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Before you start any building or home improvement work on your property it's essential that you check with your local planning office to confirm if you need planning permission. The rules for planning permission are complex but we have created a series of guides below to make it easier for you to understand when you do and don't need planning permission. We do strongly advise that you also ask your local office if there are any locally specific rules.
Building regulations are also important. The difference between planning permission and building regulations is that planning is all 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.
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.
Some common projects and certain types of work come under 'permitted development rights' and do not need planning permission.
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.
Subject to more restrictive rules, you will need 'listed buildign consent' to demolish or to alter and extend listed buildings and for separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building.
Permitted development rights can be withdrawn by the Secretary of State or your local planning authority across a defined area with temporary or permanent effect.
Conservation Areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites are known as 'designated areas' and subject to more restricted rights.
Any work carried out on your property without planning permission or approval could be subject to demolition or restoration. As the property owner, it is your responsibility to seek planning permission even when work is carried out by a contractor.
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.
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.
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.
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). Or, if attached to a chimney and is more than 0.6 metres above a chimney stack.
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.
If your decking is more than 30cm off the ground or in combination with other extensions is more than 50 percent of the garden.
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.
For an area more than 5 square metres of impermeable material with no provision for water to run off into a permeable area.
For a fence over 1 metre next to a highway, or over 2 metres elsewhere. If the fence borders onto a listed building or its grounds.
of planning permission applications are for an extension or a remodel*
Always check with your local planning authority before starting any work
*An independent survey of 400 people who had applied for planning permission in the last five years. Date of survey, November 2017.
The information provided above is taken from government guidelines at planningportal.co.uk and is a guide only and is not a source of legal information.
Planning rules are subject to change. Information is correct at time of publication: Updated October 2019.