When to apply: a guide for householders
As long as you meet certain requirements, and stay within specific restrictions, you can carry out external alterations and some extensions to private houses (not flats) without needing formal planning permission.
When you don't need to apply
Unless the property is a listed building, you don't need planning permission if you are:
- carrying out works to the interior of your home - for example, putting in new kitchen units, or removing a wall
- painting the outside of your home
- repairing the outside of your home
- planting trees and shrubs in your garden.
When you need to apply
You may need planning permission if you are:
- extending your home by constructing an extension or a dormer window
- putting up a garage
- putting up a boundary fence or wall
- extending your garden onto adjacent land
- putting up outbuildings or garden structures, such as a summer house, shed or swimming pool
- having a wind turbine installed.
Some developments need special consents as well as, or instead of, planning permission:
- Changes to listed buildings may need a separate listed building consent for internal works or external painting works.
- Demolition in conservation areas may need planning permission.
- Developments that affect trees and hedgerows which are protected.
To find out whether applications are required under the Town and Country Planning Acts, you can submit a Householder Enquiry Form
Building Regulations and other types of permission
You will probably need Building Regulations approval for most works or changes of use that you carry out to a building.
It is useful to have written confirmation that your proposal doesn't need any of these consents, especially when it comes to selling your property. This confirmation shows any prospective purchaser that you haven't carried out any unauthorised work. Find out more about building control.