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Home / Planning & Buildings / Planning / Apply / Planning Advice

Arrangements for Planning Advice



Do I need Planning Permission?

Generally speaking most forms of development tend to require planning permission. However, some minor works may be undertaken without the need to formally apply for planning permission. In this instance planning permission is derived from a general consent granted, not by the local planning authority, but by parliament made under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order. This is called ‘permitted development’.

In some areas of the borough permitted development rights are more restricted. For example if you live in a Conversation Area|, you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of works which do not need an application in other areas. Some developments may also have had permitted development rights removed by an Article 4 direction or planning condition. In addition, there are different requirements if the property is a Listed Building.|

Both flats and maisonettes do not benefit from permitted development rights and therefore any changes to the outside of a flat/maisonette will normally require planning permission. 

If you are still unsure of what permitted development rights are and how they may affect your proposed work, please contact our Customer Service Team| at Planning Services. We have available a ‘Householder and Permitted Development Enquiry Service’| which will provide you with a planning officers informal written opinion as to whether your proposed work requires the submission of a planning application.

There is currently a fee for this service of £65 (inclusive of VAT) and we aim to respond to straightforward enquiries, in writing, within 10 working days.

Further assistance is available from the Government’s online service for planning, the Planning Portal| website. There are several interactive & technical guides that can help identify household projects that may not require a formal planning application.

Pre-Application Advice

If you have established that a formal application is required we welcome and encourage discussions before it is submitted.

Providing good quality advice to householders, developers and their agents prior to the formal submission of a planning application assists in the determination process, avoiding unacceptable proposals and other delays.

Seeking pre-application advice will provide you with the following benefits:

  • Understanding how our policies will be applied to your development including planning obligation requirements (Section 106 agreements/Developer Contributions).
  • Identifying the need for specialist advice at an early stage e.g. listed buildings, trees, conservation.
  • Guiding in the preparation of proposals for formal submission from the initial design and concept through to the validation and registration requirements of applications. For further details please refer to both the Design Guides and the Best Practice Advice Note on the Validation of Planning Applications.
  • Reducing the time your professional advisors spend in preparing your proposals.
  • Indicating those proposals that are possibly unacceptable, so saving you the cost of pursuing a formal application.

This is a chargeable service and all fees have been calculated at the revised VAT rate of  20%, effective from the 4 January 2011. However advice is free of charge for householder and certain other development types. 

In order to ensure that the pre-application advice request is 'valid' with sufficient information, it is recommended that you read the  Pre-application Advice Note|  and complete the Pre-application Advice request form and submit this together with the relevant fee and supporting documentation.

In addition, guidance on most planning matters can be obtained from professional advisors such as planning consultants. Further advice can also be found at a number of web sites including;

The Planning Portal|

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)|

Planning Aid|

Building Regulations

The services detailed above will provide guidance relating to Planning Permission only and advice about Building Regulations should be sought from our Building Control| section.


Further building regulation advice is also provided on the Planning Portal website.

The Planning Portal - Building Regulations|

Related Information


Postal Address Planning & Transport,
Town Hall Annexe,
St Stephen's Road,
Telephone 01202 451323
Fax 01202 451005
Minicom 01202 454728
Email Planning