Planning - Work that needs Planning Permission
Planning permission, in simple terms, is like asking if you can do a certain piece of building work. It will be granted – sometimes with conditions – or refused.
You can make some types of works to your house without needing planning permission. These are called permitted development rights.
The Planning Portal website has lots of guidance on planning permission and when you will need it. You can explore the online houses found within the site to find out about specific types of work.
Before you apply
If you think you need planning permission we encourage you to use our pre-application advice service before you apply.
You can submit an application to us via the Planning Portal apply online website.
Permitted development rights
You can make certain types of changes to your house without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called permitted development rights.
Permitted development rights allow for larger house extensions as well as changes to commercial properties.
The following are allowed without the need for planning permission:
- larger single storey rear extensions to residential properties
- larger extensions to industrial and warehousing premises, shops and offices
- conversions between office and residential uses
- more flexible uses of shops, offices, residential institutions and agricultural buildings
- easier conversion of premises for school uses
- telecom installations in conservation areas
If you wish to carry out one of the above you will still need to tell us what you want to do through a prior notification application.
Go to the Planning Portal permitted development rights web page for full details of permitted development rights criteria and procedure.
Larger house extensions
Permitted development rules apply to larger house extensions.
The following must apply:
- the extension must be single storey and not exceed 4m in height
- the dwelling must not be in a conservation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty, within a World Heritage Site, or on a site of special scientific interest
- before starting works the developer must notify us by providing a written description and plans
- we will consult with owners and occupiers of adjoining premises, giving them a minimum of 21 days to respond, and send a copy of the letter to the developer
- if none of the owners or occupiers of adjoining premises object to the proposed development, then we will simply confirm to the developer that prior approval is not required
- If the owners or occupiers of any adjoining premises object to the proposed development, then we must take into account all representations and assess the impact of the proposals on all adjoining premises, not just those that are the subject of representations
- to make this assessment we may ask the developer to submit further information
- if we refuse to approve the development, the developer may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate
- if we confirm that approval is not needed then the works can be undertaken as described in the documents that the developer submitted to us
- the developer must notify us of the completion of the works as soon as reasonably possible after completion.
Biodiversity in Planning provides a free online tool for householders and small- or medium-scale developers to check whether they will need expert ecological advice before submitting a planning application. Go to Biodiversity in Planning: Wildlife Assessment Check.
This tool is not meant for large developments where formal Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are required by law.