Do I need planning permission?

This depends on what you want to do. Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without planning permission. This is called permitted development. You can find out more information on permitted development through the national Planning Portal's Interactive House.  

You usually need planning permission if you are proposing to undertake building or engineering works or changing the use of buildings or land. You may also need consent if you want to display advertisements or signs, alter listed buildings or demolish buildings.

Our do I need planning permission? section has more information.

Most building work also requires Building Regulations approval.

NOTE: The Government made a number of changes to permitted development rights in May 2013, including new rules to allow more flexibility for retail units, office buildings to be converted to residential use without planning permission, and increase limits for householder extensions. There are also new processes for dealing with proposals.

Applying for planning permission

Our submitting a planning application section has guidance on what to do, or you can speak to our planning team for pre-application advice.

Frequently asked questions


The national Planning Portal has a number of other frequently asked questions which may help you. You can contact them direct by emailing

Calculate the volume of a building

Use the online volume calculator to find out the volume of a building.

Our planning handbook

Our handbook provides an introduction to the planning (development management) process and our commitment to you when dealing with planning issues. The handbook also gives useful information on how to submit a planning application, our pre-application servicetrees and high hedges, planning enforcement and our enforcement standards, the appeals process and guidance on building control.   

Further information

We have duty officers available to help you either by phone or in person at our main office or email  Please note, our planning duty officer service will be changing from 20 July 2017.  You will be able to contact the Duty Planner between the hours of 9am - 1pm Monday and Friday.