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You are here:home > Environment > Planning services > Planning permission > Planning advice

Planning advice

Do I need planning permission?

Anyone who wants to carry out work on buildings or land then you may have to get planning permission and it is necessary for a wide range of development, including relatively minor alterations and extensions that may affect the appearance or use of buildings. For planning purposes a conservatory is considered an extension and all advice about extensions also applies to conservatories.

Changing the use of land or buildings

In many cases, a change of use of a building or land doesn't require planning consent. For example, a shop selling electrical goods can be changed to a hairdressers without permission but changing it to an estate agent would need consent. Planning consent isn't needed when the current and proposed uses fall within the same "class" as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended 2005 and 2010).

However it is possible to change use between some classes without making an application if it is considered 'permitted development'. Before you negotiate a lease or buy a property, we suggest that you consider whether you will need to get planning consent for the use you intend. If you are unsure please contact us about it.

Running a business from home

Running a business from home doesn't always mean that you need to get permission to do it. If you are just working from home it would usually be okay. If on the other hand you have personal callers connected with your business, or signs advertising that you are a business on the the outside wall or you intend to operate a fleet of vans from your home then we suggest you ask us if permission would be necessary.

A useful link below is Business Link a government website that gives you lots of information about this topic

If you would like to see the Use Classes Order that gives use details then please use the link below to the Planning Portal

Applying for planning permission

If you are submitting a planning application for the first time or need any help and advice guiding you through the planning process, please take some time to look through the various documents available. You may of course wish to discuss your application with a duty planning officer but you will get far more out of the consultation if you are aware of some of the basics.

Please note: Submitting a form or any other kind of written request for planning advice will be chargeable and there will be a fee of £35.00. If you wish to speak with a duty planning officer on an informal basis the service will be free but the information they can give you will be limited.

The pre-application advice page will give you more information about this

Internal alterations

Permission for internal alterations do not normally require planning approval, unless it is a listed building, but most internal alterations will require Building Regulations approval. Follow the link to Building Control to find out more.

In all cases, it is advisable to check with the planning office before starting any type of work that will result in changes to the structure or other aspects of land or buildings on the land.

Fences and Gates

Usually, means of enclosure can be built up to 2m in height if it is away from a road or footpath OR up to 1m in height if it is near a road or footpath

For more information please contact the Duty Planning Officer on 023 8083 2603

Downloadable documents

Icon Name of file Size Download time
PDF document Technical guidance for permitted development (Householders) 218 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document House parts 2153 KB 8secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document List of classified roads 16 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Loft Conversions and the Building Regulations 2000 (inc L1a Rev) 373 KB 1secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Party wall Act 2703 KB 10secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Planning - A guide for businesses 1359 KB 5secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Planning Process 21 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Planning Process flow chart 100 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Use Classes Order 2010 (Amended) 47 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
Link to download Adobe Acrobat if required

Contact information