Do You Need Planning Permission For A Log Burner?

When you install a wood burning stove or log burner at home, there can sometimes be a number of modifications that you need to make - especially if you're installing a wood burner in a home without a chimney.

And since there are modifications being made, many property owners wonder if they'll need planning permission as per UK building regulations.

It might seem like a headache, but since some wood burning stoves can provide central heating for your entire property (and not to mention they look great), many people feel as though jumping through hoops with their local council to get their log burner is worth it.

But do building regulations even require planning permission for a log burner installation?

Today, we'll explore the issue in depth and let you know once and for all whether planning permission to install a wood burning stove or log burner is required here in the UK.

What Are The Building Regulations Surrounding Wood Burning Stoves/Log Burners?

To be clear, if you are installing wood burning stoves yourself at home, then you will most likely require planning permission and/or approval from your local planning authority council's Building Control Department.

If you are having it installed by a HETAS registered installer, then you won't usually require planning permission to install a wood burning stove. However, there may be some exceptions.

What The UK Government/UK Building Regulations Say:

Planning permission is not required from local Building Control if:

  • The external flue is situated to the rear or side of the property with a rear or side elevation with a maximum clearance height of 1m - meaning a flue with a height over one metre above the highest part of your roof would need planning permission from your local authority.
  • You have permitted development rights in a listed building or a building in a designated area AND you check with your local council first before carrying out any work - this is really just a way to cover your back. Installing a flue is usually within permitted development rights on these sorts of properties anyway, but checking first is always recommended in case local regulations don't allow for a wood stove to be installed in your property, which could mean you have to tear out your wood burning stove after it's been installed, seriously increasing your overall cost.
  • The flue isn't fitted on to a side elevation that faces a highway - this is because the smoke, fumes, and other fire byproducts released from the flue could have adverse effects on pedestrians and road users alike.

As you can see, installing a new stove/wood burner in your house will not call for planning permission in the vast majority of cases, but if you live in a house in a unique area or in one with a unique situation (like being a listed building) it's always best to check with your local Building Control Department before you install your wood stove as it may be a legal requirement.

What's The Best Way To Have My New Wood Burner Installed At Home?

As we've already discussed, you have two options: a HETAS installer, or a DIY project yourself. Perhaps neither is better than the other, but they do require different amounts of approval for the installation of your new heating appliance and the building work that will need to take place as a result.

Below, we'll look at both methods and discuss if further planning permission is required when installing wood burning stoves.

Having Your Wood Burning Stove Installed By A HETAS Registered Installer

A HETAS registered installer is essentially a specialist stove installer. They have permission from the local authority to carry out the installation because they have proven that they're able to stick to regulations and adhere to all safety procedures and provide you with a log burner that's both energy efficient (helping you save money so it's a cost effective heating solution), and one that's completely safe!

They also know the ins and outs of the regulations that pertain to installing a chimney or flue for a wood burning stove.

For example, a HETAS installer would insist upon a carbon monoxide alarm being put in the same room as your wood stove because A) safety reasons, and B) you are legally required to do so.

When completing a DIY project like this, it's vital that you familiarise yourself with the building regulations that affect how you install your wood burning stove at home - and for many who don't have the time or know-how, it's usually easier just to work with a HETAS stove installer who can complete the work and sign off on it on behalf of your local authority, so no further action is required.

Installing Your Log Burner Yourself At Home

For some, it's not a daunting task to install a wood burning stove at home, and many people will opt to take on the work themselves. If you're one of those people, then it's perfectly possible, but make sure you're confident in the process.

Away from planning permission, you also have to be competent at putting a flue or chimney in to allow for ventilation that can control the heat and smoke from the fire, and you have to be confident about completing work along the side/rear of your property and work on your roof as well. You'll also need to think about:

  • Where the flue will be - on your internal wall or external wall?
  • Purchasing the correct vent pipe, stove pipe, and flue for your stoves
  • The regulations around the bends in the flue pipes
  • Controlling ventilation in the room
  • Controlling heat - for example, purchasing a hearth that meets certain requirements so the heat from your stove can't damage your flooring, etc

Today, we won't be providing further information on how to install a wood stove yourself on your property. We'll simply be discussing the requirements in terms of planning permission.


In a sense, yes, you will need planning permission from your local Building Control Department, although it's much more similar to notifying them that you'll be carrying out the work, rather than seeking permission to do so.

Still, you'll need to inform them of your plans for your wood burning stove installation and they may require additional information from you in regard to the flue or chimney you plan to install. Of course, if you're using an existing chimney and hearth for your stoves, then the information they require won't be as extensive.

Notifying them of your work is essential, and you will be charged a fee too, usually around £100-£120. It's also possible at this stage for them to tell you to not go ahead with the work if they believe it is outside of your permitted development rights.

Either way, you should NEVER start work like this without first informing your local authority of your intention to do so.

What Happens After I've Completed My Work?

After you've notified them of your work and they've given you the green light, you'll be free to get to work. Of course, it's essential that you stick to the building regulations and remember that your flue can't extend more than one metre above your roof and it can't be fitted on the side of your house if it's facing a highway.

Follow all the regulations closely, and once you've finished the work, you'll need to contact Building Control once again.

Here, they'll need to come out and review your work before signing off on it. Once it has been signed off as being fit for purpose, you'll be able to use your log burner as normal. If, however, they don't think your work is satisfactory, they will not allow you to use the burner until the issues are fixed.

So, Which Method Is Best?

There isn't a best method per se, but there may be one that is better suited to you than the other.

If you're a confident builder, familiar with adhering to regulations, don't mind informing the council of your intention to carry out the work, and are willing for the finished stove to be inspected, then carrying out the installation yourself can save you money and it might be right for you - just be sure you familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations before you start.

If you're not confident, would prefer somebody else to carry out the work for you, and would rather have everything done at once - that's the installation and the permission being granted and the work being signed off all by the same person - then opt for a HETAS registered stove installer instead.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, planning permission isn't technically required, no matter which method you choose. If you opt for a HETAS registered stove installer, then the process will be quicker and you won't need to worry about the rules and regulations yourself.

Opting to DIY will require a little more collaboration with your local council, but it's well within your permitted development rights to install the burner yourself at home.

However you choose to have your log burner put in, just make sure it's done safely, and your local authority will be perfectly happy with your new addition in most cases!

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