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Energy Efficiency Plans Questioned by NHIC
   Government proposals to facilitate energy efficiency home improvements should be approached with caution, the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) has advised.
   According to housing and planning minister John Healey, homeowners and developers should not be required to seek planning permission to install facilities such as on-site wind turbines and air source heat pumps.
   However, Andrew Leech, NHIC executive director, has warned that this could lead to problems.
   "I think we have got to be very careful what happens here because we could get some rather outlandish items appearing if we are not too careful," he said.
   Mr Leech added: "I know that wind turbines and air source heat pumps have to be built to a standard, but if we let go of all control we might encounter problems with some atrocious things appearing."
   Despite admitting that the government should make the system easier for people to make their properties more environmentally-friendly, Mr Leech added that measures had to be taken to prevent people from "going overboard".
   Ministers are now launching a three-month consultation on the proposals.