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Home > Planning > Pre-application advice > Free Online Planning Guidance > Do I need planning permission?

Do I need planning permission?

The 1947 Town and Country Planning Act was the beginning of modern planning. In essence, it nationalised the right to develop land.

The Act required all development, with a few exceptions, to secure planning permission from its local authority. It also contained a provision to allow an appeal against any refusal.

Changes to the law are common. What needs permission today, may not have needed permission just a few years ago.

Permitted development

Planning Portal provides guidance on common household development that does not need planning permission. This is known as 'permitted development'. The portal also contains a number of mini guides on popular projects:

Other considerations

Different criteria may apply to your proposed development if related to a Listed Building and/or Conservation Area.

Even if Planning Permission is not needed, you may need Building Regulations approval. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) may also apply.

Planning permission may not be required for change of use, or a range of works to commercial, leisure and industrial uses and buildings.

Please note the following regarding use class enquiries:

The Local Planning Authority cannot confirm use classes on premises or land. This is because we cannot provide proof that any permission has been acted on within the 3 year time limit.

We recommend you make an application for a Lawful Development Certificate for Existing Use. This will provide confirmation of the current use class or classes of a site. You must provide documents that give proof of business activity or use.

You can make an application for a Lawful Development Certificate via the Planning Portal.

Please note we cannot provide planning histories for any site prior to 1974.