How planning works

If you want to change the use of a building, do building work or alter a building in some way it’s likely that your project will need some type of planning approval.

Your responsibilities

With all building work, the owner of the property or land is responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules and building regulations.

It is your responsibility to make sure:

  • you understand when to submit a planning application
  • you submit your application correctly and with the right documents

National requirements and the Planning Portal

The Planning Portal works in partnership with local councils and is supported by central government to give guidance on national planning laws and planning permission.

You can use it to find guidance about national planning laws, advice on different types of planning projects and different processes, and how to submit your application.

National guidance includes:

Kingston requirements

In addition to the national planning requirements, there are also requirements that are specific to Kingston. You’ll need to comply with both national and local requirements.

Guidance on our website includes:

Types of planning approval

Not all changes need planning permission. There are 3 main routes to approval:

  • permitted development - often for small homeowner projects like extensions or loft conversions
  • prior approval - a light-touch process which applies where the principle of the development has already been established by the grant of permitted development
  • planning permission - called ‘householder planning permission’ for building works on a private home

Find out more on our page check if you need planning permission or on GOV.UK - Do I need planning permission?

Other types of approval you may need

Before you start building, you should check if you need approval from building regulations. Building regulations are responsible for making sure that buildings are constructed to the minimum standards of good design and safety.

Professional bodies 

You may want to contact a professional before you start your planning application or submit a building control application. There are several professional bodies that help to regulate planning and building.

These links are for information only. We do not endorse any of the companies or individuals.

Search for a planner

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Find an Architect

Find a Surveyor

Find a Competent Person

Competent Person Schemes allow building professionals to self-certify that their work complies with Building Regulations. You can search the Competent Persons Register to find a tradesperson who is part of the scheme.

Find a Builder

It’s a good idea to get a recommendation or take up references before agreeing to any work under a suitable contract. You can read tips for choosing a builder from the National Federation of Builders.

You can:

If you’re not satisfied with the work of any professional involved in building, you can contact Citizens Advice by:

Last Modified: 13/06/2023 11:32:36