Do I need planning permission?
If you are intending to construct a new building, alter the appearance of an existing building or change the use of a building you are likely to require planning permission the Planning Portal provides guidance on use classes (external link).
Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, are classed as ‘permitted development’ and do not require planning permission.
Common projects which may require Planning Permission
The Planning Portal website (external link) offers general advice on householder extensions and other common projects on when planning permission is required. Additionally, the following alterations and proposals require planning permission:
- If you live in a flat or maisonette, you are likely to need planning permission for many alterations, including changes to windows and doors
- Change of use: if you are planning to change the use of a building you may require planning permission
- If you live in a Conservation area, you may be subject to additional restrictions known as Article 4 Directions. To find out if you live in a conservation area, please consult our Conservation areas page
- If you intend to carry out works to protected trees (under a tree preservation order), or to trees in a conservation area, you will need the council’s permission. Further guidance can be found on the Tree Preservation Orders pages
- If you intend to alter Listed buildings internally or externally, you will probably require Listed Building Consent
- If you intend to display advertisement and signage you will probably require Advertisement Consent
- If you are carrying out new building work, you will probably have to comply with Building Regulations - please see our Building Control pages for further guidance
Legislation categorises buildings into separate ‘use classes’, depending on the purpose that the building is used for. Certain changes from one kind of use class to another are subject to permitted development rights and do not require planning permission. Additionally, a number of minor alterations and extensions made to residential houses can be carried out without planning permission.
Common projects with permitted development rights are outlined in detail on the planning portal. The relevant forms for permitted development requiring prior approval can be found on our Forms and Fees page.
Before carrying out any permitted development works we recommend that you apply for a lawful development certificate (LDC). This is not the same as planning permission but is proof that your building work is lawful. Even if you are sure your project is permitted development it provides formal confirmation which provides peace of mind and if you should later want to sell your property, an LDC may be helpful to answer queries raised by potential buyers or their legal representatives. You can apply using the Planning Portal's secure online application service (external link). The application requires a site location plan, accurate scale plans of the existing and proposed property and an application fee.
You can also download the application form from our Forms and Fees page.
If you are unsure about whether your proposal requires Planning permission or not, you can get further guidance from our pre-application planning advice service, or through the Planning Portal website (external link).
For advice on developments that require permission please visit our Planning Advice for Common Projects page.
Please note that whether or not your works are permitted development, if you plan to carry out building work, you may require Building Regulations approval. You can get further information and advice on Building Regulations approval on our Building Control pages, or receive advice and guidance from our Building Control pre-application planning advice service.