Planning permission is required to carry out any development of land, including new buildings, major alterations to existing buildings and changing the use of buildings or land.

Some types of development, such as certain kinds of extensions and alterations, are granted automatic planning permission as they are classed as permitted development. This means that they do not need planning permission from us.

Permitted development

Permitted development is dependent on a variety of criteria. You should use the interactive guides on the Planning Portal to help you work out if you need to apply for planning permission, building control approval or if the work is permitted development.

The list of common projects below link to further information on the planning portal:

Although most houses benefit from these permitted development rights, there are some exceptions, including:

  • flats and maisonettes (purpose-built and converted)

  • houses that have had their permitted development rights removed by a condition on a previous planning permission. For example, this can be the case for houses that have been built in the last 30-40 years. You can see if any restrictive conditions apply by checking the planning history decision notices of your property, or the larger development of which your property forms a part, on the Public Access system.

Household extensions

From 30 May 2013 to 30 May 2019, householders are allowed to build larger single storey rear extensions than would normally be allowed under permitted development rights. These extensions are subject to a neighbour consultation process. You need to notify us, by completing the Notification of Home Extension form, of the work you wish to carry out and must wait for us to give you approval before starting the work. You may find it useful to read the Guidance Note on completing the form, which also contains further information about the scheme in general.

This extended permitted development does not apply to houses which are located within a conservation area.

If a property benefits from permitted development rights but is a listed building, then its rights will be reduced (for example, no outbuildings etc) and most works will still require listed building consent.

This is a prior approval system and cannot be done retrospectively. If work has started, then this procedure cannot be used and a full planning application will be required.

You can find detailed information on the extension sizes allowed on the Planning Portal’s Interactive Extension Guide.

Confirmation that permission is not required

It's in your best interest to ask us to confirm if planning permission is needed or not before work is undertaken. If permission isn't required, we can provide written confirmation, known as a lawful development certificate. This is your evidence that permission wasn't required if a query is ever raised over why the development didn't have formal planning permission.

Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate

What can I do if I am still not sure if I need planning permission?

If you're still not sure if you need planning permission for a project you are advised to contact a professional planning consultant.

You can call us on 01480 388424 for assistance, but please be aware that waiting times may occur during busy periods.