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Solar-power homes get the go-ahead

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Planning minister Caroline Flint has given the green light to new rules which make it easier for home owners to install renewable energy devices.

From 6 April, all home owners will be able to install microgeneration equipment, like solar panels ground source heat pumps, without needing to get planning permission, as long as there is no impact on others.

Ms Flint said: "We want to make it easier to help people reduce their carbon footprint. Technology like solar panels can make a real difference, but homeowners can be put off by the time and expense of getting planning permission. We think it is right that people have more freedom to make these changes providing it has no impact on others."

The government is also planning legislation to allow free-standing and building-mounted wind turbines on detached properties, and air source heat pumps to be installed without needing planning permission.

But it will have to first secure clearance from the European Commission.

Currently, approximately 100,000 householders have installed micro-generation technology equipment on their homes.

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