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 of buildings or land.

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.

Coronavirus Temporary Update

Restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments (Use Class A3, A4, mixed A3 and A4 and Class AA) can now sell takeaway food for a limited period of 12 months. It is subject to a condition that the owner notifies the Local Planning Authority if the building and any land within its curtilage is being use, or will be used, for the provision of takeaway food at any time during the relevant period. The provision of takeaway food includes the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed off the premises. Notification should be made in writing or by email to

Planning Portal logo

The Planning Portal

Find out if you need planning permission 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?

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

To find out if a specific property has permitted development rights or whether they have been removed by the local planning authority. Please contact us via the following email address:

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

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