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Home > Planning > Pre-application advice > Free Online Planning Guidance > Do I need planning permission?

Do I need planning permission?

The 1947 Town and Country Planning Act was the beginning of modern planning, and essentially nationalised the right to develop land.

The Act required all development, with a few exceptions, to secure planning permission from its Local Authority, and contained a provision to allow an appeal against any refusal.

Due to continued changes in the law, what needs permission today might not be the same as what needed permission just a few years ago.

Permitted development

The Planning Portal provides guidance on common household development that does not need planning permission ("permitted development"), as well as a number of mini guides on popular projects:

Other considerations

Different criteria may apply to your proposed development if in association with a Listed Building and/or Conservation Area.

Even if Planning Permission is not required, you may need Building Regulations approval and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) may also apply.

Planning permission may not be required for change of use, as well as a range of development in association with commercial, leisure and industrial uses and buildings.

If in doubt please see our pre application service pages.

Please note the following regarding use class enquiries:

Enquiries in connection with use classes on premises or land cannot be confirmed because we cannot provide proof that any permission has been implemented within the 3 year period of any permission issued. It is recommended that you make an application for a Lawful Development Certificate. This will provide confirmation of the current use class or classes of a site with the applicant providing proof of business activity or use in document form.

You can make an application for a Lawful Development Certificate via the Planning Portal.

Please note we cannot provide planning histories for any site prior to 1974.