m alteration to ground level.

Water Source heat pump & Hydro

  • No exemption.
  •  Due to its potential impact on water sources, developments of small-scale hydroelectricity will continue to require planning permission.

However, these exemptions do not apply in certain circumstances, including:

  • Houses that are Protected Structures. 
  • Houses located in Architectural Conservation Areas/Areas of Special Character.
  • Houses which have a previous grant of planning permission that includes a condition establishing that development that would normally be            considered exempted development under the Planning and Development Regulations are de-exempted and will therefore require a grant of planning permission.
  • Further, note that the exemptions for Micro-Renewable Technologies noted above apply only to single houses. Planning permission is required for micro-renewable technology associated with apartments, flats, or a commercial/industrial business.

The following information is provided for ease of reference and is not provided as a legal interpretation of the Planning & Development Act 2000 or the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 to 2007.  If  you are unsure whether works you are proposing require planning permission or not, please refer to the legislation (available at noted above or contact:

Cork City Council Planning

Planning and Development Directorate, Cork City Council,

City Hall, Cork, Ireland.  

Tel: 021 492 4564.

Fax: 021 4924706


N.B. These exemptions from planning are a positive step in the wider uptake of renewables. It should follow that best practice be applied as a rule. There are very strict technical requirements for the installation of electrical micro generation equipment. The Cork City Energy Agency would like to draw your attention to these requirements and recommends that you comply fully with them.

  •  A competent person should accurately size the micro renewable installation, contributing to the thermal or electrical requirements of the building.
  • A competent person should install the micro renewable equipment, storage equipment and controls. Connections to the buildings electrical system must comply with the latest standards of the Electro Technical Council of Ireland (ECTI).
  • Where such micro electricity generation equipment may be connected to the Electricity Supply Grid (directly or indirectly), connections to and from the building electrical system must comply with the latest standards of the Electro Technical Council of Ireland, and comply with the interface protection settings of the G10 standard (Annex A of EN50438).
  • A license (permission) will be required to export electricity to the public grid, even if you are exporting it free of charge. Failure to comply with the technical regulations outlined above could endanger the life of electrical repair persons, and may expose you to sever financial penalty.