Do I need planning permission?

See if you need planning permission before you start work on a building project or change the use of land or buildings.

As a general guide, you need planning permission for new buildings, major alterations to existing buildings and to change the use buildings or land.

But you don't usually need it for changes inside a building, for small alterations to the outside, or to put up walls or fences below a certain height.

If you go ahead with a project without permission, you may end up having to put things back to how they were.

Planning Portal logo

The Planning Portal

The easiest way to find out if you need planning permission is through the Government's Planning Portal. This has:

  • common examples of building projects
  • advice on fees and charges
  • matters you should think about before starting work
Planning Portal: Do you need permission?

The guidance document for homeowners below gives advice on the detailed rules of permitted development and the terms used in those rules.

pdf icon Permitted development rights for householders [723kb]

To ascertain if a specific property has permitted development rights or whether they have been removed by the local planning authority, you are advised to contact us via the following email address:

When you have tested your proposal against the permitted development limit and conditions, please follow this link to the Planning Portal website to decide on your next step >>

You may also need to apply for separate building regulations approval. See further information about building regulation approval >>