Permitted development rights for householders

 You can make certain types of minor changes to your house without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called permitted development rights.

Most houses benefit from permitted development rights. However, permitted development rights do not apply if you live in a:

  • flat
  • maisonette
  • mobile home
  • caravan. 

On this page:

Planning portal

The Planning Portal provides an interactive tool that provides guidance on permitted development rights for many common household projects. 

You can find out more about permitted development rights on the Planning Portal website.

Council house residents

Please note that if you are a Council house resident you will need to complete a Tenant Improvement and Alteration form before carrying out any works regardless of whether planning permission is required or not.  Further information is available on our housing pages.


There are different requirements for permitted development rights, depending on the location and nature of your property, which you can find out about using the headings below.

Conservation area

You can find out if your property is in a conservation area by using our online map of New Forest.

Listed buildings

You can find out if your property is a listed building by searching The National Heritage List.

Cranbourne Chase

You can find out if your property is within the Cranbourne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by checking the area's boundaries on the Cranbourne Chase website.

Permitted development rights removed

Planning conditions can remove permitted development rights on the original or subsequent planning permission of a property. These rights can also be removed where we have made an Article 4 Direction. 

To find out whether conditions removing permitted development rights have been applied to your property, if you know the application number you can use the online planning register.  Or you can request a history search for your property by emailing and we will send you a list of all the relevant planning permissions.

Note that the records may be incomplete, and the council accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions within the register.

You can also find out where we have made an Article 4 Direction by using our online map of New Forest.

Permitted development rights and compliance with the habitats regulations

The General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) allows for the change of use of some buildings and land to Class C3 (dwellinghouses) with this development subject to a prior approval process. However the Habitats Regulations also apply to such developments.  We are obliged by the regulations to assume that there will be a significant effect on the New Forest and Solent SPAs.

Any development for prior approval should also be accompanied by an application for us to do a Habitats Regulations Assessment on the proposed development (please note there is a £30 fee for this). The development will need to include a mitigation package to mitigate the significant effect on the New Forest and Solent SPAs which new residential development would otherwise result in.

The mitigation package relating to recreational mitigation can be secured by completing a Unilateral Undertaking. However, the assessment will also need to demonstrate effective mitigation for neither nitrates entering the Solent designated sites catchment, or phosphates entering the River Avon catchment.  The requirement for in new development applies across the whole of the District and landowners/developers can prepare a site-specific 'nutrient budget' setting out how the nutrients arising from the development will be managed. Options include on- and off-site mitigation measures, proportionate to the scale of the development (and associated impacts) proposed.    

If you have any general queries about our Mitigation Strategy please contact us for further information. If you have queries in relation to a specific development, please contact your case officer.

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