Since 2005 it has been a legal requirement to notify your local authority Building Control department of your intention to install most fixed heating appliances in your home (whether it is a simple replacement or not), and this includes wood burning and multi fuel stoves and boiler stoves. Although this is not 'Planning Permission' in the strictest sense, you really do ignore this at your peril because Building Control approval, and the appropriate building Regulations compliance certification for the installation work, will almost certainly be requested should you ever wish to sell your house or there is an installation-related insurance claim. We understand that some insurance companies now ask that you inform them of such installations and that they wish to see this documentation as a matter of course. However, the Building Control route can be expensive and not necessarily any better. For example, our own local authority, Cheshire East Council Building Control, charges £280 for this service (at February 2012) and remember, that does not include the fitting! Fortunately there is a cost-effective alternative.
In England and Wales, when you use a specialist stove installer who is registered on the Hetas competent persons scheme there is no need for time-consuming and expensive Building Control notification as they will be able to issue their own Building Regulations compliance certification and registration. Hetas is the the official body recognised by the Government to approve wood burning and solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services including the registration of competent installers. Scotland is beginning to adopt the this scheme and although Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have their own competent persons schemes, building control notification is still a requirement.
To find out more about your legal obligations regarding notifications and the use competent persons the government planning portal has more information. This maybe be subject to changes depending on region.