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Planning and building control

Unsure which services you need?

If you are thinking of making changes to your property, you may need to apply for planning permission and / or Building Regulations approval. If you're not sure which applications to make, please use the guidance below to help you to decide what you need to do.

Please note that many developments will require both.

What is planning?

Planning is the process of deciding whether a proposed development should go ahead or not. It uses national and local policies to consider the development in its context, and may look at the impact of the work on neighbours and the wider community, existing architecture, the land, the layout, and existing or proposed infrastructure (such as drains, transport and schools).

You will probably need planning permission if your proposed development will do any of the following:

  • create a new building, or change the use or appearance of an existing building
  • affect the sunlight, privacy or outlook for neighbouring properties
  • affect the nearby area with noise disturbance, smell or fumes
  • work on or around listed buildings or any conservation areas
  • affect traffic volumes, road safety or access
  • change the density of development in an area
  • use significantly different materials or finishes from nearby properties
  • have an effect on existing trees
What is building control?

Building control applies national statutory regulations to ensure the structural quality of any building work, in areas such as safety, public health, accessibility, and the materials used. Most substantial building projects (such as an extension, knocking down walls or converting a garage or loft) will need Building Regulations approval.