Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

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SouthLondonDaddy
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Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:30 pm

 We are considering installing air conditioning in a freehold house (no leasehold, no listed building, etc) and understand we’ll need planning permission. Does anyone have any experience on this? How reasonable (or not) is the council? How long does the process take? Do they require a formal noise assessment? If so, who can carry it out and are there guidelines on acceptable noise levels (external fan to be no louder than x dB)? Can you recommend any installer and any specific model? I imagine having quiet devices would be the most important aspect. Camden’s website spells out the process for planning permission quite clearly: https://www.camden.gov.uk/plant-ventila ... permission but I have not found anything on Wandsworth’s website and haven’t been able to reach them on the phone. As a last resort, if planning permission gets denied, we could think of those air-conditioning systems which have an internal, water-cooled condenser and don’t require external fans. But I can only suppose these would be much more expensive. Something like: https://www.coolyoudirect.co.uk/frequen ... solutions/ PS I often read that air conditioning units are part of permitted development rights, but I understand that’s not true: clause G3a (at the bottom) specifies you can install a heat pump if it’s used for heating only – so a condenser (the big ugly fan on the outside of the buildings) requires planning permission if it’s used for cooling.http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015 ... mises/made 
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chorister
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby chorister » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:47 am

Ah well, if you are a South London Daddy that's really going to help the planet for your children. 
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:24 am

Sigh… Does anyone else suffering from middle class guilt want to add irrelevant comments without knowing the situation?


Would you give the same answer to someone asking for advice on what car to buy?

Not that it’s any of your business, but the loft gets incredibly hot. Even when it’s only 22-23C outside, it can easily be more than 30C there. When it’s 30C outside, the loft becomes an oven. It is illegal to transport live animals in those conditions; if my employers made me work in a room that hot, I would sue them – and win.

The loft is where we host the grandparents when they come to visit the grandchildren. Fans do very little. So, enlighten me, what shall we do? Put the grandparents in a hotel? By the way, there are hotels where you are forced to use the aircon because the windows cannot be opened – just saying. Tell them to suck it up because, you know, the planet? Send them to your place – will you kindly host them for us? Put them in a tent in the garden? Buy a bigger house (will you donate us the money?) with more rooms on the first floor, so we don’t need to use the loft?

Yes, many of the things we do hurt the planet. In some cases, you can change some habits and make an impact, from recycling more buying an electric car etc; in other cases, there is  not much of an alternative.  E.g. if, like Greta, you can rely on a multimillionaire friend who can sail you to New York AND you can afford to waste two weeks to get there, great. But how many people can? I know I can't.

Now, if anyone has any comments relevant to the original question, I shall be most grateful. Thanks.
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chorister
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby chorister » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:00 pm

You're right, it was a cheap shot.  But I don't really suffer from middle class guilt - I have a science degree and have been fascinated by climate change for well over a decade, often reading source scientific material.  Among the most interesting and depressing studies are those on the psychological constraints that - in my  opinion - are likely to mean that the issue is unlikely to get solved.  Basically the research says that people will do just enough to make themselves feel better, but will leave real sacrifices (like suggesting that the grandparents don't visit during heatwaves, for example) to others.  I recognise that in myself too.

In the unlikely event that you are interested, check out an economic theory called the Tragedy of the Commons, first postulated by a Victorian economist in about 1830.

And re buying cars - yes, I would point out that in 2017 the average weight of a passenger car sold in the EU was about 1400kg; the average weight of a 4 x 4 is about 2200kg.  You don't need a degree in physics to know which will need less energy to move it from A to B.
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Historytutor
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby Historytutor » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:09 pm

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pie81
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby pie81 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:20 am

If you do a search on the Wandsworth planning portal for “air conditioning” you’ll find some relevant applications.

I believe the council will require you to specify the exact unit you will be using although I don’t know what spec are deemed acceptable (I imagine everyone chooses the quietest possible). You will also be required to put a sound reducing box around the external unit.

Personally if my neighbours put an air conditioning unit on the back of their house I would be pretty cross as I would hear the noise of it through our bedroom windows. They’d be fine with their air con but I would then be stuck with the choice of having my window shut or listening to their aircon hum. It’s not a very neighbourly thing to do, leaving aside the environmental impact.

We have recently put much better insulation in our roof than what was there previously. We’ve also changed any south facing windows to double glazed. The top floor rooms are now far more heat resistant than they were and stay at a reasonable temperature, especially if we are careful to keep windows and blinds shut during the heat of the day.

You could swap bedrooms with the grandparents if it’s too hot for them...
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:56 am

@chorister, @historytutor, I would love to talk about climate change in a separate, dedicated, thread, but I would greatly appreciate it if we could please keep this thread on topic

Btw, I tried to sleep in the loft during the heatwave - I couldn't. A younger guest than us couldn't, either, and ended up sleeping on the couch on the ground floor, which would not be a feasible option for the grandparents.

The loft is already double glazed. We could look into triple glazing and into further insulation but we are sceptical much would change.

Unlike Camden or other councils, Wandsworth doesn't publish any details on its rules for air conditioning.
I found one application which was accepted (in Balham in 2016)
These guys: https://www.noisesolutions.co.uk/
carried out a noise assessment


Another case was this 
The noise assessment was carried out by these guys: http://kpacoustics.com/

In both cases, units producing ca. 50dB of noise were considered acceptable. Maybe more crucially, in both cases no neighbour seems to have filed any complaints.
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pie81
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby pie81 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:26 pm

Hmm. The Ormeley road one has the a/c unit right up on the roof ridge, on anti vibration mounts. That’s a lot better from a noise perspective than having it on the rear facade or sitting on an extension roof which was what I’d pictured. Although still adds to the overall noise and heat pollution locally of course, but at least it’s not outside anyone’s bedroom window.

I presume you have tried a fan...?
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henricook
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby henricook » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:47 am

I've been through it

You need design drawings showing where the box will be on the outside of your house for the planning perm apps. I took designs from my loft conversion several years ago and dragged a clipart air conditioner in, drew a few boxes etc and it was enough - you could have an architect do this for you and handle the planning app for a few hundred I'd imagine

As long as your chosen position is the best it can be from a noise perspective (mine was right at the back of the house, I had to do a longer run of piping for the unit because of it but wasn't a big sacrifice) then I'd imagine they'll be fine

I think the planning app did ask for a notional unit, mainly so they can check noise levels. When the planning permission came through they stipulated that any unit I chose would have to be below a certain lowish but achievable noise level

The real problem is objecting neighbours if you're positioning it anywhere it might annoy them, so perhaps prepare them for the 'do you want to object' letters

The biggest issue was just how long it took, it took about 3 months just for a guy to visit and approve it

I used D-Air conditioning, recommended!

HTH
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:03 pm

Thank you!

Was it these guys https://d-air-conditioning.co.uk/contact-us/ ?

May I ask if you also hired a surveyor or a noise assessment firm, or did those guys do everything and also helped you with the planning permission?

How many external units (fans, condenser, not sure the exact name) did you install? Are you allowed to install on the front, visible from the street?

If you installed only one, how many rooms was it connected to?

I have seen that planning application which put the unit on the roof, but I wondered about how harder it is to access, and if that is in any way more dangerous or excluded from some building insurance policies...
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sloaney donkey
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Re: Planning permission to install air conditioning in Wandsworth: who has experience? Recommended installers?

Postby sloaney donkey » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:28 pm

Most people on my road have them. Tucked away On their back walls. None will have planning for it. Probably they are too cool for that.

If you have a Victorian place that is mid terrace then you might find it tricky to find somewhere to put it in. If you have a kitchen extension then if you put it on the kitchen roof it is not normally visible to anyone apart from the people backing into you.

You have

- deeds of the house may not permit you to put them on. But aerials would fall under the same clauses, and the world and her brother have tv aerials. And 1890s homes all have alterations.

- electrical wiring needs to be within section P (needs a different circuit ... perhaps even separate wiring up to your loft).

- you need drainage as the condensers leak water in summer. Needs to go to gutters

I used to buy them in this country. Mitsubishi and Samsung. But I got my daughter to get one from HK. They cost about £750 for a really good one from the supermarket in Kowloon. Daikon is what mine are. One small one will do your loft fine. You can get ‘split’ ones with two internal units and one external.

I have about four around the house and use them to heat in winter.

Chorister- wot a hippo you are. I bet you have a gas boiler that pumps 10 tonnes a year of CO 2 into the environment ! A really dirty old one which burns 10 x as much gas as it should do. And makes carbon monoxide to poison your neighbors with.Actually, air con comes from electricity, which given coal is not used to make, is actually more clean. Go and read your science book. And stop trilling Hardworking families.

SW11 daddy - go and do your best for your loving and deserving family

Amen
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