Some types of development do not require specific Planning Permission. This is referred to as Permitted Development (as specified by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995).

The most common examples of Permitted Development are small extensions to existing dwellings, garden sheds, greenhouses, fences and walls of a specified maximum height.

Some other buildings and works e.g. the erection or alteration of an agricultural / industrial building or apparatus required for telecommunications (including mobile phones) may also be considered as Permitted Development.

Whether development does not require specific Planning Permission i.e. is permitted development, often depends on the size, position and height of the proposed building and other works. In the case an existing dwelling whether it has been extended previously.

The considerations for assessing whether development is permitted are now quite complex and before proceeding to implement any proposals it is advisable to contact the ‘Customer Information Team’. Alternatively, you may want to submit a 'Certificate of Lawfulness’ which will confirm whether Planning Permission is necessary and is the only law binding decision available.


New regulations come into force on 1st October 2008 which relate to the alterations and extensions which can be carried out on or within the garden of a dwelling without the need for planning permission.

The changes are intended to give as much freedom as possible to people wishing to carry out extensions and alterations to their homes. However, the new rules also introduce controls on the formation or replacement of hard surfaces, such as driveways, which are aimed at reducing water run-off which contributes to flooding.

To assist in explaining the new regulations, the government has produced an interactive guide explaining the new rules. The changes are also summarised on the Planning Portal website.

As a result of the changes introduced by the government, planning permission will generally be required for the laying or replacement of an impermeable driveway or other hard surface, which is more than 5 square metres, within the area between a dwelling and the highway. The government has produced guidance on the types of surfacing that may be constructed without planning permission.

If you require more details about the changes, please speak with a member of our Development Control Team (01983 823552).

Further Information:
Further advice and guidance is available in the section entitled ‘Do I Need Planning Permission’. More detailed information is provided on many of the topics discussed above.

Building Regulations (Building Regulation Approval):
When any development is proposed you should always contact the Building Control Department to check whether you need to submit a Building Regulation Application. Building Regulations approval is often needed where Planning Permission is not required.

Page last updated on: 25/05/2011