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What is Planning Permission and Do I Need It?

Planning permission is required for most development, except for proposals that are 'permitted development'.

WHAT IS PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT

Some types of development, generally those that are small scale with limited impact, can be carried out without applying for planning permission; this is known as 'permitted development'.

There are detailed regulations that explain what types of development are considered to be permitted development; however, it includes a whole range of items such as, bus stops, phone boxes, letter boxes, telecommunications equipment, and CCTV equipment.

WHAT IF I WANT TO MAKE SOME CHANGES TO MY HOME?

Details of what is permitted development can be found on the Government's Planning Portal website here

WHAT CAN I DO WITHOUT APPLYING FOR PLANNING PERMISSION?

It is always best to ask your local council to confirm that planning permission is not needed for the work that you want to do and if possible, get confirmation in writing.

In brief, under most circumstances, planning permission is not needed for the following:

  • Television and radio aerials (some satellite dishes may need permission).
  • Garden sheds and garages (subject to their height, no more than half of your back garden should be covered with buildings or structures, and should not be closer to the road than the front of your house).
  • Garden fences of up to two metres in height (one metre on road frontages).
  • Replacement windows and doors in houses but not in flats
  • Solar panels
  • Dormer windows (where these are part of a small loft conversion).
  • Patios and decking (no more than half of your back garden should be covered with buildings or structures).
  • Single storey rear extensions up to three metres in depth of a terraced or semi-detached house and four metres in depth if detached (the limit is increased to 6m if an attached house and 8m if a detached house until 30 May 2016).
  • Two storey rear extensions of up to three metres in depth (these must be a minimum of seven metres from any rear boundary).

PLEASE NOTE 1 - The list above is only a general guide. If you live in a Conservation Area or the local authority has amended permitted development rights using what is known as an Article 4 Direction, these rights will not apply. Also, if you live in a Listed Building, your permitted development rights will be restricted and you will also need listed building consent before you carry out any work.

PLEASE NOTE 2 - also that different rules apply to flats and maisonettes - please see information here

SEE ALSO:

Laws and Regulations

Building Regulations