Planning Permission

Do I Need Planning Permission?

This depends on what you want to do. Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission. This is known as 'permitted development'.

For a period of three years, between 30 May 2013 and 30 May 2016, householders outside of Conservation Areas will be able to build larger single-storey rear extensions under permitted development.

It often depends also on whether your house has been extended in the past.  Even if you now only want to put a conservatory on the back of your house, if you have previously had an extension, chances are you will need planning permission for the conservatory.

Even if you have had no previous extensions, here are some examples of the type of extensions that in most cases need planning permission, to give you an idea:

  • a dormer window in the roof of your house facing the road.
  • a two storey extension,
  • an extension to the front of your house, or to the side if it faces a road.

Whether you need planning permission to alter or extend your house depends on the size and position of what you want to do.  The rules governing 'permitted development' for houses changed on 1 October 2008.  For more detailed information about 'permitted development' please see the page below, the Statutory Instrument published by the Office of Public Sector Information or the National Planning Portals 'Interactive House' which gives details on common household objects.  

If you would like to find out if you need planning permission to make changes to your home we have produced a range of self assessment forms.

Most alterations to business premises do need planning permission, including:
  • all shop and office extensions,
  • alterations to shop fronts,
  • external security shutters or grille.

You may need planning permission to change the use of your property, for example from a shop to an office or from a house to bedsits. Change of use is a difficult area of planning law and practice so if you are in any doubt please get in touch with the Customer Services team on 01858 82 82 82.

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that that the following changes of use do not require planning permission:

  • The use of buildings or other land within the curtilage (i.e. generally the garden) of a dwellinghouse for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such.
  • The use of any land for the purposes of agricultural or forestry.
  • Uses falling within the same class as set out in the Use Classes Order 1987. This statutory instrument gives a freedom from the need to obtain planning permission for a range of minor (and some not so minor) changes of use. This Order also states that subdivision within a Use Class does not constitute development. A summary of the current Use Classes Order and related permitted development can be found below.

Satellite dishes can be difficult to locate in an acceptable position. The satellite locator will advise you if you need permission and give you an idea whether it would be granted permission in certain locations.

General advice on whether or not you need permission is available from the Planning Portal

Advice is also available from the Government's Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) these guides are available for download below too.

If you would like formal confirmation about whether you need planning permission you can apply to the Council for a Certificate of Lawful Development  (see application forms nos. 13 & 14 via this link).

If you don't need planning permission you may still need Building Regulation consent. The Council's Building Control Service are happy to help you with this.  The Building Control Service aims to help you ensure that your new, extended or altered building is safe, healthy, energy efficient and convenient place in which to live, work or relax