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Do I Need Planning Permission?

Whether or not you need planning permission for certain works is dependent on certain circumstances. The sections below cover the situations in which you may need planning permission.

Please note that carrying out works without planning permission may result in enforcement action being taken and you could end up with a fine (of up to £20,000) and / or a criminal conviction.

Residential Planning Permission

New residential dwellings will always require planning permission. The Policies in our Adopted Core Strategy and Local Plan Delivery DPD sets out the policies used to determine if a new development may be acceptable.

If you plan to build an extension, carry out work to your home or garden there are some cases where you may not need to apply for planning permission, providing the works meet certain limits and conditions, known as Permitted Development. The Planning Portal provides answers to some frequently asked questions and offers guides covering a wide range of common projects which may not require Planning Permission, such as:

Extensions and conservatories

Garage and loft conversions

Doors and windows

Fences, gates and garden walls

Outbuildings

Decking

Satellite dishes, TV and radio antenna

Solar panels and wind turbines

Further advice on Permitted Development is available on the Planning Portals guides for common development and also a helpful interactive house, external links are given below.

If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful for planning purposes or that your proposal does not require planning permission you will need to apply for a lawful development certificate.

Business

Most alterations to business premises need planning permission, but some alterations may be Permitted Development. You can view the Planning Portal's interactive guide for shops on the external links given below.

You will normally need permission for: Alterations to shop fronts including external security shutters/grills.

Change of Use

Under the planning system, all land and buildings have a designated lawful use such as a dwelling house, office, cafe.

You may need planning permission to change the use of your property from a shop to an office or from a house to bedsits although some changes of use fall under Permitted Development Rights, an external link is provided below.

The Planning Portal also provides useful information and advice on running a business from home, external link is given below.

Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings

Special consent is required for development and other works to listed buildings and those located in conservation areas.

If your proposed works are to a Listed Building, you will likely need Listed Building Consent, as well as any relevant planning permission or building regulations approval. You can find out whether your building is listed using the external link given below to the Historic England website.

Trees and Hedgerows

Works to trees and hedgerows may require permission. If a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), or is located within a designated conservation area, then you will need to obtain consent from the council before carrying out any works to it. You can find out more information about trees on our Tree Preservation Order page.

Building Regulation Consent

Even if you do not need planning permission you may still need building regulation approval.  

Permitted Development

Some developments do not require an application for planning permission.  

Permission will be automatically granted providing the work meets certain limitations and conditions – this is known as 'Permitted Development'. If a development meets these requirements you will not have to make an application for planning permission.

Certain types of permitted development including the erection of new agricultural buildings, demolition and certain changes of use do still require prior approval from us, this is set out within the permitted development order.

Further guidance for Permitted Development for Householders is given on the external links below, more information on all forms of Permitted Development can be found on the planning portal.

Restricted or Removed Permitted Development Rights

In some cases we may have restricted or removed permitted development rights for a particular area, building or piece of land. This is normally done to protect the character of the area or the use a building.

If the restrictions are for a particular building, they will be shown on the planning Decision Notice as a condition. If the restrictions are for an area, they will be in the form of what is called an Article 4 Direction.

Any restrictions we make will overrule Permitted Development rights. If your project does not qualify as Permitted Development, or if Permitted Development rights have been removed, you will need to apply for planning permission.

You can use our online contact form to check if your property benefits from permitted development rights.

Full Planning Application

This is the most common type of planning application. The full details of a development proposal are submitted for consideration, including detailed drawings showing the site and the work you plan to do.

Types of development that require an application for full permission include;

  • most non-householder developments
  • engineering or other works
  • new housing development
  • temporary planning permissions
  • change of use of a building and/or land.

However, if you are extending or altering an existing residential dwelling you will need to make a Householder application (see below).

Householder Application

This is an application specifically for householders who need permission to carry out work to their home or garden area. All details of the development proposal are submitted in one planning application.

These cover projects such as:

  • Extensions and Conservatories
  • Garage and Loft conversions
  • Doors and Windows
  • Garages, Car Ports and Outbuildings
  • Fences, Gates and Garden Walls

If your property is a listed building you will also need to submit an application for Listed Building Consent.

Outline Application

An outline application allows for general principles of a development to be considered and whether they would be acceptable. This type of permission is usually for larger schemes, for example, housing developments.

If an Outline application is approved, conditions are normally attached which will need to be completed or met before further submission - this is known as a Reserved Matters application (see below).

Where the setting of a listed building is affected or if the site is in a conservation area the council may require further details for consideration. An outline application may not be acceptable in this case and an application for full permission may be required.

Reserved Matters Application

Where outline planning permission has been granted, an application for approval of the details, or Reserved Matters, must be submitted to the planning authority for approval before the development starts. This will typically include information about the layout, access, scale and appearance of the development (the information excluded from the initial outline planning application).

Last updated 10 January 2024
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