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Is planning permission needed?

Planning permission is needed for most building work or for the change of use of a building or piece of land.

Certain work does not require permission in certain circumstances. These are called permitted development and relate to a wide range of residential and commercial projects and changes of use subject to size limitations and conditions.

However, there are certain forms of permitted development that do require prior approval of the local authority for certain matters.

General guidance on permitted development and if planning permission is required is available on the Planning Portal website.

Exceptions to permitted development rights

There are circumstances where permitted development rights are different and in some cases it is necessary to find out whether or not there are any local constraints.  This is explained in more detail below.

Lawful development certificate

If you consider your proposal is permitted development and require written confirmation from the council that this is the case, you can submit an application for a lawful development certificate for proposed development.

The application would need to be submitted on the planning application form and submitted with a location plan outlining the site in red, the relevant fee and plans of the proposal. A lawful development certificate can also be obtained for existing development.

Pre-application advice

If you are making a planning application we encourage you to get pre-application advice from us. This allows you to get an informal view on the likelihood of obtaining permission, as well as guidance on the information to be submitted with the application

We advise on all types of proposals, from householder extensions through to large scale developments, and provide specific advice tailored to meet your needs

Planning permission

If your proposals are not permitted development and they constitute development then planning permission will be required. Full details on the definition of development are available here.


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