Do I need planning permission?
Some works to residential properties do not require planning permission. These works are known as Permitted Development
For general advice about whether specific works to your house require planning permission, then please use the Planning Portal Interactive House to check. There are also some useful guides on the Planning Portal with regard to a large number of common projects. In addition, Part 1 of the General Permitted Development Order (as amended in 2008) sets out works within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse which do not require planning permission. Please note that if you live in a Listed Building, or your property is within a Conservation Area or the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, additional restrictions apply. The Planning Portal contains details relating to these restrictions. To find out whether your property is within such an area, you can view the online Local Plan Proposal Map.
In some cases, Permitted Development rights may have been removed from your property, either by planning condition or as the result of an Article 4 direction. As a result, you may require planning permission from the Council. You can check the history of your property online and at the Council Offices. Planning applications dating from 1986 to the present day are available to view online. Applications pre-dating 1986 are available to view at the Council Offices. Please contact the Council for further information.
Planning Officers cannot informally advise whether specific proposals require planning permission. You should submit an Application for a Certificate of Lawfulness for a proposed development which will provide a formal decision as to whether the works require planning permission or not. The relevant application form is available on the right hand side of this page. The form should be submitted to the Council along with the relevant fee and detailed scaled plans showing the proposed development. The decision would either state that the proposal (or some elements of the proposal) does not require planning permission, or that planning permission is required.
Please be aware that Building Control and Planning are two separate processes, and whilst Planning Permission may not be required for certain works, you may still be required to obtain Building Regulations approval. For more information go to Building Control and read the summary leaflet explaining
Applying for planning permission
If you know that your proposal requires planning permission, and wish to obtain a Planning Officer's assessment before you submit a formal planning application, please use our Pre-application advice service.
Any building work that requires planning permission but is carried out without obtaining such permission constitutes unauthorised development. Such development is investigated by the Planning Enforcement division.