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Do You Need Planning Permission to Install a Cement Silo?

Do You Need Planning Permission to Install a Cement Silo?

If you are considering installing a silo for your construction project, one crucial question you need to answer is “Do I need planning permission?” Cement silos are incredible for storing bulk quantities of cement and other powders, helping to optimize your workflow by providing a continuous supply of materials. However, the regulations and requirements surrounding the installation of a silo will depend on what kind of silo you want to install.

In this article, we will explore the factors involved in determining whether planning permission is necessary for installing a cement silo and provide valuable insights for navigating the process and ensuring compliance with local regulations.


Horizontal Cement Silos vs. Vertical Cement Silo

The first question you will need to ask yourself is what kind of cement silo you want to install. Horizontal and vertical cement silos serve very similar purposes, but there are crucial distinctions between them that you need to understand before taking the first steps.


Vertical Cement Silos

Vertical cement silos (also known as fixed silos) are the more traditional form of silo; you’ve probably seen vertical silos being used in the agricultural or mining industry to store various materials. These are the very tall, narrow silos which are supported by a sturdy base or legs. Although they take up only a small amount of space thanks to their verticality, you need planning permission to install a vertical cement silo.

However, vertical cement silos tend to be the more affordable, simpler option when compared to horizontal silos. They are easy to maintain and cost-effective, usually having only one auger (used to transfer materials), but they are more difficult to install since they need to be erected by crane and bolted to a suitable concrete slab.


Horizontal Cement Silos

As you might expect, horizonal cement silos sit horizontally, reaching much lower heights than vertical silos but also taking up more physical real estate. Utranazz’s range of horizontal cement silos are perfect for businesses that demand flexibility, since they are fully mobile and can be transported easily on a flatbed truck. You do not normally need planning permission to install a Utranazz horizontal cement silo (although you should always check with your local authority). The installation process is incredibly simple and does not require the use of a crane. But, horizontal silos tend to be a little more complicated to operate and require more maintenance than vertical silos.


Planning Permission for Vertical Cement Silos

There are multiple reasons that you might need planning permission to install a cement silo, ranging from environmental impact to land use and the visual impact of the silo.


Vertical Cement Silos and the Environment

One of the main reasons that you need to think about planning permission for your next cement silo is dust emission. Silos hold powders such as cement, PFA, ash and other materials that resemble a very fine dust.  In large quantities, this dust can cause environmental risks such as air, soil and water pollution.

Because vertical cement silos are often filled from the top, and the release mechanism uses the force of gravity, there is a higher risk of dust generation while using a vertical cement silo. The long free fall distance between the top of the silo and the bottom, and the irregular airflow patterns inside the narrow, vertical container, means extra caution needs to be taken to ensure you are not inadvertently putting the surrounding environment at risk.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ statuatory guidance for the use of cement gives some clear instructions on the use of cement silos (p. 51).

“Dust emissions shall be minimised […] by ensuring delivery [between the delivery inlet point and the tanker discharge point] is at a rate which does not pressurise the silo.”

“Silos and bulk containers of dusty materials shall not be overfilled and there shall be an overfilling alarm.”

Utranazz’s vertical silos meet all the necessary regulations to ensure that they conform with the latest environmental guidelines. Our Silmatic range of vertical silos are fitted with a reverse jet filtration system. Dust is separated from the air flow by special Polypleat filter elements and then drops back into the silo after an integrated automatic reverse air jet cleaning system has removed it from the filter elements.

Utranazz’s range of vertical silos are also fitted with a relief valve and pressure switch to ensure the silo cannot be over-filled with powder or over-pressurised.

Because of the impact of cement dust on the environment, you will need to consult your local planning authority so they can check you have the proper mitigation strategies in place.


Land Use Regulations

It’s possible that the land you want to install your silo on is subject to planning policies and regulations. The presence of a silo means that the land is now being used as an industrial site, which wouldn’t be permitted on land which can only be used (for example) for agriculture. This may only be applicable if you’re making significant changes to the immediate surroundings – for example, building a larger concrete depot or storage facility.

It’s also best to check if the land is near any listed buildings or conservation areas, which will be protected to preserve their historical significance.


Visual Impact of Vertical Cement Silos

Lastly, erecting a vertical silo might conflict with local planning regulations if it exceeds a certain height. This is usually to preserve a visual consistency across an area. If your silo falls below these thresholds, you won’t need permission, but if it goes over, you’ll need to get permission from the planning authority to build it.

If you’re unsure if you need planning permission for your silo, you should contact your local planning authority to explain your situation to request guidance.


Cement Silos from Utranazz

Here at Utranazz, we pride ourselves on supplying the UK’s largest range of concrete equipment to customers locally and across the globe. We offer a variety of cement silos to suit your needs, and the dimensions of each silo are clearly stated so that you have all the information necessary to request planning permission if you need to. If you’re interested in purchasing a silo from Utranazz, get in touch by phone, email, or submit an enquiry form, and a member of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Do You Need Planning Permission to Install a Cement Silo?

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