Find out if you need planning permission

If you want to do building work or alter a building in some way it’s likely that your project will need some type of planning approval. 

Not all building work needs full planning permission. There are 3 main routes to approval:

  • permitted development 
  • prior approval
  • planning permission

You can use the householder guidance booklets below to assist and help you plan your project. The guides cover everything from the initial idea through to the completion of the build giving helpful tips and advice about both the planning and building control processes to help towards a successful application and build.

a homeowners guide to the planning process                      a homeowners guide to expanding your living space


National Planning Portal

The national Planning Portal has more information on the planning approval process, and what types of permission are needed for different types of work. 

They have put together:

Permitted development

If you own your home, permitted development rights mean you can do certain types of work without having to make a planning application.

Permitted development:

You can read the guidance for permitted development rights for householders on GOV.UK.

Restrictions on permitted development

Permitted development rights are restricted. 

You might not be able to use permitted development for:

If you cannot use permitted development for your project, you will need to apply for full planning permission.

Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate

If you’ve read the guidance and you think your project falls under permitted development, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC)

An LDC isn’t the same as planning permission, but it is proof that your building work is lawful. 

You will need to submit the same level of drawings and detail that you would to apply for planning permission. However, your application will be judged purely against legislation, and it doesn’t require your neighbours to be notified.

Prior approval

In some circumstances, you can complete work under permitted development only if you have prior approval from the Council. This means that your proposed works meet the permitted development requirements. 

You can get prior approval for some work if the principle of the development has already been established. 

A developer has to seek approval from us that specified elements of the development are acceptable before work can proceed. 

Read more about prior approval on the Planning Portal.

Planning permission

You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to your building, such as building a large extension
  • change the use of your building

You can view guidance on what types of work needs planning permission on the Planning Portal.

You can apply for planning permission online.