Is Planning Permission always required?

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No, it is not. Certain small projects and minor alterations do not need Planning Permission, this is classified Permitted Development. Details of typical projects that do not need Planning Permission follow.
1] Single storey side and rear extensions, including conservatories.
2] Two storey rear extensions.
3] Loft conversions, including changing a hipped roof to a gable roof to increase height internally.
4] Converting attached buildings such as Garages and Stores.
5] Basement conversions.
6] Porch extensions.
7] Outbuildings – separate garages or Work from Home garden offices.
8] Converting two homes into a single dwelling – knocking through semi-detached or terraces.
9] Swimming pools.
10] New doors and windows, including roof windows.
11] Wall and roof cladding – render, timber boarding etc.
12] Decking.
13] Internal remodelling.
14] Walls, fences and gates.
Important extra information
While in theory the above projects could be completed without Planning Permission it is very important to weigh up each project on individual circumstances. For example, if your building is Listed, in a Conservation Area or the Green Belt it is unlikely the above will be classified Permitted Development.
Permitted Development rights for each project also have specific conditions and criteria which must be met. If some of these requirements are not achieved then Planning Permission will be required.
If you have any doubt or questions you should always check with your local authority or obtain professional advice.
Many local authorities can formally confirm if Planning Permission is not required [for a small fee] and this is always recommended as it means you have something in writing for the avoidance of any doubt. An alternative to this is to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Development from your local authority once the work is complete [again for a small fee]. These documents can sometimes be useful when selling your property as you may need to prove to the solicitors that Planning Permission was not required.
While the projects listed above don’t necessarily need Planning Permission they still need thinking through and designing properly. The only advantage of not needing Planning Permission is that it saves an eight week decision period from the local authority and a small fee. Most projects will need designing and drawing up professionally and will also need Building Regulations approval.
Further information can be found on the Planning Portal for most circumstances.

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