Planning permission is often required for development, which includes undertaking building works or changing the use of land or existing buildings. For example, if you want to carry out works to your home, expand your business or change the use of your premises you may need to apply to the Council for planning permission.
Before you make improvements or changes to a property, it is important to first find out if you need planning permission. If you commence building works or change the use of your premises without permission, any unauthorised works could be subject to planning enforcement action by the Council and you may be required to restore the land to its previous state or use.
Check the requirements
As a starting point in considering whether you require planning permission, we would advise you to:
- Check the advice on the Planning Portal, which provides an initial indication
- Check the interactive house on the Planning Portal, which is a useful tool for householder projects
- Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for a Proposed Use or Development (see below)
If you do need planning permission and would like advice about whether your proposals are likely to be acceptable you can use our pre-application service.
If your property is listed, check the Find out if you need listed buildings consent page for any proposed works as well as possibly requiring planning permission.
Some development, known as permitted development, does not require planning permission. You can find out more information about permitted development rights at the following:
- Planning Portal, Permitted Development Rights
- General Permitted Development Order, Legislation
- Permitted Development Technical Guidance
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide informal advice on whether your work will be considered permitted development. You will need to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate if you would like a formal decision on this.
Lawful Development Certificate
In order to seek the Council’s formal decision on whether planning permission is needed for any proposed work, or if works undertaken without planning permission are lawful, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate.
This formal determination enables you to avoid the risk of unauthorised works, should planning permission be required. You may find a lawful development certificate helpful if you come to sell your property by providing certainty to prospective purchasers that works are authorised.
Prior approval and notification
Some types of permitted development require the submission of an application to the Council for its 'Prior Approval; or to determine if its 'Prior Approval' will be required.
See further information regarding Prior Approvals on the Planning Portal website and at the guidance below:
- larger home extensions
- agricultural or forestry developments
- demolition of buildings
- developments for electronic communications networks
In addition to planning permission most developments will require Building Regulations approval. Please visit our Building Control webpages for further information regarding the building regulations that would apply to your works.