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Do I need planning permission to carry out a scheme or project?

Do I need planning permission? Introduction

You will often need planning permission or a prior notification to develop your property. This includes developing land, extending buildings and changing the use of land or buildings. Other types of work you may require permission for are those to a Listed Building, in a Conservation Area or trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order.

However, some minor developments, such as a small extension to your house or a temporary change of use to your land, may be defined as 'permitted development' and may not need a specific planning application or prior notification.

More information is available on Can I get general advice from you about planning issues?

Regardless of whether or not you need to apply for planning permission for your work, you may still need other kinds of approval, notably Building Regulations Consent

Householder Enquiries
The National Planning Portal contains a lot of information, including 'Interactive Houses', which explains whether or not types of extensions and works in the garden need permission. Even if the Interactive House says you do not need permission, it is sensible to check that there are no restrictions on the property you are interested in which could alter this.

You can do this by filling in an Environmental Information Form which asks the Council to send all the relevant information to you at no charge.

If you want the Council to formally tell you whether or not you need planning permission you can submit a Lawful Development Certificate application (Proposed use form). This will give you a legally binding decision.

You can also seek informal advice on a householder development as to whether permission is required and if so whether your proposal is likely to be supported

You are strongly advised to read the National Planning Portal proposed use guidance notes and NFDC notes on proposed use or development, as these will help you provide the necessary information. A fee is payable and in most cases we should be able to give you a decision within 20 working days. Please note that advice to submit such a form does not indicate that permission will not be required. If permission is required the procedure does not give any indication as to whether an application would be supported. Advice on whether planning permission would be granted is available but a further fee is required

Listed Building Enquiries
Any alteration or extension, external or internal, that affects the character of a listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest will require Listed Building Consent. However, some alterations may not affect the character of a listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest, and therefore do not require Listed Building Consent. You can gain informal advice  as to whether Listed Building Consent is likely to be required or not for any proposed works. A fee is charged for the provision of this advice.

If you would like formal confirmation that the proposed works of alteration or extension to a listed building would not require Listed Building Consent you can submit a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works. This has to be submitted on the relevant form.

Advice on whether Listed Building Consent would be granted is available but a further fee is required.

Non Householder and Other Enquiries
Non-householder works might not be development that requires planning permission. The National Planning Portal  provides advice but the situation is far more complicated and very often independent professional advice will be required.

If you want the Council to formally tell you whether or not you need planning permission you can submit a Lawful Development Certificate application (Proposed use form). This has to be submitted on the relevant form and gives you a legally binding decision. No informal Officer level advice is available.

For all development not falling within the Householder category you can seek an informal view from the Council as to whether an application would be likely to be supported

You must always check whether Building Regulations Consent is needed before carrying out any works.

 Please note we do not have a Duty Planning Officer and all enquiries should be submitted in accordance with the advice here.

Updated: 7 Nov 2016
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