Apply for planning permission

Do I need planning permission?

You are likely going to need planning permission if you are:

  • intending to construct a new building
  • alter the appearance of an existing building
  • change the use of a building  

The first step when trying to find out whether you need planning permission is to visit the Planning Portal. There you'll find interactive guides and common projects pages with planning guidance and building regulation rules you must follow.  

Restrictions can vary depending on:

  • the site constraints or property you live in
  • whether the building is a listed building or not
  • and whether your property is situated in a conservation area

Further guidance surrounding these restrictions can be found by visiting the below pages: 

Some types of development do not need planning permission. We call this ‘permitted development’. The Planning Portal website has guidance on planning permission for common projects such as loft conversions and smaller single storey house extensions.  You can also check planning permission guidance for different property types.  

See the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended). It provides the principal order and sets out classes of development for which a grant of planning permission is automatically given. Note that it depends on no restrictive condition being attached, or that the development is exempt from the permitted development right.

Householder Applications 

For guidance on Householder Applications such as extensions and House Conversions, please download the Residential Design Guide

If you do not require planning permission

If to the best of your knowledge your project does not need planning permission it is advisable to apply for a certificate of lawful development.  

There may be instances where you need to apply for prior approval before commencing building works. Further information can be found in the prior approvals section. 

If you do require planning permission

It is recommended that you obtain pre-application advice. Early engagement has significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning application system for all parties.

Good quality pre-application discussion enables better coordination between public and private resources and improved outcomes for the community. 

For further information on how to apply for pre-application advice, take a look at our pre-application advice section.  

If you do not wish to seek pre-application advice your next step would be to submit your application through the Planning Portal.   

Do you need Building Regulations permission

Most extensions and alterations require a Building Regulations application. Further information can be found on Building Control Advice.