Planning permission is usually required before you:

  • build something
  • make a major change to a building
  • change the use of land or a building

In some cases you may need planning consent, such as when making changes to a listed building or if you live in a conservation area.

The planning portal has a list of common projects and guides to help you decide if you need permission and what you will need to consider.

If your project requires planning permission and you do the work without getting it, you may be ordered to put things right or even remove the building.

Use our Planning permission enquiry form to determine informally whether or not planning permission is required.

Applications and consent

Full planning application

A full planning application is needed if you wish to change the use of land or buildings or for domestic and commercial development. You will need to submit all details of the proposal.

You can submit a full planning application via the planning portal.

Outline planning application

An outline planning application can be made to find out if a project is acceptable in principle before submitting full details. It has the advantage that detailed drawings are not needed.

Once outline permission has been granted, you will need to ask for the details to be approved. This is known as reserved matters and must be done before work can start.

You can submit an outline planning application via the planning portal.

Variations of conditions

You can make an application to have a planning condition changed or removed for an existing planning permission, except for applications previously approved under reserved matters or listed building consent.

We will consider the application and decide whether to:

  • grant planning consent, subject to different conditions
  • remove the condition entirely
  • decide not to amend the condition at all

Listed building consent

You need to apply for listed building consent if you want to:

  •  demolish a listed building
  •  alter or extend a listed building in a way which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest

You may also need listed building consent for any work to separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building.

You can apply for listed building consent via the planning portal.

Certificates of lawfulness

A certificate of lawfulness or Lawful Development Certificate(LDC) , for proposed or existing use, is a document confirming that the use, operation or activity named on it is lawful for planning control purposes.

Provided enough evidence exists and all conditions are satisfied, it allows us to grant a certificate in relation to:

  • an existing use of land, some operational development or an activity in breach of a planning condition which has become lawful or
  • a proposed use of land or buildings or some operational development to be carried out which would need to be lawful.

You can download an application form for a certificate of lawfulness from the planning portal.

Advertisement consent

You may need advertisement consent to display an advert. The advertisement control system covers a very wide range of advertisements and signs including:

  • posters and notices
  • placards and boards
  • fascia signs and projecting signs
  • pole signs and canopy signs
  • models and devices
  • advance signs and directional signs
  • estate agents’ boards
  • captive balloon advertising (not balloons in flight)
  • flag advertisements
  • price markers and price displays
  • traffic signs
  • town and village name signs

You are unlikely to need consent for signs less than 0.3 metres square on your house with a name or number on it.

Temporary notices up to 0.6 metres squared relating to local events (fetes and concerts for example) can be displayed for short periods.

Work on trees

You will need to submit a tree works application if you wish to carry out work on trees protected by tree preservation orders or located in conservation areas.

Telecommunications equipment including masts

Telecommunications development fall into three categories of planning regulations:

  • development that requires planning permission and/or listed building consent
  • permitted development under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) which doesn’t require us to be notified
  • permitted development that requires us to be notified

For development that requires us to be notified, we will then decide if prior approval (as to the location and appearance of the development) is required, and if so whether to grant it or not.

In terms of telecommunication equipment this can broadly divided into the following categories. There are some exceptions according to the precise location and type of installation.

Masts over 15 metres in height

Masts over 15 metres in height and any masts in conservation areas require planning permission.

Consultation on applications for planning permission will be undertaken in accordance with our standard consultation protocol for telecoms development, details of which are provided in our Statement of Community Involvement.

Small scale telecom development

Development that complies with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended) is permitted development and as such does not require planning permission.

This can range from the installation of additional antennas on an existing radio mast to the development of a base station on a building, including equipment cabinets below 2.5 cubic metres in volume.

The developer is obliged under Regulation 5 of the Electronic Communications Code (Conditions and Restrictions) Regulations 2003 to notify us in writing of the intention to install telecommunications apparatus. The development however is permitted by law and does not require an application to be made to, consultation or determination by us.

Permitted development rights do not apply to telecoms development affecting listed buildings, conservation areas or Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Masts up to 15 metres in height and other development

Development that complies with the requirements of the General Development Procedure Order (GDPO) is permitted development. If however the development falls within certain categories (for example masts up to 15 metres in height and equipment cabinets over 2.5 cubic metres in volume) then we require ‘prior notification’. We can then decide whether the development requires ‘prior approval’ or not.

The ‘prior notification’ process is separate from a full planning application. In considering whether a ‘prior notification’ application requires ‘prior approval’ we can only consider the location and design details of the proposal, not the principle of the development as it is permitted by law.

We must determine such applications within 56 days of a valid application being submitted. If we fail to issue a decision within this period, consent will be deemed to have been given by default.

We can either grant or refuse the proposal based on its location and design. If we refuse, we must give our reasons. There are no statutory powers to impose conditions on any decision.

Consultation and publicity for developments that are considered to require prior approval will be undertaken in accordance with our standard consultation protocol for telecoms development.

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