How do I know if my project requires planning permission?

Permission for some projects is granted by the General Permitted Development Order. Such proposals include extensions and domestic outbuildings, but this will depend on size, position and location, so do check.

Even if your project is considered Permitted Development, you may be well advised to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate to confirm the lawfulness of the development and that planning permission is not required. 

We have just had an application refused. Should we appeal?

There are various options following a refusal of planning permission, one of which is lodging an appeal. It may, however, be worth exploring other avenues as it may be possible to find ways of overcoming the reasons for refusal. If you are in this position, do contact us to discuss your case.

Will my build be liable for CIL and what is it?

Development that results in a new dwelling or more than 100 square metres of residential floorspace is liable for Community Infrastructure Levy. This is charged by the square metre and is different in different areas and for different Councils. 

There are circumstances in which you may be exempt - for instance if you are a self builder. Do be careful, though as you have to apply for exemption and will still be liable if you do not complete the proper forms.

Can I convert my barn under Permitted Development?

The short answer is possibly, but it is complicated. If you have an agricultural building that was in agricultural use on 20 March 2013 and is considered structurally capable of conversion to a dwelling with a minimum of structural work, it may be possible to apply for Prior Approval under Class Q of the General Permitted Development Order. If this is something your would like to explore, please give us a ring.



Once planning permission has been granted, there may be a number of conditions attached. These may require additional plans or other details to be agreed with the Council or additional surveys might be needed. Some conditions control future use or occupation. 

Certain conditions need to be formally discharged before any work can be undertaken. This requires a Discharge of Conditions application. It is vital that conditions are not agreed to lightly and that they are properly discharged. Failure to discharge or comply with conditions may mean that you are in breach of the permission and may be open to enforcement action.

Lawful Development Certificate or Certificate of Lawfulness

In certain circumstances, it may be advisable to apply for confirmation from the Council that development or land use is lawful. A certificate may be applied for by submitting evidence to the Local Planning Authority.

Common Lawful Development Certificate applications include:

  • Existing use of agricultural land as residential garden (after 10 years)

  • Erection of a single storey extension (confirmation that extension erected under the provisions of the GPDO and that planning permission is not required)

  • Stationing of a log cabin or shepherd hut in residential garden to provide overspill accommodation (where the unit complies with the legal definition of a caravan)

Pre-application advice

In some cases, it may be useful to engage with the Council early on, before submitting a planning application. This early engagement can save time and money and provide the opportunity to work with the LPA in drawing up a scheme.

self-build: Finding a building plot

So - you have decided to build your own home, bu where do you start looking for a building plot?

There are various different options:

  • Replacement dwelling - find a site with an existing house and replace it

  • Building plot with planning permission

  • Land without planning permission - this might be part of a garden, a brownfield site or agricultural land

Whatever you decide, obtaining planning advice is a wise investment. For example, a site appraisal is a really affordable way of understanding the development potential of a plot. 


Chartered Town Planners

01963 371180 / 0789 4020 735

Whiteacre Planning Ltd
The Hollies
Cabbage Lane

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