Implications of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for Planning

6th August 2018

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 require residential and commercial buildings in the private rented sector to meet certain levels of energy performance.

The Regulations came into force from 1 April 2018 where new tenancy agreements are issued for both residential and commercial properties that are privately rented. They will apply from 1 April 2020 for all domestic properties and from 1 April 2023  for all non-domestic properties.

Where existing buildings do not meet the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of E or above, recommendations are made on how to bring the unit up to a suitable standard. This might include more efficient windows, new insulation in the roof, more efficient heating, better light bulbs or new external cladding. Some of these measures might need planning permission, or listed building consent if the building is statutorily listed.

Exemptions can be given if changes to listed buildings are not supported, or if planning permission is refused, but ‘reasonable attempts’ must be made to comply with the recommendations of the EPC. It might be that alternatives can be recommended in order to increase the rating in other ways.

Bell Cornwell are advising clients on several commercial and residential sites where recommendations have been made that have implications for the planning process. For example, a planning application has just been submitted by us for heat pumps to serve six office suites on the upper floors of a building in Westminster. The heat pumps are needed to improve the heating efficiency of the building. Other measures include new LED lighting, as well as repairs to existing fenestration to improve heat loss and U-values. The additional measures do not need planning permission, but the new heat pumps do due to their external position on the roof and resulting noise.

To find out more about whether recommendations in your EPC require planning permission, please get in touch.

Contact us today

  • For more information about our privacy practices please view our privacy policy. By submitting this form you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.
  • Do you want to contact a particular office, or is it a general enquiry?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.