My quest for External solid wall insulation – is the battle over?

It’s the new year and I bring tidings of good cheer for owners of old, cold, solid walled homes across the land! It would seem that government departments have finally seen sense, banged a few heads together and have changed the planning guidance for people wanting to add external cladding to their walls.

I brought the issue up just over a year ago when I first came up against this ridiculous planning restriction as I was investigating external cladding for my own gable wall. The orginal post is here:

Desperately seeking soild wall insulation in Lambeth

Nearly a year later, and much hassling of governent officials, and nothing had changed:

My quest for solid wall insulation – the battle continues

In that year I had brought the subject up where ever I found myself in a position to do so. Even haranguing Greg Barker about it at the eco tech conference in Brighton over the summer, at the time he seemed rather clueless about the whole issue to be honest.

An article in the Sunday Telegraph about my situation brought another flurry of interest and lots of emails for people who were in the same position. Read it here

Well, I’m pleased to annouce it seems as if all that effort has paid off at last! On the 11th January, DCLG – the Department reponsible for buildings and planning laws published revised guidance for external solid wall insulation. Making it, to all intents and purposes ‘permitted development’ and hence not requiring planning permission in most normal circumstances (listed buidlings and conservation areas aside). Hoorah!

Here’s the link to the new technical guidance: Permitted development fo householders

Well, of course I can’t claim the credit for this, but I do hope my small contribution to getting the problem out there and heard by various local and central government officals went some way to making this breakthrough happen.

Now I can work with the great people at Sto and get this insulation up on my side wall hopefully before the winter is over, and reap the benefits of a warmer cosier home.

Watch this space for updates on how I get on.

5 comments… add one
  • Cathy Debenham January 14, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Hi Paula, You probably already know this, but Richard Adams just helpfully pointed out to me that building regs are still required for external wall insulation:

  • Richard January 15, 2013, 1:50 pm

    One small step for mankind…..

    With my parish councillor hat on I remain disappointed that there are other glaring anomalies that haven’t been sorted out. The one that really bugs me is that although under Class A building forward of the principal elevation if it fronts the highway is not permitted development, and the size of side and rear elevations are limited, if the principal elevation does not front a highway then it would seem that any size of extension is permitted development. Our Local Planning Authority has recently issued a Certificate of Lawfulness in one such case where the extension is well over 100% of the original dwelling.

    It’s bonkers.

  • Nick Butt January 23, 2013, 12:21 am

    Hi Paula,
    Our home in Suffolk is early Victorian Solid wall, and was always cold in winter, the walls were cold to the touch. About 4 years ago we painted it and used an additive called thermilate:
    The reviews of this product are variable but we noticed a difference immediately (3 degrees warmer with lower energy consumption), so much so that we have treated our 2 homes in Italy with it as well. In one the cantina (cellar) was previously unusable due to condensation, now it is dry.
    Due to other works, our home in Suffolk is classified as a Superhome with an audited energy reduction of 79%. You can find it on the Superhome website.

    • Paula January 23, 2013, 7:37 am

      hi Nick
      THis is interesting! is this product an external or internal solution? Is it a thick, granulated paint? Could be a good alternative for people who can’t insulate externally and don’t want to internal because of period fetures.
      THank you for altering me to it
      Best Paula


Leave a Comment