Planning advice and guidance

Opening times for the duty planning service are:

Monday-Wednesday, 9am–1pm

Planning fees increased by 20% on 17 January 2018 - see a full list by clicking here

This page provides information and guidance about when you will need to apply for planning permission or consent to undertake proposed development and pre-application advice.

Do I need planning permission?

It depends on what you want to do. Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission. Such work is known as permitted development. Other work, particularly non-domestic development, is likely to require permission.

Some alteration and extensions to your house will require planning permission.

These include:

  • A dormer window in the roof of your house facing the road
  • Most two-storey extensions
  • Putting up some outbuildings and structures
  • Changes in the use of land or buildings 

The rules may also be more restrictive if you live in a conservation area.


To assist you in determining whether or not planning permission is required for minor domestic works, the Planning Portal has developed the interactive house/terrace house which gives advice for general householder planning projects - just click on the image below.

Most alterations to business premises do need planning permission, including:

  • All shop and office extensions
  • Alterations to shop fronts
  • External security shutters or grilles
  • Changes in the use of land or buildings

More information on planning permission and small businesses can be found on the Planning Portal.


You will also need consent from the Council in the following situations:

  • Work on a listed building
  • Work within a conservation area
  • Work on a protected tree or trees within a conservation area;
  • The display of advertisements
  • Development restricted by an Article 4 direction (this reduces your Permitted Development Rights) 




 Buying a plan

If you require a scaled 1:1250 location plan, you can buy one from the Planning Portal website.


Design and Access Statements

Certain planning applications must include a Design and Access Statement, as well as all applications for listed building consent. To check whether this is the case, please consult the Council's validation requirements.

To help applicants in preparing Design and Access Statements, the Council has produced a short guidance sheet. This includes a Building for Life 12 assessment for major developments.


Environment Agency - Pre-application advice

The Environment Agency provides pre-planning application advice and would like to hear from you if your proposed development site is:

  • a hectare or more,
  • in flood zones 2 or 3,
  • close to a watercourse,
  • on potentially contaminated land,
  • handling waste or hazardous substances.

Changes to permitted development rights for household extensions and changes of use

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2015 came into force. This amendment introduces a number of temporary relaxations and/or new procedures for householder extensions, schools, changes of use, extensions to commercial premises, and the removal of prior approval for telecommunications apparatus in conservation areas. For householder six and eight metre extensions, there is a new prior approval procedure using a Householder Prior Approval Form.