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Planning Permission in the UK

Talk about anything that doesn't fit elsewhere - PLEASE don't put Cumulus queries in here!
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Planning Permission in the UK

Post by barrybridges »

Hello - this is my first post here.

I received a weather station unit for my birthday, just before Christmas, and I am looking to install it on the roof of my residential property. I live in Tandridge, Surrey, which is just outside of an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

I intend to install the unit on a 2m pole, which will project less than 1m from the roofline.

What I want to know is: do I need planning permission for this?

From previous experience, Tandridge Council are incredibly anal about this sort of thing and I've found them incredibly unfriendly previously.

A forum elsewhere suggests that planning permission IS needed, purely on the basis that a weather station is NOT a weather vane or aerial, which are exempt:

http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/forum/i ... n-granted/

The UK Planning Portal site doesn't give any clarity on this.

Ordinarily, I would just stick the mast and unit up as I very much doubt anyone will notice, but there are two slightly complicated factors.

The first is that my next door neighbour isn't particularly friendly and is EXACTLY the sort of person who would complain about this sort of thing, for no other reason than she likes complaining.

The second is that the chap across the street has a weather station installed at the top of a huge mast, which I estimate extends around 3m from the roofline. He definitely HASN'T applied for planning permission.

If I don't apply, then it looks like I should, and I might irk the neighbour, but if I do apply then it might create paperwork for the chap opposite if the council deems this sort of thing to require PP.

Any ideas?

Sadly, I can't just call the council to ask for advice; they charge £100 for consultation on PP. I'd rather not have to pay a £170 PP application fee just for this, given the station cost less than £100, so any feedback would be much appreciated.

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Re: Planning Permission in the UK

Post by PaulMy »

I am not familiar with planning rules were you are but if there are no easily identifiable rules posted or commonly known that would require approval I would just install it. You would be no further out than you are now if you later find you need approval, and then do what seems best. Now this is also assuming that if you were in violation you would get a warning (as would be the case here) rather than an immediate order or fine. I don't think you should feel at fault if your neighbour were found to be in violation as he is the one that initiated his install and is exposed to inspection at any time.

I presume there is no other good location for the installation?

Good luck, and enjoy,

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Re: Planning Permission in the UK

Post by AllyCat »


Welcome to the forum. Firstly, I agree that you should not (and probably don't need to) apply for planning permission.

However, I would NOT mount the transmitter/solar shield (nor the rain sensor) "at the top of the mast" for purely practical reasons. The batteries will need to be changed at some time and sadly the reliability of the Fine Offset (Maplin) stations is such that earlier attention may be required. Also, it's not the correct location to make "good" measurements, except for wind (and solar data where available). The FO "sun screen" doesn't work well in direct sunlight and the rain sensor (see-saw) can be upset by even a small swaying of the mast.

The (meteorologically) correct height for the temperature/humidity sensor is only about 5 feet above the ground, and rain even lower. That's often impractical (and FO only supply about 10 feet cables) so a reasonable compromise can be to put the transmitter "under the eaves" (or gutter) with the rain sensor nearby. Or perhaps behind a chimney stack if that's where the mast is being attached.

So it's only the wind vane and anemometer that need to be at the top of the mast. If the (small) vane is "permitted" then I can't see any objection to the (even smaller) anemometer. But do note that the FO-supplied two-part mast normally uses one of the "brackets" to clamp the parts together, so you need to devise an alternative method to prevent rotation.

You'll find plenty of posts concerning these topics on this forum, but do feel free to ask any related questions.

Cheers, Alan.

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Re: Planning Permission in the UK

Post by deegeepee »

Hi, this is really useful, thanks. I had a 3.5m guyed pole (aka 3m copper pipe with instruments mounted atop), and the guys are a real p.i.t.a. to mow around, so I have planned a 4 leg 3m tower with an extending centre section taking overall "pole" height to around 4.5m. The centre section unbolts and lowers to 3m for easier maintenance, and I was wondering if I needed planning permission for it. Sounds like the best advice to put it up and see if anything comes of it, so that's what I'll do. Old pole has been in place for about ten years now service the village well, and the new tower will mean I can mow around it without fear of garroting myself each week.
PS: Mast made from 25mm galvanised pipe and clamps, no welding, so basically a large meccano set. Total cost <£100, plus about £50 for materials for concrete base (80cm deep, 80cm round, about half a ton of hand mixed cement, all embedded in rocky subsoil!)

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Re: Planning Permission in the UK

Post by beteljuice »

... suggests that planning permission IS needed, purely on the basis that a weather station is NOT a weather vane
A weather vane (which can be very large) was the weather station of it's day, and certainly is no different to just Anni / vane install as suggested ..

My thoughts anyway ...
......................Imagine, what you will KNOW tomorrow !

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