Check if you need planning permission

When you don’t need planning permission

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

Permitted development

Not all building work needs planning permission. Some types of small development work such as small extensions and loft conversions can be completed under permitted development without needing to submit a planning application. 

When permitted development applies

You can check if your project fits into permitted development on the Planning Portal. They have guides that set out the conditions your project must meet:

You can also find other common types of projects on the Planning Portal.

When permitted development may not apply

Your project needs to meet conditions for permitted development rights to apply. If permitted development doesn’t apply to your project, you’ll need to submit a full planning application.

You may not be able to use permitted development for:

  • flats, maisonettes or other buildings 
  • properties in a conservation area
  • listed buildings
  • areas under an Article 4 direction 
  • houses where previous work has been done under permitted development
  • houses where permitted development has been removed by a planning condition on a previous planning permission

You can read the guidance for permitted development rights for householders on GOV.UK.

Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate

If you think that your building works can be done under permitted development, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC)

This isn’t the same as planning permission, but it is proof that your building work is lawful. 

Prior Approval

You may need to formally let us know what you are going to do in a process called prior approval. This is required for:

  • larger home extensions
  • agricultural or forestry developments
  • demolition of buildings
  • developments for electronic communications networks

You can apply for prior approval on the Planning Portal.

If you’ve started the work already, you cannot get prior approval and you’ll need to apply for planning permission.

Last Modified: 31/03/2023 14:18:53