Green revolution removes planning red tape

The new rules would also allow councils and electric car drivers to install electric car charger points on streets and in car parks without needing to make a planning application.

The relaxation of the planning rules would come with strict caveats about size, noise levels, location and the visual impact on an area. During the course of the three month consultation, the Government will be asking for views about these standards and requirements for the final legislation. Once agreed by Parliament, the new rights would be closely monitored and regularly reviewed.

Housing Minister, John Healey, said: "The people who want to greenproof their homes should get a helping hand, not a stop sign. Our planning rules need to catch up with changing technologies and allow people to take the small measures that make big differences. Not only could this save up to hundreds of pounds in fuel bills, they will also help the environment.

"At the same time we need tough rules so that permitted development does not become a nuisance, so I am putting in place strong safeguards in relation to noise levels, size, location and the potential impact on an area.

"As a country, nearly half of our carbon emissions come from buildings. That’s more than roads, railways and airports combined.  To stand a chance of tackling climate change, we need nothing less than a national crusade with everyone able to play their part to offset carbon emissions.

"It’s not long now until the Copenhagen climate change conference in December. It is essential we achieve an ambitious, comprehensive and binding agreement and we are working flat out to secure that. We need a deal that works globally but also leads to continued change here at home."

It is estimated that more than 30% of our electricity could be generated from renewables by 2030. A well placed wind turbine in a windy area could save a household up to £380 in electricity bills a year.

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