Guidance: Medium combustion plant: apply for an environmental permit

Natural Resources Wales

June 26
15:07 2023

Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) permits are standalone permits. They only cover emissions of SO?, NO? and dust to air. There are no permit conditions for water, land, energy efficiency, odour or noise.

There are 3 types of permit for a stationary or mobile medium combustion plant (MCP):

  • standard rules permit low risk
  • simple bespoke low risk
  • complex bespoke permit high risk

Find information on what to do if your MCP is already permitted, for example, if you have:

Before you apply

Check you have all the information you need, including the deadlines you must meet. Read the guidance on:


  • England, apply to the Environment Agency using these details and application forms
  • Wales, apply to Natural Resources Wales use their details and application forms

You need to apply in time for the regulator to determine your application check the After you apply section of this page for more information.

Standard rules permits

To apply for a standard rules permit you must be able to meet the rules set out in the permit. If you cannot, you must apply for a bespoke permit.

See the standard rules permits available for low risk stationaryMCPs. The standard rules permits are not suitable if yourexisting MCPis also classed as a specified generator.

Apply for a standard rules permit

When you submit your application, you must provide the:

  • operators name and the address of the registered office for mobile MCP the owner is the operator
  • MCPs location, if stationary address, postcode and the national grid reference or latitude and longitude (not required for mobile MCP)
  • net rated thermal input (MWth)
  • type of combustion plant such as diesel engine, gas turbine, dual fuel engine, other engine or boiler
  • type and portion of fuels used, as set out in the fuel categories in Annex 2 of the MCPD
  • operation start date
  • Nomenclature of Economic Activities (NACE) code for the activity
  • expected annual operating hours and the approximate average load in use (see the ELV exemption declaration section of this page)

Operator competence

In your application you must be able to demonstrate your ability as an operator. Provide information on:

  • any conviction of a relevant offence by you or a relevant person
  • current or past bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings against you or a relevant person

You must also confirm you have a written management system.

ELV exemption declaration

If the 500 operating hours per year exemption applies to your MCP, you must provide a signed declaration that the MCP will not operate more than the allowed hours.

Charges for standard rules permits

SR2018 No 7: new and existing, low risk, stationary medium combustion plant and SR2022 No 9: new and existing, low risk, stationary medium combustion plant which is a natural gas boiler

Number of MCPs Application charge Subsistence charge Transfer charge Surrender charge
1 446 194 169 125
up to 3 520 256 169 125
up to 5 620 342 169 125
up to 8 720 394 169 125
up to 10 779 520 169 125
up to 15 813 620 169 125

Help and advice

See guidance on how to get help with your application in England.

In Wales, email for help.

Complete and submit the standard rules permit application form

Complete the application form. The form verifies the standard rules permit you have selected based on the information you put in.

Email it to

If you cannot use the form or you have any issues with it, please contact

Bespoke permits

If you cannot meet the conditions in a standard rules permit you must apply for a bespoke permit. There are 2 types:

  • simple bespoke (low risk) does not require detailed air dispersion modelling
  • complex bespoke (high risk) does require detailed air dispersion modelling

Read the following guidance to see:

  • which type of bespoke permit you must apply for
  • what information you must provide in addition to that required for a standard rules permit

Air emissions risk assessment

Stage 1

If each individual MCPis operating outside the minimum screening distances to the habitat sites given in the table then you can apply for a lower risk simple bespoke permit. If any of the MCP(s) are operating inside the minimum screening distances to habi

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