Many home improvement projects are classed as permitted development. This means that, subject to certain conditions and limits, they do not require planning permission
Finding out if you need planning permission
Use the Planning Portal resources
The Planning Portal guides and links can help you understand whether your project requires planning permission.
Explore the Planning Portal's project planning, building and completion advice including:
- project advice;
- the interactive house for visual guidance on permitted development; and,
- mini guides providing specific advice for many common projects.
Information and guidance on common projects
The Planning Portal has lots of information covering a wide range of common projects. The guidance covers both planning permission and building regulations rules.
- adverts and signs
- change of use
- greener homes eg solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps etc.
- loft conversion
In addition to the Planning Portal information, we've produced specific guidance for planning permission for keeping horses.
Building regulations approval
Even if your project is covered by permitted development rights, you may still need to apply for building regulations approval.
In some circumstances, permitted development rights are restricted or removed
This means you will need to apply for planning permission for work that wouldn't usually require you to do so. For example, if you want to carry out work:
- in a conservation area
- in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
To see if you're affected by any of the above, you can use our interactive map.
Article 4 directions remove permitted development rights
Article 4 directions are made when the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. They are most common in conservation areas.
To see if your property is affected by such a direction, you can check on our interactive map.
If a planning application is required solely because permitted development rights have been removed by an Article 4 direction, no planning application fee is payable.
If you're unsure whether you need planning permission
Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC)
If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful or that your proposal does not require planning permission, you can apply for an LDC.
It is not compulsory to have an LDC but there may be times (eg when selling your property) when you need one to confirm that the use, operation or activity named in it is lawful.
Please note than an LDC is not the same as planning permission but proof that your household building work is lawful.