Under the Town and Country Planning Acts, planning permission is required for development. Development is defined as building, mining, engineering or other operations or a material change of use. (Please note: Engineering includes excavation and changing land levels).

It is important to check if you need planning permission before making changes to your home, business premises or starting a development.

If you complete works without planning permission you may have to remove your alterations and may even be reported for breaching planning control.

  • The Planning Portal provides guidance on whether planning permission is needed.
  • You can consult a private planning consultant for advice.
  • Or you can pay us for pre-application advice from Council planning officers. To apply and for more information visit our pre-application advice page
  • If you think that the development does not require planning permission you are advised to apply for a lawful development certificate which will provide you with a certificate confirming that the works are lawful.  This can be done by either submitting an application via the Planning Portal or by completing and posting in an application form for a Lawful Development Certificate for either a proposed use or development, or an existing use or operation or activity including those in a breach of a planning condition, along with all the relevant drawings and appropriate fee.  You may need this if you sell your property and it will reduce the likelihood of a planning enforcement officer needing to investigate the works.

Find out if the proposed building affects a Listed Building or falls within a Conservation Area or if a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order. Works to trees can also be restricted by a condition attached to a planning permission relating to the property. You can check whether there are any landscape conditions or works to trees conditions on the property by checking the planning permissions for that property via Public Access.

Planning Portal

The Planning Portal has information and guidance for all types of development including householder development, changes of uses and development at commercial properties. It provides details of Use Classes and Permitted Development.

It has helpful mini guides and a common householder projects page. You will also find useful information on Building control regulations that need to be observed once you get to the build stage of your project.

The Planning Portal also provides more information about the planning system and links to planning legislation, as well giving details on how to apply for planning permission and the appeal process.

Pre-application Advice

Due to the complexity of the planning system and the need to research the planning history and consider the proposal the Council now charges for any informal advice as to whether planning permission is required or pre-application advice as to whether planning permission is likely to be granted.

The Council will also not provide informal advice on the lawful use of properties without the submission of a pre-application enquiry. The planning history for a property is publically available on Public Access.

Consideration of the lawful use of the property will also require knowledge of previous uses. If you wish to obtain additional planning advice on this matter, please contact a town planning consultant or apply to the Council for pre-application advice from a planning officer providing full details.

General advice and guidance on all applications, solicitor requests and planning performance agreements can be found here.

Permitted Development

Secondary planning legislation allows certain development to proceed without applying for planning permission. This is often called 'permitted development'.

Permitted Development Rights can relate to uses as well as operational development.

However, Permitted Developments Rights are sometimes removed from properties when planning permission is granted. This means that a planning application will need to be submitted for such development. The planning history for a property can be researched via Public Access, so you can check whether permitted development rights have been restricted. Any conditions limiting permitted development rights will be attached to the planning permission.

Some older planning decisions are not yet available on the website. If you cannot see the Decision Notice please contact Planning Admin

Some permitted development rights require you to notify the Council before you start work or to seek Prior Approval, further information can be obtained on the Planning Portal.

Permitted development can be more restricted if it's in a Conservation Area

If you are thinking of adding an extension to your property or making changes to the roof space, there is a volume calculator on the planning portal.

Further advice on householder development and permitted development rights can be found on our Householder development page

If you think something is permitted development but require formal confirmation of this, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for proposed development.

Paving Front Gardens and Dropped Kerbs

There is legislation that applies to the paving of front gardens and you are advised to read through the following guidance:

Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens

Consent must be obtained from KCC for the construction of a dropped kerb. Information on the application process is available on our Dropped Kerb page.