Planning permission is needed for any building work that could impact the environment, such as a loft conversion or extension. It can also be required for certain uses of land, and some building work carried out without planning permission may be illegal. Planning authorities have power under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to grant exemptions from the requirement for planning permission but will only do so in exceptional circumstances – where it is considered that having a development would not harm protected interests or if there are other compelling reasons which mean exemption would be justified (s 16(9)).
You will most likely need planning permission
You will most likely need planning permission if:
- You want to build a house.
- You want to make alterations to your homes such as building an extension, conservatory or garage.
- You want to change the use of your property from domestic (i.e., living in it) to non-domestic use such as a shop or restaurant.
You want to create additional rooms in your home by extending it horizontally rather than vertically because this type of development is not considered a ‘change of use’. For example, you could build an extra bedroom onto the back of your existing house without needing any kind of permission from the council! However, if you were converting one room into two, that would be considered an extension requiring permission under Section 57/58 London Building Act 1984 (as amended).
If you want to build a conservatory, extension or loft conversion, then this does not require planning permission. However, if you are building an outbuilding such as a garage or garden room, this will require permission.
The easiest way to determine whether your property requires planning permission or not is by contacting your local council. They will be able to tell you exactly what type of development you can carry out without needing permission and give advice on how to go about getting approval if necessary.
There are some occasions when you might not need planning permission
Planning permission isn’t always needed, especially if you are making changes to your home that don’t affect the outside of the building.
- Minor alterations and internal work
For example, no planning permission is required if you’re putting up a shelf or installing new lighting in your kitchen. However, if you want to build an extension to your house then this will need planning permission because it will affect how people use and see your home from outside.
- Work related to roofing does not change its appearance or height (e.g., replacing flat roofs with similar materials).
- Replacing windows on an existing house (unlikely) may not require planning permission unless there is a change in appearance as a result of them being replaced; however, if there is any doubt about whether this would be considered an “alteration” rather than simply replacing one type of window with another type then it would probably be best practice for builders/contractors etc., who do quote jobs like this anyway as part of their normal business procedures; but even then they should also check first before agreeing any prices upfront just in case something does turn out differently later down the line when it comes time for final sign off on everything else such as pricing etcetera too!
If you are considering adding a conservatory or an extension to your home, then it is important to understand what you can do without planning permission, and what will require permission.
If you’re in a Special Area / Conservation Area
- A Special Area is a place of special interest to all communities.
- Conservation Areas are areas that have special architectural or historic interests.
- Using the government’s planning portal, you can check if your property is in one of these areas.
If it does, you need planning permission for most works to the exterior of your property, like adding an extension or converting your garage into living space.
Planning Permission for Listed Buildings
There are a number of different types of listed building, each with its own rules for alterations. Some, such as churches and monuments, have special rules that apply to them. For example, you will need to apply for listed building consent if you want to build something on land next to your church or monument that would block views from any highway leading up to it (such as paving over the graveyard).
If you have a house built before 1st July 1948 which has been designated by English Heritage (the government body responsible for listing buildings) as being of special architectural or historical interest, then this is known as a ‘listed building’. In most cases, all alterations must be approved by local planning authorities before they can be carried out to protect their character and prevent unnecessary damage or risks posed during construction works such as flooding, etc…
Building Regs Approval
Building Regulations Approval is required if you are making any changes to the structure of a building, altering the use of a building or increasing the height of a building. For example, if you are converting an existing warehouse into residential accommodation and removing some internal walls to create larger rooms.
Moving house or selling property with no planning permission
If you are selling your house or commercial property and the building work has not been permitted, then we recommend that you inform any potential buyers of this.
It’s important to ensure they know what they might be taking on before purchasing the property. If there is no planning permission in place, it could also limit their ability to sell the property again in future years if they wanted to move elsewhere.
If there is no planning permission in place, then it could also limit their ability to sell the property again in future years if they wanted to move elsewhere.
Getting the right planning advice is essential, especially before purchasing a building with development potential
When you’re considering purchasing a building with development potential, it’s essential to get the right planning advice. There are plenty of specialist consultants out there who can assess your project and advise you on the legal requirements.
When looking for a planner or architect, look for someone who:
- Has experience in dealing with similar projects
- Is insured against any damage they might cause while carrying out their work
You should also check whether they have been qualified by an accredited body such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Planning laws in the UK can be complicated and confusing. This is why it’s important to understand what you need to do before starting your project. If you have any questions about getting planning permission, please contact us on 0203 744 3020 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can refer you to some of our partnered Building Surveyors and Architects.
The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on it as a substitute for specific legal advice on your particular issues.