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Levels of development which can be done without planning approval

All development requires planning approval (for the definition of 'development' please refer to the bottom of this page).  There are two types of planning approval:

  • development which is permitted by an Order (sometimes called 'Permitted Development') and can therefore be carried out without a specific planning application, as long as it complies with any limitations or conditions set out in the order; and
  • approval which results from a specific planning application.

Most Permitted Development is set out in the Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development) Order 2012 (as Amended), which can be viewed in the downloadable documents box on this page.  The interactive house (below) is available to help in interpreting this as it relates to semi-or detached houses that are NOT within a Conservation Area or a Registered Building.  Nothing is permitted by the 2012 order where it:

  • contravenes any condition lawfully imposed on the grant of planning approval for development of land;
  • requires or involves the formation, laying out or material widening of a means of access to an existing highway used by vehicular traffic; or
  • creates an obstruction to the view of persons using any such highway so as to be likely to cause danger to such persons.

To view all of the relevant planning legislation, please see the Legislation Page

Click on the house below to activate

Planning Interactive House


Development is defined within the Town and Country Country Planning Act 1999 Section 6 which states; 

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this section, in this Act 'development' means the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land. 

(2) For the purposes of this section-
(a) the use as 2 or more separate dwellinghouses of any building previously used as a single dwellinghouse involves a material change in the use of the building and of each part of it which is so used; 

(b) the deposit of refuse or waste materials on land involves a material change in its use, notwithstanding that the land is comprised in a site already used for that purpose, if-
(i) the superficial area of the deposit is extended, or
(ii) the height of the deposit is extended and exceeds the level of the land adjoining the site; 

(c) subject to subsection (3)(d), the afforestation of land involves a material change in its use; 

(d) the following are engineering operations constituting development-
(i) the material alteration of any existing means of access to land from a road;
(ii) the provision of a new means of access, and
(iii) the execution of any road works preliminary or incidental to the erection of a building; 

(e) the following are building operations constituting development-
(i) the demolition of a building which is attached to another building, where the other building is not also demolished; and
(ii) the demolition of part of a building, where the rest of the building is not also demolished.


Also, where a building is registered or situated within a conservation area, registered building consent and planning permission may also be required prior to any proposed demolition

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