Consents for onshore renewable generating stations
Produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson
Consents for onshore renewable generating stations

The following Energy guidance note Produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Consents for onshore renewable generating stations
  • What is a 'generating station'?
  • Planning permission for generating stations at or under 50 megawatts (MW)
  • Planning permission for generating stations above 50 MW
  • Electricity Act consent

What is a 'generating station'?

There are a number of different legislative definitions of a ‘generating station’ depending on the context; however, for planning purposes the phrase will generally be given its natural or ordinary meaning, with the caveat that section 235 of the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) imports the inclusive definition from section 64 of the Electricity Act 1989 (EA 1989) for all purposes except in Part 11. In all other parts, in relation to a generating station wholly or mainly driven by water, ‘generating station’ includes all structures and works for holding or channelling water for a purpose directly related to the generation of electricity by that station.

Planning permission for generating stations at or under 50 megawatts (MW)

Onshore power station applications at or below 50 MW are considered by the local planning authority in the normal planning regime (ie Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) and Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (TCP(S)A 1997)).

They do not require consent under the EA 1989, s 36 for their construction, extension and/or operation but will be subject to the requirement for a generation licence or exemption under ss 4–6.

The National Planning Policy Framework and Scottish Planning Policy

The National Planning Policy Framework (Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government, March 2012) (NPPF) states