Do you need Planning Permission?

By virtue of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990, planning permission is required for the carrying out of development. Development is defined as the 'carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land'.

Therefore, most new buildings, as well as changes in the uses of land and buildings need planning permission from the District Council. If you are considering extending or altering your property in some way you may need planning permission. Some kinds of development can be carried out without the need to apply for planning consent from the District Council. Known generally as ‘permitted development’ this is covered by Central Government legislation. Please go to the Permitted Development section of this website for further information.

Please be aware that permitted development rights may have been removed or restricted by an Article 4, a planning condition, or due to the location of the property (e.g. in a Conservation Area), and therefore planning permission may be required for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas. There are also different requirements if the property is a listed building.

Whilst we can provide advice (see Pre-application Stage), for a formal determination as to whether planning permission is required or not you would need to submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness. Please go to the Application Forms and Fees section for the application form and guidance notes.

Link to Planning Portal. Opens in new windowThe Central Government’s website ‘Planning Portal’ provides further details and practical guidance on what is and is not Permitted Development, as well as other relevant planning information.


Here are some common examples where you would need to apply for planning permission:

  • Adding or extending a flat or maisonette, including those converted from houses
  • Dividing off part of your house for use as a separate home (for example, a self-contained flat or bed-sit)
  • Using a building or caravan in your garden as a separate residence for someone else
  • Building a separate house in your garden
  • Dividing off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a commercial workshop) or creating a parking place for a commercial vehicle
  • Building something which goes against the terms of the original planning permission for your house (for example, a planning condition may have been imposed to stop you putting up a fence in the front garden because the house is on an ''open plan'' estate)
  • Work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users
  • Work would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road

You may still need other kinds of planning approval such as:

  • Advert Consent (see Adverts section)
  • Listed Building Consent
  • Conservation Area Consent

Go to the Planning Portal website for further information on the types of permissions.

It is important to note that planning permission is quite separate from an approval under building regulations which is concerned with making sure buildings are constructed safely and are suitable for their purpose. So you should always check with the Council's Building Control section. The Planning Portal website also provides information.

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