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Planning Permission and Permitted Development

Planning Permission and Permitted Development: A Comprehensive Guide

Planning permission is a process that homeowners and businesses need to go through if they wish to make changes to their property. It is a legal requirement that is enforced by the local council in your area, and it ensures that any developments are safe, practical, and appropriate for the surrounding area. Planning permission can be a confusing and complicated process, but in this guide, we will provide you with a breakdown of the different types of planning permission and permitted developments.

What is Planning Permission?

Planning permission is a formal application process that is required if you want to make any significant changes to your property or land. The purpose of planning permission is to ensure that any changes are suitable for the surrounding environment and do not negatively impact the community. Planning permission is required for a wide range of developments, including:

  • New builds and extensions
  • Changes of use for buildings or land
  • Demolitions
  • Changes to the external appearance of a building (e.g. cladding, windows, doors, etc.)
  • Changes to the use of buildings (e.g. converting a residential property to commercial use)
  • Development that may impact the environment (e.g. flood risk, pollution, etc.)

The process of applying for planning permission can be a time-consuming and complicated process. However, the local council provides guidance and support throughout the process, and in many cases, it is possible to hire a planning consultant to help with the application process.

Types of Planning Applications

There are three different types of planning applications that you can make, depending on the scope of your development. These include:

  1. Pre-Application Enquiries

Pre-application enquiries are an informal way to gain feedback from your local council before submitting a formal planning application. This service is free of charge and can be useful if you are unsure whether your development would be granted planning permission. By providing basic information about your proposed development, the council will provide guidance on whether you are likely to be granted planning permission, and what requirements you may need to fulfill.

  1. Planning Permission in Principle (PPP)

Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) is a simpler application that is submitted to check that the scope of work is in principle ok with regards to planning. It is typically used for larger developments, and it allows the council to review the proposed development before the submission of a full planning application. PPP applications do not require as much detail as a full planning application, but they do require an accurate site plan and some details about the proposed development.

  1. Detailed Planning Permission (DPP)

Detailed Planning Permission (DPP) is the most detailed planning application and requires you to fully outline the scope of work. This would involve a full set of plans, elevations, any drainage requirements, drainage impact assessments, habitat surveys, and bat surveys that would need to be submitted with a full planning application. DPP applications are typically required for more complex developments, such as new builds or large extensions.

Permitted Developments

Permitted developments are changes that do not require planning permission, as they are deemed to be low-risk developments. The UK government has defined a range of permitted developments that can be made to residential properties without the need for planning permission. These developments are subject to specific criteria, which must be adhered to. Examples of permitted developments include:

To be considered a permitted development, the development must adhere to specific criteria, such as the size and height of the development, and its impact on the surrounding environment. However, some properties, such as those in conservation areas or listed buildings, may still require planning permission, even if they meet the criteria for permitted developments.

It is important to note that permitted developments can vary depending on the location and property type. Therefore, it is always advisable to check with your local council before commencing any work to ensure that it falls under permitted development rights.

Apart from planning permission and permitted developments, there are other types of planning consents that you may need to consider, depending on your development plans. These include:

  1. Signage and Advertisement Consent

If you plan to display signage or advertisements on your property, you may require signage and advertisement consent. This applies to both residential and commercial properties and includes any external advertisements, such as shop signs, hoardings, or window displays.

  1. Listed Building Consent

Listed buildings are protected by law, and any changes or alterations to the property must be approved by the local council. Listed building consent is required for any work that affects the character or appearance of a listed building, including internal and external changes.

  1. Conservation Area Consent

Conservation areas are designated areas of historic or architectural interest, and any changes to the area or the buildings within the area must be approved by the local council. Conservation area consent is required for any development that affects the character or appearance of a conservation area.


Planning permission is a vital process that ensures that any changes made to a property or land are safe, practical, and appropriate for the surrounding area. There are three types of planning applications that you can make, depending on the scope of your development, and permitted developments that can be made without planning permission, subject to specific criteria.

If you are considering any changes to your property, it is always advisable to seek advice from your local council to ensure that you are complying with the relevant planning regulations. You may also want to consider hiring a planning consultant to help you navigate the planning process and ensure that your development plans are successful.

In summary, planning permission and permitted developments are an essential part of property ownership and development, and it is crucial to understand the different types of planning applications and consents required. By working closely with your local council and seeking professional advice, you can ensure that your development plans are successful and comply with all relevant planning regulations.

Steen can help with your Planning Permission and Permitted Development Requirements

Steen Building Services is a professional construction company that specializes in providing planning and construction services for both residential and commercial properties. With years of experience in the industry, our team of planning and construction experts can provide you with the guidance and support you need to ensure that your development plans are successful. We can help you with every aspect of the planning process, from the initial design and planning stage, to the submission of planning applications and any necessary consents. Our team is dedicated to delivering high-quality construction services that are tailored to your specific needs and budget, ensuring that your development plans are completed to the highest standards. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your development plans.

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