Do I need planning permission?

Before starting work, you may want to check whether you need to apply for planning permission.

We offer advice to find out:

  • if a proposal needs planning permission*  (our Do I Need Planning Permission service) and, 
  • if a proposal, which needs permission, is acceptable  (our Pre-application Advice service).

*(see latest on our response timescales below)

What is the difference?

Our Do I Need Planning Permission service only answers this question, it should be used when you do not know if you need permission and you would like to find out. Please see below for more information and details of how to apply.

The Pre-application Advice service establishes if a proposal, which you know requires permission, is acceptable, i.e. you know it needs planning permission and you would like to find out if permission is likely to be granted before going to the expense of preparing and submitting an application. Please click here for more information and details of how to apply.


Do I need Planning Permission?

Unfortunately this is not a simple question.

We need to check the property's history, we have to look at and consider the local constraints (for example is it a listed building, is it in a conservation area, is there an Article 4 Direction in place, have permitted development rights been removed by planning condition etc). We also need to interpret the national legislation, which can be complex. Therefore, we offer a service where all this work is done and you receive confirmation of our decision in writing for your peace of mind, for record purposes when/if you are selling your property or to show to anyone who questions your right to build/install. Due to the level of investigation involved we cannot answer such enquiries over the telephone. Please use the relevant form below for your enquiry.

Householders: If you are unsure whether alterations to your home require planning permission you can complete our Householder Do I need Planning Permission form. We will then check whether your proposal will need planning permission and advise you accordingly. This check is provided for a fee of £25.

Commercial: If you are unsure if alterations to your business or a change of use will require planning permission you can complete our Commercial Do I need Planning Permission form. We will check if planning permission will be required and advise you accordingly. This check is provided for a fee of £25.


Status Update re answering Do I Need PP enquiries 

We are responding to these enquiries within our usual timescales. 

All enquiries will receive a written response. Please make sure you have answered all our questions and paid the fee of £25, and please provide as much additional information as possible to help us understand your proposal. We can only begin to assess your enquiry once we have sufficient information to make an assessment and the fee has been paid. Having to ask for further information/payment incurs further delays. 

We will respond to enquiries in date order because this is the fairest way for us to approach them. Please be advised we cannot move your enquiry up the queue because you have booked contractors or are due to exchange contracts on a property sale.  


Permitted development

Certain works can be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission. This is known as 'permitted development'.

The Planning Portal offers general advice including interactive tools and mini guides to common projects. However we would still advise the submission of a Do I Need Planning Permission form, as the Planning Portal are unaware of our local constraints. 

In addition, customers who have not undertaken a Do I Need Planning Permission check often find on selling their property that questions are raised regarding works and solicitors are keen to have confirmation that permission was not required. We would ask you to note that we cannot prioritise enquiries in this position and would advise that enquiries are made in advance of works taking place. 


Can I get confirmation that I don't need permission?

If you are satisfied that your proposed works do not require planning permission, you can apply for confirmation in the form of a Lawful Development Certificate. There is a fee for this application.  

Use the Planning Portal calculator to find the current fee. You are looking for a 'lawful development certificate: proposed use'.