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Planning Permission

Do I need planning permission?

Do I need planning permission?

The rules for planning permission can be complex and it's not always straight forward to understand what you can build without needing permission. Permitted development allows you to complete certain home development projects without the need for planning permission. But, it's essential that you get the planning guidelines right to avoid any costly mistakes.


We've created a series of guides for planning permission that relate to specific home improvement projects, such as conservatories, extensions and porches.


Before you start any building or home improvement work on your property, always check with your local planning office to confirm if you need planning permission. Rules do change over time and there can be locally specific rules that apply.


Apart from planning permission, you also need to be aware of building regulations.


Planning permission is about IF you can build or make changes to a property. Building regulation is about the STANDARDS and QUALITY of what you are building to ensure safety of the structure.


Planning permission and building regulation are separate and must be applied for independently. In some cases, you might not need planning permission but you could need building regulation, so always check that you comply with both.


Also, scroll down the page to see a few surprising projects that you might not realise you do need planning permission for, such as decking, fences and front garden paving.

Do you need planning permission for...
a Conservatory?

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Do you need planning permission for...
a Porch?

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Do you need planning permission for...
Doors?

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Do you need planning permission for...
Windows?

READ MORE

Do you need planning permission for...
an Extension?

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Do you need planning permission for...
an Orangery?

READ MORE

What is the cost of planning permission?

A planning application from a householder for a single property, for alteration and extension is £206.


An application for an individual new build property is £462.


Note this is an application fee and doesn't guarantee you will get planning permission.


Building regulations approval is set by the individual local authority and can vary. Read a full list of fees for Planning Permission as of January 2018, here.


How long does planning permission last?

Unless otherwise stated, or is conditional, planning permission expires after three years when you will have to reapply.


Planning permission is attached to the land and not the applicant; therefore, buildings and land can be sold with planning permission.


Once you have planning permission in place, it can be possible to make small changes. These can be submitted by a non-material amendment application.

Planning permission and building regulations

What is planning permission?

There are rules about what you can and can't build, or make alteration to, on your property. Your local authority may grant permission to complete work following a detailed application.

What is permitted development?

Some common projects and certain types of work come under 'permitted development rights' and do not need planning permission.

What are building regulations?

Even if you don't need planning permission, any building work undertaken on your property must comply with building regulations. If you use a builder then the responsibility usually lies with them, but always check.

Listed buildings

Subject to more restrictive rules, you will need 'listed building consent' to demolish or to alter and extend listed buildings and for separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building.

Article 4 direction

Permitted development rights can be withdrawn by the Secretary of State or your local planning authority across a defined area with temporary or permanent effect.

Designated areas

Conservation Areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites are known as 'designated areas' and subject to more restricted rights.

As the property owner, it's your responsibility to seek planning permission even when work is carried out by a contractor. Any work could be subject to demolition or restoration if you don't have the correct planning permission or regulations. Always speak to your Local Planning Office before you start any work.

The Original House

Many planning regulations, such as extensions, refer to the 'original house'. This means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1st July 1948 (if built before this date). Be aware a previous owner may have added extensions.

Diagram of a detached house with a car in the garage

8 surprising projects that DO need planning permission:

1. HEDGES

You don't need permission to plant a hedge but they can be controlled through planning conditions. If the height of a hedge adversely affects a neighbour they fall under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 and you can be subject to a formal notice from the local authority.

2. TREES

You don't need planning permission but many trees are protected by a preservation order and you will need council approval to prune or cut them down.

3. ANTENNA

If you install more than two antennae on the property, or a single antenna is more than 1 metre tall or wide (the second more than 0.6 metres) you need planning permission. Or, if attached to a chimney and is more than 0.6 metres above a chimney stack.

4. ADVERTS AND SIGNAGE

Advertisement consent may be required for an advertisement (not estate agent boards) bigger than 0.3 square metres - or any size if illuminated - outside your property.

Planning permission needed for your home improvements
5. DECKING

You need planning permission if your decking is more than 30cm off the ground or in combination with other extensions is more than 50 percent of the garden.

6. WORKING FROM HOME

You need planning permission, if your home is no longer mainly a private residence; if more people will be calling at your property; if you are operating at unreasonable hours; or, if creating any nuisance such as smells or noise.

7. FRONT GARDEN PAVING

You need planning permission for an area more than 5 square metres of impermeable material with no provision for water to run off into a permeable area.

8. FENCES

For a fence over 1 metre next to a highway, or over 2 metres elsewhere you need planning permission, and if the fence borders onto a listed building or its grounds.

71%

of planning permission applications are for an extension or a remodel*

Most common reasons for a planning permission application being turned down*

23%
Loss of privacy

23%

14%
Loss of light

14%

10%
Highway

10%

9%
Parking

9%

7%
Traffic

7%

7%
Layout of building

7%

7%
Effect on listed building

7%

6%
Appearance and materials

6%

4%
Noise

4%

3%
Government policy

3%

At Everest, we have a specialist department that manages planning applications and we will work with your local planning office for you. If you're thinking of building a conservatory, contact us for a no-obligation quote

Reviewed and updated 7th June 2021. Information correct at time of publication, note that planning rules are subject to change.


The information provided above is a guide only, taken from government guidelines at planningportal.co.uk and is NOT a source of legal information.


*An independent survey of 400 people who had applied for planning permission in the last five years. Date of survey, November 2017.

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