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Planning guidance for developers

If you work for a developer that wishes to make alterations to a property, you may need to apply to the council for planning permission.

We can only advise on properties that are within the New Forest district. Before contacting us, you can confirm that the property address falls within the district by using our online postcode lookup below.

If the property is within the New Forest National Park, you will need to apply to the Park Authority for planning permission.

If the business property is within the New Forest district, you can apply for planning permission. Before making an application, we suggest you use our pre-application service. 

We also provide planning guidance for businesses and planning guidance for householders.

On this page:


Pre-application advice

You can check with us if you need planning permission, or whether your proposals are likely to be acceptable by submitting a pre-application enquiry form. You should also include details of your project and the relevant fee. We will provide an opinion in writing, though this is not a legally binding decision.


Submit a planning application

If the property is within the New Forest district, you can apply for planning permission via the Planning Portal using the online form below.

Your application should be submitted with the correct fee, forms, plans and other documentation. It will then be registered with a 'start date' from the day all necessary material was received.

The application will be allocated to a case officer, whose name and contact details will be stated in the acknowledgement of the receipt of a valid application. Where pre-application advice has been sought, we will normally allocate the application to the same officer who dealt with that enquiry.

You can track your application and view any responses received, including those by consultees. You can also view or comment on a planning application.


Reviewing planning applications

Most planning applications are determined under our officer delegation scheme, but in certain instances it may need to be referred to the Planning Committee. The Planning Committee normally meets every four weeks, but reports are completed nearly two weeks beforehand. Agendas, including the officer's report on an application, are available for public inspection five working days before the meeting at the council offices or on the council's website.

Members of the public are able to speak at the Planning Committee. Find out more about public participation at meetings

Having your say at Planning Committee meetings (PDF) [150KB]  


Environmental impact assessments

Certain developments require the submission of an Environmental Statement under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999.

You can find out more about Environmental Impact Assessments on the GOV.UK website.


Development in European Nature Conservation Areas

If your development consists of one or more new dwellings in European nature conservation areas within New Forest, you will have to provide suitable mitigation.


Section 106 Agreements and Community Infrastructure Levy

Find out what CIL and planning obligations are and how they may affect your planning application, on our Infrastructure page.


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 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.

Community Infrastructure Levy

The CIL charge applies to new homes and extensions, based on floor area.

Nutrient neutral development

Development in areas with nitrogen-rich water must provide a nutrient-neutral environment.

Monitoring charges for legal agreements

In April 2022 we introduced a series of charges for monitoring on site requirements secured through legal agreements

Permitted development rights for developers

The GPDO allows for the change of use of some buildings and land to Class C3 subject to a prior approval process.

Development affecting European nature conservation areas

New dwellings in European nature conservation areas must be mitigated by a financial contribution.

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