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Planning rules eased to help reduce home heating costs

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today announced a boost for people seeking to save on their energy bills.

From 10 March homeowners will no longer need planning permission for installing, altering or replacing air source heat pumps in homes. These pumps absorb heat from the outside air and help save money by reducing heating costs. They are also better for the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and using a sustainable energy source.

Mark H Durkan said: “This really is a win-win, a boost for the environment whilst removing red tape to help households enjoy the benefits of renewable energy and cheaper heating bills.

“Increasing the range of renewable energy technologies which homeowners can install without the need for planning permission should encourage more people to turn to a more sustainable energy supply. This will all help create a cleaner, greener, more energy efficient Northern Ireland.

“These new rights strike an essential balance by freeing up homeowners to install, alter or replace these pumps whilst putting in place safeguards to protect neighbours and the wider environment.”

The Minister concluded: “I have already cut through much red tape and these rules announced today are further evidence of this as they will speed up planning decisions by reducing unnecessary applications. Just recently I announced a consultation on a shorter, simpler planning policy for the North which will make the planning system clearer and easier to use. This is all part of my vision for a fast, fair and fit for purpose planning system that will create a better environment and a stronger economy.”

Published on Wed, 19 Feb 2014 by ecomms@doeni.gov.uk.

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