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Do I need Planning Permission?

Find out when you need to apply for planning permission

Householder enquiries

Some residential property alterations and extensions don't need planning permission. This is known as 'permitted development'. 

However, depending on what you want to do, you may need planning permission. The Planning Portal website has a useful interactive house which explains things further. 

In some cases though, although it initially appears you don't need permission, you may find that your 'permitted development rights' (rights to build without permission) have been restricted or removed. This may apply if your property:

Although you may not need planning permission, you may still need building regulations approval.

Help from the Council - General Enquiry or 'Proposed Certificate of Lawfulness'

If you want us to determine whether planning permission is required, you can ask informally by emailing us at  A planning officer will consider your proposal and respond. 

If we are unable to advise from the information provided, the planning officer will ask you to submit  a 'Proposed Certificate of Lawfulness'.  A Lawful Development Certificate is similar to a planning application insomuch that it creates a legally binding decision. It can be useful when you sell your property. This is because solicitors may ask for information to show permission was not required for works to your property. 

To apply for a Proposed Certificate of Lawfulness, please submit the relevant form and plans to us.

PF15Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for a proposed use or development. This form is used to find out if you need planning permission. Application form Validation requirements (PDF) [419KB]
PF14Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for an existing use of operation or activity, including those in breach of planning condition(s)Application form Validation requirements (PDF) [42KB]
PF43Application for Certificate of Lawfulness for proposed works to a Listed BuildingApplication formGuidance note

The fee for a Householder Proposed Certificate of Lawfulness is £103. 

We suggest that you use an agent to help you with your application. This will help you to provide the right information and use the best type of application. 

If your Certificate of Lawfulness is refused, it means we have determined that planning permission is required. You can then apply for formal planning permission for the proposed works. If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Their details will be listed on the back of your decision notice. 

Non-householder enquiries

We can also help you to understand if planning permission is needed for non-domestic applications through a Proposed Certificate of Lawfulness. The fee for this is half the normal planning fee.  

Will I get planning permission?

If you know that planning permission is required, but want to know what our views are before you submit your formal application, we offer a pre-application service.

This service will help you to understand how our policies apply to your development and the information you need to submit with your application. Whilst it doesn't guarantee permission will be granted as it is an informal view from a planning officer, it will indicate if your proposal is acceptable. 

Please note that enquiries are not treated as confidential.

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