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Do I need planning permission?

The 1947 Town and Country Planning Act was the beginning of modern planning today.  This Act essentially nationalised the right to develop land and required all development, with a few exceptions, to secure planning permission from the Local Authority and had a provision to appeal against any refusal. 

From the position that all development needs permission exceptions have been made and continue to be made by Central Government through various updated Acts and orders.  What needs permission can as a consequence be confusing as what needs permission today might not be the same as what needed permission a few years ago.   These exceptions are known as permitted development as expressed through the General Permitted Development Order as amended. 

The Planning Portal provides guides on some of the most common forms of household development that permitted development allows without the need for planning permission. 

Interactive house Explore the interactive semi-detached house for guidance on many common householder projects that may be done without planning permission.

Interactive terrace Explore the interactive terrace for guidance relating to flats, shops and basements as well as many common householder projects.

Mini guides

Explore mini guides for visual walk-throughs of popular household building projects.

Different criteria may apply to your proposed development if in association with a Listed Building and/or Conservation Area.  Please do not forget if Planning Permission is not required you may need still need Building Regulations approval and, for development, the Community Infrastructure Levy may also apply.

For Community Infrastructure Pages

For Building Control Pages

As well as some household development planning permission may not be required for change of use as well as a range of development in association with commercial, leisure and industrial uses and buildings.  There is a significant amount of development that can take place without permission or may only need notification to the Local Authority.  If in doubt please see our pre application service pages and would be happy to advise you further.


Please note Glemsford and Felsham Conservation Areas have additional restrictions that remove some permitted development rights.  Please contact us for further details if you have an enquiry on what can be developed without planning permission within these Conservation Areas.