Residential planning permission guidance

In simple terms, planning permission is asking if you can carry out a specified piece of building work to your property or business and being granted the right to do so, or refused.

Planning permission is required for;

  • Building and engineering works
  • changes to use of a building or land
  • display of advertisements
  • alterations to listed buildings
  • demolition of buildings in conservation areas

It’s your responsibility to seek planning permission.

Failure to seek and obtain planning permission or comply with the details of a permission, is a ‘planning breach’.

Always check if you need planning permission.

To help you find out if you need to apply for planning permission and for examples of common building works projects, visit the planning portal.

Pre-application advice

To help you find out whether your proposed development would likely to be accepted and what issues there may be before your submitting your application, contact us to get some pre-application advice.

Permitted development

Some works can be carried out without planning permission, including;

  • Alterations and maintenance to a building
  • Certain minor works, including small extensions to houses. 

These changes are called 'permitted development rights'.

However, where planning permission is not required, it may be necessary to get separate approval under building regulations or listed building consent.

In some parts of the country, permitted development rights are more restricted:

  • Conservation Area
  • a National Park
  • an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • a World Heritage Site or
  • the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

For more details on permitted development rights visit the Planning Portal.

Permitted development rights for householders: technical guide.

Unauthorised works

If you build something which needs planning permission without obtaining permission first, you may be forced to make changes later. This could prove to be very costly and may even result in legal action to require removal of the unauthorised works.

We advise you to visit the national planning portal to check if you need planning permission before starting any work.

Homeowners can also contact us on 03450 455 215 to book an appointment to speak to our duty planning officer for 15 minutes free advice alternatively you can visit the website to find out more.

We also offer a more detailed paid for pre-application advice service.

Building Regulations

Building regulations apply to most types of building work and set minimum standards to ensure the safety of people in and around buildings.

You may need separate building regulations approval where planning permissions is not required.

Listed buildings consent

You may need separate listed buildings approval where planning permission is not required.

To find out if your property is a listed building please use our friendly planning search map.

A building is listed when it is of special architectural or historic interest and it is therefore given legal protection and control over what changes can be made to a to the whole building – it’s interior and exterior.

Listed buildings come in three categories:

  • Grade I - are of exceptional interest and make up 2.5% of all listed buildings
  • Grade II* - are of more than special interest and make up 5.5% of all listed buildings
  • Grade II - are of special interest and make up 92% of listed buildings

If you wish to alter or extend a listed building in any way, you must apply for listed building consent from us.

Carrying out any unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence and out planning enforcement team can prosecute offending individuals.

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