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Battery Energy Storage Systems

The British energy security strategy applies to England, Scotland and Wales and outlines the government’s plans to secure clean and affordable British energy for the long term.

The transition away from oil and gas depends on growing the proportion of electricity coming from renewables. Accelerating the domestic supply of clean and affordable electricity also requires accelerating the connecting network infrastructure to support it. You can find the full British Energy Security Strategy here: British energy security strategy - GOV.UK (

Guidance is available to help local councils in developing policies for renewable and low carbon energy and identifies the planning considerations.  Planning policy guidance for the development of new non-domestic renewable and low carbon energy infrastructure is available here: Renewable and low carbon energy

Battery energy storage systems can enable a more flexible use of energy and help contribute to de-carbonising the energy system cost-effectively – for example, by helping to balance the system at lower cost, maximising the usable output from intermittent low carbon generation (e.g. solar and wind), and deferring or avoiding the need for costly network upgrades and new generation capacity.

When applying for planning permission for development involving lithium-ion battery energy storage systems these are subject to the requirements set out in The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 .

Where planning permission is being sought for development of battery energy storage systems of 1 MWh or over, and excluding where battery energy storage systems are associated with a residential dwelling, applicants are encouraged to engage with the relevant local fire and rescue service before submitting an application to the local planning authority.

This is so matters relating to the siting and location of battery energy storage systems, in particular in the event of an incident, prevention of the impact of thermal runway, and emergency services access can be considered before an application is made.

When planning applications are submitted, the local planning authority are encouraged to consult with their local fire and rescue service as part of the formal period of public consultation prior to deciding the planning application.

This is to ensure that the fire and rescue service are given the opportunity to provide their views on the application to identify the potential mitigations which could be put in place in the event of an incident, and so these views can be taken into account when determining the application.

Applicants and local planning authorities are also encouraged to consider guidance produced by the National Fire Chiefs Council when preparing the application.

The location of such sites are of particular interest to fire and rescue services; ESFRS will seek to obtain details of the design, and firefighting access and facilities at these sites in our register of site specific risks that we maintain for the purposes of Section 7 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004.