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Do I need Planning Permission?

As part of our budget process the City Council has approved the introduction of charges, which will impact on the planning service. Find out more details here...

Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for a planning application to be made to the Local Planning Authority This is known as 'permitted development'.

General advice on whether or not you need permission is available from the Planning Portal. However, for site specific advice it is always best to check with us first as there may be local circumstances which might affect the need for permission. You should include the site address, details of the proposals and a sketch plan.

From 30th May 2013 new rules governing house extensions and commercial changes of use came into effect. This allowed larger extensions to be built under permitted development rights.

These larger permitted development extensions are subject to a neighbour consultation scheme.

Problems can occur if you do any work without permission, including being taken to court in extreme cases, so please contact us.

Essential Information
  • Whether you need planning permission to alter or extend your house depends on the size and position of what you want to do. You may need to know the volume of your proposed extension or an existing extension. The volume calculator may help, as may the Interactive House on the Planning Portal’s website for general advice. For site specific advice, information should be submitted in writing. You should include the site address, details of the proposals and a sketch plan.


    To give you an idea, here are some examples of the type of extensions that in most cases need planning permission, even if you have had no previous extensions:

    • A two storey side extension;
    • An outbuilding in the garden for a ‘granny annex’;
    • An extension to the front of your house.

  • Most alterations to business premises do need planning permission, including:

    • All shop and office extensions;
    • Alterations to shop fronts;
    • External security shutters or grilles.

    For more site specific advice and/or a definitive answer as to whether planning permission is required or not, information should be submitted in writing. They should include the site address, details of the proposals and a sketch plan (preferably layout and elevation plans drawn to scale/with measurements).

    New legislation in May 2013 enables larger extensions to be built. These larger extensions are subject to the neighbourhood consultation scheme.

  • Satellite dishes are often difficult to locate in an acceptable position. The satellite locator will advise you if you need permission and give you an idea whether it would be granted permission in certain locations.

  • You may need planning permission to change the use of your property, for example from a shop to an office or from a house to bedsits. Changes of use permitted development relaxed in May 2013. These changes of use are subject to the neighbourhood consultation scheme.

    All of these site specific requests should be submitted in writing.

  • You may also need advertisement consent to display an advert or sign, for example if it is illuminated. Building Regulations approval is not required for adverts. The link below will take you directly to a publication explaining the need for advertisement consent in more detail.


Frequently Asked Questions
    • The Green Deal is the government initiative that is designed to help homeowners to employ greener technologies in their properties. One of the ways of doing this is by installing external wall insulation to solid walls.

      Planning permission is only usually required where the materials used are not of a similar visual appearance, properties which are Listed or in a Conservation Area will always require consent before these works are carried out. Please contact us if you need further clarification.

    • Planning permission is mainly concerned with the site layout, external design and the effect of the development on the environment and neighbouring properties.

      For site specific advice, information should be submitted in writing. You should include the site address, details of the proposals and a sketch plan.

      The Building Regulations are concerned with the actual construction process for both internal and external alterations, and involves regular site inspections whilst the works are in progress. This includes checking the structural stability, fire precautions and means of escape, weather resistance, energy conservation, sound insulation, access and facilities for disabled people etc.

      Some (though not all) types of works may require both approvals, and some may need one or the other. Both are completely independent of each other.

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.

      Service Specific Enquiry