There are a number of issues to consider before an answer can be given.
Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission. If you live in a house (but not a flatted property), you can make certain types of minor changes to your home without needing to apply for planning permission. These rights are called "Permitted Development Rights" (PD Rights).
In certain circumstances your property may have its ‘PD Rights’ removed. This could be by any of the following:
The Planning Portal’s ‘Interactive House’ is a useful tool, which explains some of the legislation, and is available on their website: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/house
We have created a checklist to make it easier for you to establish if you need planning permission.
If you are in doubt about any restriction on your house, you should contact the Planning Department for clarification. If there is a restrictive Covenant on your house/estate, this would be separate issue from any planning aspects. You should seek your own legal advice on such Covenants.
When your development project is one that cannot be carried out under PD rights, our Development Management Team actively encourages pre-application discussions, as this is often helpful in ensuring that your application is dealt with as smoothly as possible when formally submitted. It should also enable any potential planning issues to be identified so that you can address them in your application. A charge is made for this advice, payable in advance. Please visit our Pre Application pages for further details.
Even if a planning application is not required, but you would like confirmation that this is the case, you can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Development. This does need a fee, but it may be helpful if you subsequently wish to sell your house, and the buyer needs assurances that any works to the dwelling will not be subject to enforcement action.
It is your responsibility for seeking, or not seeking, planning permission. If it is required, planning permission should be granted before any work begins.
Whether you require planning permission or not, you may still require Building Regulations approval. Go to our Building Control pages to find out more.
If you require further information please contact us via our Customer Services Team. Details of our opening times can be found on our contact page.