When is Planning Permission needed?
Planning permission is required for the development of land, the definition of which is wide ranging and includes:
changing the use of land and/or buildings
construction or alteration of buildings
most other construction and engineering works
some forms of demolition
When is Planning Permission not needed?
Certain works don't need Planning Permission, for instance internal alterations to non-listed buildings. However, most structural building works will need consent under the Building Regulations: contact our Building Control section for advice.
Planning land uses are defined in the Use Classes Order. Use Classes are complicated, but there is a summary of the Use Classes Order on the Planning Portal web site. Changes of use within a single 'Use Class' don't need planning permission - for instance, planning permission isn't needed to change from a pet shop to a hairdresser's or vice versa. In case of doubt, always check with our Planning service before changing the use of premises or land.
Some types of development don’t need formal approval from the Council, as they are granted blanket approval by Government regulations: there's a wide range of these, which are called 'Permitted Development'. They cover operational development such as minor alterations to buildings, and some changes of use.
Some minor alterations to dwellinghouses, including small extensions and porches, garden sheds, may fall under the definition of 'Permitted Development' and therefore may not need express planning permission. For further information relating to dwellinghouses, please view our page: Guidance for Householders. You are always advised to check with our Planning service first before carrying out such works. Again, many of these works will need separate Building Regulations approval.
In some instances, the Council removes 'Permitted Development' rights, in which case you must apply for planning permission: more details on the removal of Permitted Development rights.