The Met Office undertakes safeguarding activities in order to protect its operational radio interests.
The Met Office engages in the formal planning consultation process.
This ensures that important national capabilities such as the UK Weather Radar Network and other operational meteorological radio uses (eg - satellite direct reception) vital to the provision of meteorological services to aviation and other civil contingencies stakeholders are not unduly compromised by development.
Wind turbines, in particular, have been shown to have the potential to adversely impact meteorological radio facilities, especially weather radar, if not sited with careful prior consideration. More information on what facilities the Met Office operates, impacts to our operations and how consultation by developers can help to mitigate such problems can be found in the guidance document Safeguarding Our Observations: Met Office guidelines for wind farm developers.
The Met Office is strongly supportive of cross-government activities to meet renewable energy targets and looks to work with developers to help achieve those aims where possible.
To aid the decision making of developers, we provide site-specific pre-planning advice for proposals sited in Met Office consultation zones.
The Met Office strongly encourages developers to consult with us at the earliest possible stage and maintain contact throughout the process, so that we may work with the developer and ensure that any concerns can be addressed and overcome where possible.
From the 27th March 2015, the Town & Country Planning (Safeguarded Meteorological Sites) (England) Direction 2014 (PDF, 2 MB) came into force confirming the Met Office status as a Consultee within the planning system, and as such, will be consulted on all applicable planning applications within safeguarded zones. Local planning authorities will consult with the Met Office directly in England, however, during a transitional period, local planning authorities will continue to consult Met Office via MOD Safeguarding for proposals in Scotland and Wales.
Developers can get free pre-planning advice for proposals within the Met Office consultation zones. Please refer to the PDF safeguarded zone maps above, and if you believe your proposal is within a particular zone then forward the pre-planning application form (PDF, 482 kB) to email@example.com. Alternatively complete the form below. Please note, pre-planning discussions with the Met Office do not remove the need for full and proper engagement with the planning system.
For general enquiries relating to proposed planning applications that may affect Met Office safeguarded sites, please direct all correspondence to:
Telephone: 0370 900 0100
Fax: 0370 900 5050
Last updated: 4 February 2016
Met Office guidelines for wind farm developers
Fact sheet 15