Permitted Development and Prior Approvals

New buildings, major alterations, enlargement of existing buildings and changes in the use of buildings and land are defined as development. You are responsible for establishing the necessary permissions, consents and approvals required. If you start work on property or land without obtaining the correct permission, you could be required to put things back to how they were. For more information, pleasevisit the Planning Portal (opens new window).

Development will normally require planning permission. The exceptions to this are set out below:

Permitted Development

Some minor residential development may qualify as Permitted Development and will not require planning permission. Examples include:

  • Extensions to houses.
  • Erecting outbuildings to be used in connection with an existing dwelling.
  • The installation of satellite dishes. 
  • The erection of boundary treatments to any property subject to height/location restrictions.

The council does not provide advice on permitted development rights.

Take a look at thePlanning Portal Interactive House (opens new window) for more information.

Please note it is up to you to determine whether planning permission is required or not.  Failure to apply for planning permission, when required, could result in enforcement action. 

The only way the Local Planning Authority can confirm in writing whether planning permission is required or not is through the submission of a Lawful Development Certificate, for which there is a fee.  You can find out more on how to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate onour planning page, or on thePlanning Portal.  If you apply for a Lawful Development Certificate prior to any works commencing then the cost is half a planning fee, following works commencing it is a full planning fee.  If as a result, it is determined that planning permission is required, you would then be required to submit a full planning application for the proposed works with a full planning fee.

Habitats and Species Regulations (2017)

Article 3 of General Permitted Development Order, permits development subject to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order and Regulations 75 to 78 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.

Regulation 75 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations requires development permitted under the general permitted development order (i.e. Prior Approvals) to make an application to Natural England or the Local Planning Authority to give their opinion as to whether the development is likely to have a  significant effect on a European site.  Development must not be begun until the developer has received written notification of the approval of the Local Planning Authority under Regulation 77 (approval of Local Planning Authority).

On this basis, the Council recommends that a Regulation 77 application be submitted alongside any application for Prior Approval located within or affecting:

Applicants may wish to make an application under Regulation 76 first in writing to Natural England for their opinion as to whether the development is likely to have a relevant effect (i.e. a significant effect on a European site or a European offshore marine site).  The application to Natural England must give details of the development which is intended to be carried out.  Natural England will then consider whether the development is likely to have such an effect.  Where Natural England considers that it has sufficient information to conclude that the development will, or will not, have such an effect, they will notify the applicant and the Local Planning Authority in writing of its opinion (if they consider there is no effect then this will be considered conclusive for the purpose of reliance on the planning permission granted by a general development order).  If Natural England considers that it has insufficient information to reach either of those conclusions, they will notify the applicant in writing indicating in what respects it considers the information insufficient.

Regulation 77 application

An application to the Local Planning Authority under Regulation 77 requires the submission of the following details to make the application valid:

  • Details of the development which is intended to be carried out (scaled location plan and floor plans as a minimum);
  • A copy of any relevant notification by the appropriate nature conservation body under regulation 76 (Natural England) (this is only required where an opinion from Natural England has been sought under Regulation 76); and
  • A £30 fee. You can pay on completion of the online form by debit or credit card.
  • The Council will also require a Shadow Habitats Regulations Assessment (sHRA) undertaken by a qualified ecologist, in order to determine the application.

Apply online for Regulation 77 application

Failure to gain consent from the Local Plan Authority, prior to works commencing, under Regulation 77 of the Habitats Regulations could result in enforcement action.

Permitted Development (not requiring prior approval)

An application under Regulation 77 (as set out above) is also required for permitted development applications in the Nutrient Neutrality Catchments or any of the Special Protection Area's (including the SPA buffer) listed above.

Failure to gain consent from the Local Plan Authority, prior to works commencing, under Regulation 77 of the Habitats Regulations could result in enforcement action.

Larger home extensions

The prior approval process only applies to larger single-storey rear extensions. It is not possible to undertake this process retrospectively.

This is defined as extending beyond the rear wall of the original house by:

  • Over four and up to eight metres for detached houses, and
  • Over three and up to six metres for all other houses.

If you wish to build an extension of this size, you must apply to the local authority, who will then consult the adjoining neighbours to advise them of your proposals.

Certificate of Lawfulness

If, after you have taken into account all of the guidance, you would like formal confirmation that planning permission is not required you may apply for aCertificate of Lawfulness (opens new window), although this is not compulsory. However, this is the only way the council will confirm in writing that planning permission is not required. In addition to the peace of mind it provides, it may be asked for by purchasers if you sell your property.

Also, you can use a Certificate of Lawfulness to confirm the lawful use class of a building.

Lawful Use Classes

The Local Planning Authority do not provide advice on the lawful or established use of a building.  The only way the Local Planning Authority can confirm the lawful use of a building is by submitting a Certificate of Lawfulness, for which there is a fee.  You can find out more how to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate onour planning page, or on thePlanning Portal.  If you apply for a Lawful Development Certificate prior to any works commencing then the cost is half a planning fee, following works commencing it is a full planning fee.  If as a result, it is determined that planning permission is required, you would then be required to submit a full planning application for the proposed works with a full planning fee.

Unable to find what you're looking for or have a general enquiry? Contact us with our online form.

Last updated: 22/01/2024 12:22:16