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What Is Planning Permission?

Article 180 [ added on 14-09-2009, updated on 12-08-2010 ]

Planning Legislation ensures any controlled work is in keeping with its area in terms of colour, design and use. It should be noted that not all domestic work requires Planning Permission.

Leaseholders will need to advise the owner that an application is being made.

If the dwelling is situated in a “designated area” i.e. Conservation Area, Listed Buildings, National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Planning and other permissions may be required.

The difference between Planning Permission & Building Regulations is feaured in a separate article.


In a normal domestic situation internal work is unlikely to require a Planning Consent.

Depending on the size of any proposal, its location and previous extensions the scheme may require Planning Permission.

Industrial and Commercial

Most work in this situation will require Planning Permission.

The matters for consideration will consist of design, appearance, parking, traffic flow and its use being appropriate to the area. There could be environmental and pollution issues depending on the intended use.

Note: If your work requires Planning Permission see the list of the matters a Planning Officer is likely to consider.

Full Planning Permission

Full Planning Permission would grant permission for all aspects of the proposed development, although it could be subject to various conditions

Outline Planning Permission

There is an option to put forward the principles of a Planning Application rather than presenting the scheme in its entirety.
This means that some elements of the application can be considered at a later date. Issues such as access routes, design and appearance may or may not appear in the Outline Planning Applications, depending on their significance.

Outline Applications cannot be made for Listed Buildings as planners need to assess all the effects of the proposed development.
If outline Planning Permission is given, a further application will be necessary which will allow the planners to consider the reserved elements of the application. When this secondary application is approved development can begin. Although outline planning is advisable in certain circumstances it can be efficient and less time consuming to apply for full Planning Permission from the start.

What if I proceed without first obtaining Planning Permission?

If a scheme requires Planning Permission and you proceed without the necessary approvals you may well receive a visit from the Enforcement Officer. This official´s duty is to investigate breaches of planning legislation.

The Authority will then decide on its level of response from requiring an application to be made or pursuing a prosecution for breaches of planning law.

The Enforcement Officer can also check that planning conditions are being adhered to on schemes that have received approval.

Approval of "Reserved Matters"

Seeking permission for those aspects that were not dealt with in an Outline Planning Permission or seeking approval of aspects of a development which were reserved by a planning condition in an earlier grant of full Planning Permission.

Renewal/Extension of Planning Permission

This would arise when an earlier outline or full Planning Permission was subject to a time-limiting condition which has since expired. This requires the entire Planning Application to be reviewed in light of current rather than previous planning policies.

Applications for renewal of an earlier Planning Permission are likely to be granted unless there has been a significant change in the relevant circumstances or policies.

A procedure exists to "extend" a Planning Permission provided it has not expired. This facility only applies to schemes since the 1st Oct 2009 that have not been started.

Removal or Alteration of a Planning Condition

If the applicant or developer wished to proceed with a development without compliance with a condition, or perhaps with the condition in an alternative form, then an application can be made to "vary" or remove the condition concerned.
Note that the Local Planning Authority cannot alter any planning condition which imposes a time limit of when the development is to be commenced. That would require a re-application for full or Outline Planning Permission.

The 45 degree rule is a Planning Policy enforced by some Local Authorities.

More information about 45 Degree Rule      

45 Degree Rule Tutorial

Note: This is guidance only and passing the test does not mean automatic approval or the reverse.

The Rights Of Light

The granting of a Planning Permission does not override a Right Of Light.

More information about Right Of Light

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