Do I need Planning Permission?
Changes to how advice will be given on the need for planning permission
For many years the Councilís planning staff have provided informal, written, advice on the need for planning permission for all types of development proposals. This advice is not legally binding on the Council and does not guarantee that, even if the officer has advised that planning permission is not required, the Council may not take a different opinion at a later date.
Sections 63 and 64 of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) do provide a formal process for establishing whether a development will or did need planning permission. These sections allow an individual or company to submit an application to a Local Planning Authority to issue a Certificate of Existing or Proposed Lawful Use or Development. These can be used to cover anything from an extension to a house to the use of an industrial building for a particular purpose, and can be applied to a use or development that already exists or one that is being proposed. Any Certificate issued is a legal document that is binding upon the Council.
Providing informal advice on the need for planning permission can require a significant amount of research and investigation by planning staff and is a considerable drain on resources. For this reason many Local Authorities do not provide informal advice on the need for planning permission, but instead direct enquirers to apply for a Certificate of Existing or Proposed Lawful Use or Development. Reductions in the Councilís budget, and as a consequence a reduction in staff resources, has lead to the planning department introducing changes to the way it responds to requests for informal advice on the need for planning permission.
From the 4th April 2011, planning staff will not provide informal advice (written or verbal) on the need for planning permission if the issues raised require research and/or investigation. Instead, enquirers will be invited to submit an application for Certificate of Existing or Proposed Lawful Use or Development as appropriate. Informal written advice that is provided where the issues are simple will only set out the appropriate parameters for Permitted Development and will not offer an opinion as to whether the development falls within those parameters.
Do I need planning permission?
Planning permission is not always be required for all developments. 'Permitted development' is the term used to describe works you are allowed to carry out without the need to seek planning permission from the Council. Most properties benefit from having various permitted development rights. This may include your house, commercial properties and school. In certain circumstances Permitted Development rights have been removed from properties and you are therefore advised to contact our enquiries team to find out if your property has its permitted development rights in tact before you commence any work.
Helpful Guides for Householders
If you are a householder looking to extend your property and wish to find out whether you need planning permission the Planning Portal has provided some very helpful guides which can be accessed below.
If the project you are considering is not covered by the guides above the following information may be helpful.
The legislation relating to developments which can be done without planning permission is complex and open to interpreation. The government has therefore issued a technical guidance note to aid everyone in interpreting the legislation in a consistent manner. Please click on the link below to access this guidance note:
Technical Guidance note for householder extensions
What to do next?
If you have determined that you do require planning permission we would advise that you use our pre-application service to get our informal opinion of whether you are likely to get planning consent. Details of this service are available on our pre-application advice pages
. Alternatively you may wish to submit an application without advice. Full details of what you need to submit with a formal application are available on our application forms and checklist page
If you have determined that you may not need planning permission we would recommend that you contact our planning enquiries team to make sure the permitted development rights have not been removed from your property. We would also advise that you consider submitting a Certificate of Proposed Development to get the formal determination of the Council as to whether planning permission is required. There is a charge of £75 for this and you need to supply all the details outlined in the Application Checklists available on our application forms and checklist page
. This will provide formal confirmation that the work you propose to undertake does not require planning permission from the Council. For simple projects you may not consider this necessary but any work you carry out is done at your own risk. The only way to get the formal opinion of the Council as to whether permission is required is through submitting a Certificate of Proposed Development. This may also be helpful when you come to sell your property ub terms of providing certainty to prospective purchasers. Please note your development even if your development does not require planning permission it may require Building Regulations Approval. You are therefore advised to contact Building Control or visit their website by following the below link:
Building Control website
Further Information and Help
The Planning Enquiries Team can offer basic advice and can be contacted by phone between 09:00 to 17:15 Monday to Friday on 01908 252358. You can also email them at email@example.com
Alternatively you can come into the Councils Civic Offices between 09:00 -17:15 Monday to Friday and speak to one of the Planning Enquiries Team or a Duty Planning Officer. Please note that any advice you receive through these services is informal and is not binding on the Local Planning Authority.
General Permitted Development Order Legislation