Do I Need Planning Permission?

Building or renovating your property can be an exciting project. However, many homeowners are unsure whether they need planning permission before starting any work. Luckily, there are some exceptions that allow you to carry out certain types of building work without having to go through the lengthy and often costly process of applying for planning permission.

This is where Permitted Development Rights come in. We will cover everything you need to know about Permitted Development Rights and what could limit or remove them. We will also cove of Planning Permission and when it might be required. Additionally, we will outline the factors influencing whether you need planning permission and why it is recommended to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. Lastly, we’ll cover how to check if you need planning permission and the risks of building without formal planning consent.

The Concept of Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development rights, as granted by law in the United Kingdom, allow for certain types of development without the need for planning permission. These rights vary depending on the type of development and its location. However, it’s important to note that permitted development rights can still be subject to limitations and conditions.

It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the specific permitted development rights relevant to your property and project. Seeking professional advice from a town planner can greatly assist in determining whether your project falls within these rights, ensuring you stay in compliance with the law.

What Could Limit or Remove Permitted Development Rights?

Permitted development rights can be restricted or removed by local planning policies, especially in conservation areas and national parks. Planning conditions imposed on a property, as well as listed buildings and protected areas, may also limit these rights. Additionally, complex or controversial projects may require planning permission despite falling within permitted development rights.

Only houses can have Permitted Development rights BUT not all houses have permitted development rights. Flats and commercial properties never have permitted development rights, so planning permission is always required. Permitted development rights are always limited so previous developments, even if a long time ago by a previous owner, may have used up some or all of the permitted development allowance for the property.

There can also be planning constraints such as Article 4 direction, conservation area or even living under a flight path could mean the council has removed your permitted development rights. This means there can be 2 houses, in the same town, doing the exact same project, for example, a 3-meter extension and one could be done under permitted development, while the other needs planning permission even though they are identical.

Understanding Planning Permission

Planning permission is necessary for certain types of development projects in the United Kingdom. Before starting construction, it is important to obtain planning permission from the local authorities. The purpose of this permission is to ensure that the proposed development is in line with regulations and policies. Local authorities have the responsibility of granting or denying planning permission based on these considerations.

Failure to obtain planning permission can have legal consequences, so it is crucial to follow the proper procedures. By obtaining planning permission, you can ensure that your project is compliant with the rules and regulations set by the government. This process helps to maintain order and prevent any potential issues or conflicts that may arise from unauthorized development.

Understanding planning permission is essential for any construction project in the United Kingdom. It ensures that the development is carried out in a way that is in harmony with the surrounding environment and benefits the community as a whole. By obtaining planning permission, you can proceed with your project confidently, knowing that it is legally permitted and meets the necessary requirements.

What is Planning Permission and When Might You Need it?

Planning permission refers to the formal approval required for specific development projects. It is necessary for projects like constructing a new dwelling or making alterations to existing buildings. Changes that impact the external appearance of a property often require planning permission as well. Consulting with a town planner can help determine if your project requires planning permission. If you need help and would like to speak with a town planner Contact Us for a free no-obligation consultation.

Factors Influencing the Requirement of Planning Permission

Factors that determine whether planning permission is required can vary depending on various aspects. The location of the property plays a crucial role in determining the need for planning permission. Additionally, the size, scale and design of the proposed development are important considerations. It is also crucial to consider the impact that the development might have on the surrounding environment and neighbouring properties.

Certain types of development, such as listed buildings, have stricter planning permission requirements due to their historical or architectural significance. Furthermore, development in protected areas, such as conservation areas, may require additional planning permission to ensure the preservation of the specific character and features of those areas. Understanding these factors is essential to determine if planning permission is necessary for your project in the United Kingdom.

Why is it Recommended to Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate?

Applying for a lawful development certificate is recommended as it provides official confirmation that planning permission isn’t needed. It can be useful for future reference, property sales, and demonstrates compliance with planning regulations.

A lawful development certificate is the only way to get a legal determination that planning permission is not required, it will likely be required to sell or remortgage in the future. Perhaps most importantly it protects you from any retrospective planning issues or enforcement action forever more.

What Are the Risks of Building Without Formal Planning Consent?

Building without formal planning consent can lead to enforcement action by the local planning authority. Consequences may include fines, demolition orders, or rectification measures. It can also impact the property’s future sale or mortgageability. Unauthorised development can be reported by neighbours or interested parties, resulting in investigations and penalties. Obtaining proper planning permission is essential to avoid these risks.

Unfortunately, around 15-20% of the planning applications we deal with are retrospective planning applications, for clients who have received enforcement notices and have been given 28 days to get planning approved or knock down their development. You can see lots of examples of retrospective planning applications in our Portfolio.

99% of these cases are people who built something thinking it was permitted development, having either misunderstood the governments planning portal or been told they don’t need planning permission by someone other than a chartered town planner, such as a builder or architect, who is not qualified in planning permission and doesn’t understand the complex and ever-changing planning laws.

Something else that most people don’t realise is that the council can remove permitted development rights at any time in the future. There are big changes happening across the UK right now, particularly for short-term lets with the rollout of Artcile 4 to many more areas in the UK. This news article by the BBC is a good example.

How to check if you need planning permission?

To determine if you need planning permission, you can contact your local planning authority or visit the planning portal website for information. Alternatively one of our town planners can conduct a Planning Appraisal to give you the answers you need in a day, rather than 5 to 8 weeks.

If you still have any questions Contact Us for a free no-obligation consultation today or if you think you need planning permission try our free online Cost Calculator to get an instant estimate for architectural design and/or planning permission.

Return to Blog