Do I need Planning Permission?

Planning permission is normally required for all forms of ‘development’ which includes the erection of new buildings, extensions and alterations to existing buildings and all material changes of use of buildings or land.

Development or building work which does not require planning permission is termed ‘permitted development’ and under the Town & Country Planning Act development which is thereby ‘permitted’ does not require formal planning consent.

For commercial and industrial projects, the extent of works which constitute ‘permitted development’ is relatively small, and is usually limited to internal alterations, very small extensions or a minor change of the use of the building.

For residential projects however there is a much wider category of work which constitutes ‘permitted development’ and certain extensions, external alterations and erection of outbuildings etc. can be undertaken without the need to apply for or obtain planning permission.

The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015 sets out the rules concerning Permitted Development.

The ‘Department for Communities & Local Government also provides a Technical Guidance Document ‘Permitted Development Rights for Householders’ which provides further details of what extensions, improvements and alterations a householder can make to their property without planning permission.   

Reference to the above Documents is advisable at an early stage when considering your proposals. In addition, a number of interactive ‘Mini-Guides’ explaining the rules governing permitted development for householders can be found on the Planning Portal website.

Despite this available access to the above Guidance, the legislation surrounding permitted development is still relatively complicated, and Householders with little or no prior knowledge of planning matters may find interpreting the legislation difficult.

It is advisable therefore to contact your local authority to discuss your project at the outset to ascertain whether planning approval will be required. Alternatively, you should seek professional advice from an experienced Architect, Architectural Designer or Planning Consultant, who can advise you regarding what approvals will be relevant to your particular project. 

PLEASE NOTE however that although an extension or alteration to your property may constitute ‘permitted development’ under the relevant planning legislation, your proposal is highly likely to require approval under the Building Regulations, and an application to the local authority for Building Regulation approval will therefore be required

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