Planning permission check

Generally, you need planning permission for new buildings, major alterations to existing ones and to change the use of buildings or land.

If you live in a house or bungalow, you may be able to alter, extend or improve your property in a variety of ways without needing to make a planning application, as they usually have permitted development rights.

Works to flats or maisonettes will need a planning application.

Some works are not classed as development and don't need planning permission including:

  • maintenance, improvements or other alterations inside the building
  • works which do not 'materially affect' the way the outside of the building looks
  • changes of use within the same use class as the existing lawful use
  • certain uses for agriculture or forestry.
Getting permission

You are responsible for getting any necessary permission, consent or approval. If you start work on property or land without obtaining the correct permission, you could be required to put things back to how they were.

Sometimes, permitted development rights are removed by a planning condition or by what is known as an Article 4 direction.

You can search for your property on planning application systems to see if there are any restrictions on your property and its development:

Larger extensions

You must notify and get prior approval from us before starting work if you want to build a larger, single storey rear extension:

  • between 4 and 8 metres long for a detached house


  • between 3 and 6 metres long for any other type of house.

If you do not do this, you will need to make a planning application for the extension.


You can check if you need planning permission for different types of development. This checker is for guidance only and is not legally binding.

Not needing permission

If you don't think you need to make an application for permission, you can apply for a certificate of lawfulness and then we can issue a legally binding decision. We can't confirm lawfulness in any other way.

In addition to giving you peace of mind, a certificate may be requested by the buyers when you sell your property.

Needing permission

If permission is needed, make a full planning application.

Last updated 16 April 2024