Do I need planning permission?
If you wish to construct, alter or change the use of a building it is likely that your project will fall into one of these categories, the guidance below should help to determine your route to approval.
You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to:
- build something new
- make a major change to your building, eg building a large extension
- change the use of your building
You can perform certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called permitted development rights.
Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application. Permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations to control impacts and to protect local amenity. Please note that these do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings.
The Planning Portal have put together guides for a range of common projects which can be completed under permitted development. Should you wish confirmation that your project conforms with the parameters set by legislation you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate, this will need to be submitted in the same way as planning permission applications but will be judged purely against legislation and will not need any neighbour notification.
In some areas permitted development rights are more restricted, for example please check whether you live in a conservation area or a listed building. You may also be restricted by an Article 4 Direction which is made when the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened, You will probably know if your property is affected by such a direction, but you can check our Article 4 map if you are unsure.
Houses created through permitted development rights to change use from shops, financial and professional services premises or agricultural buildings cannot use householder permitted development rights to improve, alter or extend homes: planning permission is required. You are advised to contact your local planning authority.
Prior approval is a light-touch process which applies where the principle of the development has already been established. It means that a developer has to seek approval from the local planning authority that specified elements of the development are acceptable before work can proceed.