Do I need planning permission?

This section covers:

  • What is planning permission?
  • Do you need planning permission for your project?
  • Do you have permitted development rights?
  • Pre-application discussions
  • Information about Building Control and other factors that might affect your application

What is planning permission?

Planning can seem a bit daunting when you are new to it, so let’s start with the basics.  

It focuses on the impact your building project has on other people and other areas outside of the site.

For example, the impact it may have upon neighboring properties.

Planning permission decides whether a certain building project can take place, it controls the right to build on land and protects other people.

Read more on the planning portal

Do you need planning permission for your project?

Useful guides will help you decide if you need it.  

You can learn about common projects for households such as: 

  • outbuildings
  • conservatories
  • patio and driveway
  • decking
  • house extensions
  • garage conversion
  • paving your front garden
  • fences, gates and garden walls

The Planning Portal has an interactive house, which can help you quickly determine whether you need planning permission and/or building regulation approval or not.  

Do you have permitted development rights?

There are various types of development where you may not need planning permission.  These building projects are known as permitted development.

Sometimes the right to do these permitted developments may be restricted. 

Read more about permitted development

Pre-application discussions

If you know you need planning permission, but would like specific advice about your project, you can use our Pre-planning application service.

Still not sure if you need planning permission

If you are still unsure whether you need planning permission, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate which is a formal decision as to whether permission is required.  Further details can be found on Planning Portal – lawful development certificate 

You will probably need building control approval

Building control approval is different from planning permission.  It focuses on the technical side such as making sure the building regulations are upheld and public safety is maintained.  Most planning applications require building control approval.

Visit our building control pages to find out more

Other factors might affect your building project

Even if your work is granted planning permission or is covered by permitted development, you may still require additional permissions for the work you are planning.  

Do you have a listed building?

A listed building is a building, object or structure that is declared to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest.

Check if your property is a listed building

Do you live in a conservation area?

A conservation area is an area of environmental or historical importance which is protected by law.

Some type of work that doesn’t require permission outside a conservation area might need permission inside of it.

Check if your property is in a conservation area

Are you building sustainable drainage (SuDs)?

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDs) are a type of drainage designed to control surface water runoff in a more sustainable way other than by the use of pipes and tanks. 

Read about SuDs 

Does that tree have a tree preservation order?

A tree preservation order (TPO) is designed to protect specific trees or a particular area from damage and destruction.

You will need consent to carry out works to a tree if it is protected.

Read more about TPO's

Do you have a party wall?

A party wall is when some or all of your property is connected to the boundary of land belonging to two (or more) different owners.  

You must let the different owners know if you are about to start a building project.

Owners can agree or disagree with what you propose.

Read more about party walls on the planning portal

Other things that might affect your property

You should also check for the following before you start work:

  • ancient monuments
  • covenants and Private rights
  • licensed sites
  • protected species
  • rights of way

Read more about these on the Planning Portal

Contact us