Do I Need Planning Permission?
Certain minor changes to a house do not need planning permission. Such work is called permitted development and benefits from planning permission granted through the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) (Amendment ) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008. Not all dwellings have permitted development rights, and you will need to check to see if these apply to you.
If you know you do need planning permission go straight to How to apply for planning permission?
Permitted Development Rights (PDR)
Permitted Development Rights (PDR) are granted by Parliament. Not every home has permitted development rights. To find out if they apply to you visit the planning department to search the archives yourself. Please note we cannot carry out your research for you. The planning department is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and at present you need to make an appointment. (N.B. During the coronavirus lockdown you will not be able to enter the Council Offices).
In some areas even for those buildings which do have permitted development rights development is still restricted. If you live in a Conservation Area you will need planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas. There are also different requirements if your house is a Listed Building or even if it is close to one.
You should also check whether your permitted development rights have been withdrawn. Some buildings, such as barn conversions and new housing estates have no permitted development rights as they have been withdrawn before the house was built. Many planning decisions for extensions or alterations also include a condition removing permitted development rights so that all further work needs a formal planning application. To find out whether your rights have been removed or not, you will need to make a search of the planning archives to find all of the application numbers which apply to your property, and then read each condition on every decision notice to see which restrictions have been imposed. Generally your solicitor or conveyancer should do this when you buy your home, when they receive your local search.
If you know that your home has permitted development rights, explore the Planning Portal's Interactive House for guidance on permitted development.
Planning Portal advice
The Planning Portal website has information covering a wide range of common household projects. The guidance covers both planning permission and building regulations rules.
The following links provide guidance to specific common projects:
Conservatories - https://interactive.planningportal.co.uk/mini-guide/conservatory/0
Garage conversions - http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/garageconversion/
Patio and driveways - http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/patiosdriveways/
These guidelines do not apply to any addresses that have had their Permitted Development Rights removed.