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UK Power Networks Power Down Transformer

UK Power Networks Power Down Transformer


Planning permission or planning consent is the permission required in the United Kingdom in order to be allowed to build on land, or change the use of land or buildings. Within the UK the occupier of any land or building will need title to that land or building (i.e. “ownership”), but will also need “planning title” or planning permission to make any changes.

Local Planning Authorities are generally the local borough or district council (‘local authority’ in Scotland), although an application for a mining operation, minerals extraction, or a waste management facility would be decided by the local county council in non-metropolitan areas.

It is common now for local authorities to place conditions on a project to ensure compliance with planning guidelines in areas such as noise, environmental and building sustainability.


There are many stages in the planning process and it is essential to get advice on all aspects from site review / acquisition and planning through design and construction to the eventual testing.

Key areas to consider are:

  • Advice on selection of appropriate sites
  • Measurement and assessment of noise & vibration on site
  • Production of the acoustic chapter for Environmental Statements or simpler acoustic reports
  • Advice on mitigation of noise and vibration
  • BREEAM Pre-Assessments
  • Appearance at Planning Inquiries if the process goes to appeal.


A recent project for UK Power Network involved SRL getting involved in the planning stage for the site of a change down transformer. In the first place we did a noise assessment of the proposed site and then used this data to compare against the performance data for the transformer. This initial analysis showed that the transformer needed to be made quieter. Design changes were made and on reassessing we were confident that all planning conditions would be met. We then produced a report that was submitted to the planning authority that subsequently approved the site.