Do I need planning permission?

It is important to find out if you need planning permission before you start any building work or change the use of your property. If you go ahead without permission, you may have to put things back to how they were.

Further information

If you are intending to construct a new building you are likely to need planning permission. If you are intending to alter the appearance of an existing building or change the way in which land and buildings are used, you may require planning permission.

If you are carrying out building work you may also need building regulations approval. Find out more on our Building control and regulations page.

Exceptions to permitted development rights

Some types of development do not need planning permission, this is called permitted development.

However, where your proposal relates to a property in certain parts of the city (e.g in an Article 4 area), a listed building, works to protected trees or a property with existing planning restrictions, then there may be additional considerations. It is therefore important to check if your property is affected by any of these.

Is your property affected by local restrictions?

Find out if your property is affected by local restrictions.

  • is your property a listed building? If so, you should be especially cautious when planning to carry out works on the property, as undertaking unauthorised works to a listed building could be a criminal offence. Find more information on our Listed buildings page.
  • is your property located within a conservation area? Your rights may be restricted. Go to our Conservation areas page.
  • is your property subject to an Article 4 Direction? This may mean that you have fewer permitted development rights than other properties nearby. Find out more about an Article 4 Direction.
  • if trees need to be removed or reduced are they protected trees? Get further information on our Protected trees webpage.
  • is your property in a Regulation 7 area where letting board controls limit the display of To Let boards? Go to our To let boards control page.

Use the interactive map linked below to check these restrictions on your property. You should look at the whole of your property (including any land). For example, for trees with preservation orders in the garden, click in all parts of the land area.

Find out if your property is affected by conditions on earlier planning approvals

  • You will also need to check if any restrictions have been placed on your property by earlier planning approvals.

Use the interactive map below to view planning site history, to check the original or subsequent planning applications on the site. You need to check the conditions on the decision notice, to find out if any permitted development rights have been removed. View the whole of your site.

Find local planning restrictions on our interactive map

On the map link below, you can locate your address, then click or tap on the map to find out about local planning restrictions and application details.

What if I live in a flat, apartment or maisonette?

If you live in a flat, apartment or maisonette, you are likely to need planning permission for many alterations, including changes to windows and doors.

National planning advice

After you have taken in to account any local restrictions, the government's Planning Portal website provides useful guidance on when you require planning permission. Use the links below to find out more:

House extensions and alterations

Most single dwelling houses (but not flats) benefit from permitted development rights. This means that certain alterations and extensions to a house can be carried out without needing planning permission. More information on permitted development rights can be found on the Planning Portal website.

However, you do have to seek prior approval for some larger home extensions. If your extension is above the thresholds, you will need to apply for planning permission. Find out more on our Prior notification page.

You can check whether or not your proposed extension will require permission by using the Planning Portal guidance. Please check for individual restrictions on permitted development rights.

Change of use

In some cases, changing the use of your property will not require consent. If the existing and proposed uses fall within the same use class (as defined in the Use Classes Order), then changes can be carried out without seeking prior approval. For example changing from a clothing shop to a greengrocer does not require consent as both fall within Use Class A1.

In some cases you can also change use between different use classes. For example, you can change from Class A3 (café/restaurant) to Class A1 (retail) or A2 (financial/professional) service without consent. In most other cases prior approval would normally be required. Further information can be found on Planning Portal's Change of use webpage.

From May 2013, the government relaxed the Use Classes Order to allow changes of use of commercial properties, to residential and other uses to take place without the need for full planning permission. However, there is still a requirement to submit information to the Local Planning Authority. Further information can be found on our Prior notification page.

Additional restrictions are in place in certain areas of the city, in relation to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Extending existing or building new commercial premises

Everything but very minor extensions to commercial premises will require planning consent. Building new premises will also almost always require permission. For guidance on extending or building new premises, refer to guidance on the Planning Portal website.

Advertisements and signage

If you intend to display advertisement and signage, you will probably require Advertisement Consent. More information on adverts and signage can be found on the Planning Portal website.

In certain areas of the city there are additional Regulation 7 restrictions for To Let boards.

What to do next

Once you have checked whether your project is permitted development, you can decide what to do next.

You can apply for a lawful development certificate from us, if you would like formal confirmation that your project qualifies as permitted development.

You can also use our paid for pre-application advice from a planning officer if you are not sure or you want more advice about a proposal.

If your project is not permitted development, then you find out more on our Apply for planning application webpage.