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Top Tips for A Greener Home

04 February 2009

Planning Aid has produced six top tips to help East Midlands homeowners navigate the planning system toward greener living. The handy advice coincides with the broadcast of the BBC2 programme \"It's Not Easy Being Green\" which explains how a Lincolnshire couple, who were helped by Planning Aid, gained planning approval to install solar panels to their home.

Planning Aid, which offers free planning advice to individuals and community groups that can't afford to pay professional fees, believes the following tips can help homeowners make successful applications to install green technologies like solar panels and wind turbines.

  1. Don't rush – take the time to assess your options. Use the internet to research technologies and seek advice on which option is best suited to your home.
  2. Calculate payback times – is installing a solar panel or wind turbine the most sensible and cost effective way to go green? There are plenty of other ways to save energy which offer quicker environmental and financial returns.
  3. Talk with the council – They'll be able to tell you what you can and can't do in your area so you won't waste time and energy pursuing the impossible.
  4. Seek advice – If your council says you will need to make a planning application seek suitable professional advice.
  5. Be a good neighbour – Discuss your plans with those around you. If they have concerns see how you can modify your plans to accommodate them.
  6. Don't be a sneak – Don't put something up without gaining permission first. You may have to remove it costing you time and money.

East Midland Planning Aid Planning Advisor, Helen Prangley, says that following Planning Aid's six top tips for greening your home can make navigating the planning system easier; \"Installing solar panels or a wind turbine to your home can reduce environmental impact but it's important not to be too hasty. Weigh up the pros and cons for your household and recognise that you may have to gain planning permission from your local authority before you can go ahead. Remember that the planning system is interactive. You'll get the best results if you work with your neighbours and local authority to find a mutually agreeable solution.\"