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Check if you need planning permission

It is vital to check if you will need planning permission for your proposed development.

Warning If you do work on your property without the correct planning permission, we may take enforcement action against you. This could include an order to demolish or reinstate a development, and you may have to pay substantial fines or costs.

A check for planning permission requirements consists of viewing national regulations, local planning constraints, and the planning history of the site or property where you are proposing development. You can ask us to make and certify these checks for you, or do the research yourself. See below to choose which option is more suitable for your needs.

Ask us to confirm if you need permission

This quick and easy process can save you time and money, giving you the peace of mind of knowing your obligations before starting on a development project. It will provide a certificate from our Planning Team, stating whether or not planning permission is required for your proposal. To get your confirmation, please complete a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use application on the Planning Portal.

Check for yourself if you need permission

There are three sets of checks that you or your planning agent will need to complete, as follows:

  • National regulations

    The Planning Portal and GOV.UK websites have comprehensive guidance on the regulations about what changes count as 'permitted development', and what proposals will need planning permission. 

    If you are proposing a home extension
    Please note that recent temporary changes to permitted development for home extensions have now become permanent. If you are unsure if this affects you, check the updated regulations and guidance.
  • Local planning constraints

    These deal with things like listed buildings, conservation areas and tree protection orders. You can view the planning constraints which apply to your site and property on our interactive B&NES map

    How to use this tool
    • You can find the full list of possible planning policies or constraints in the panel on the left of the map, grouped by topic, such as Ecology or Conservation and Heritage.
    • Click on any box to display that item on the map. It will appear in colour. The colours are randomly displayed each time you view the map, so they may change from one session to another.
    • You can select multiple policies or constraints, but we recommend viewing no more than four at a time, or you may find that it takes a very long time for the web page to download the information.
    • To zoom in to view your property, you can click on the map, or use the + / - tool at the top left of the map.
  • Your property's planning history

    If your property has previously had building work such as an extension, it may affect whether you will now need, or can get, planning permission for further work. You can check the property's planning history by entering the address in our historic planning application search tool.

Special cases

There are additional, or different, regulations for some types of development.

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

In many cases, work to change a single dwelling into an HMO (or to convert an HMO back into a single dwelling) falls under 'permitted development', and you don't need planning permission. However, there are additional planning controls for HMOs in the City of Bath. View our Supplementary Planning Document, to check if these restrictions apply to your proposal.

If you own or convert a property to become an HMO, anywhere in our region, you may need to get a licence or have other legal responsibilities. Find out more on the Housing pages of our website

Vehicle access and dropped kerbs

In most cases, making alterations outside the boundary of your property, such as to the pavement, are not a planning matter. Our Highways team have an application process for dropped kerbs and similar work to make vehicle access easier. 
Some proposals to alter access within the boundary of your property may fall under 'permitted development' rights.  You can check this at the Planning Portal.

Circumstances where you will need planning permission
You will need permission for kerb and access work if any of the following are true:
  • Your proposal includes a dropped kerb onto an A, B or C Class Road. 
  • Your property is listed and you are going to create or alter a gate, wall, fence or railing within the curtilage of the listed building or the surrounding property (this requires listed building consent, which is separate from planning permission).
  • Your property is within the Conservation Area of Bath and the works would include demolition or removal of a gate pillar, wall, fence or railing on or next to the highway or a public open space.
  • Your property is within another Conservation Area and the works would include demolition of a gate, fence, wall or railing over 1m high on or next to the highway or a public open space.
  • Your property is divided into flats or maisonettes.
  • You will need to carry out structural works or alter the ground level to create a hardstanding or parking area.

If you need expert advice

Once you know you need planning permission or listed building consent, you may want to gain greater certainty and avoid problems or delays by using our Pre-Application Advice or Development Team services.

In all cases, we strongly recommend using a planning agent to help you with every stage of your development proposal and planning application.

For further information about the types of services available, visit our Get expert advice page.