Do I need planning permission

BUILDING REGULATIONS ARE A SEPARATE REQUIREMENT TO PLANNING PERMISSION.  Please refer to the Building regulations page for more information.

You can carry out certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called ‘Permitted Development Rights’.

‘Permitted Development Rights’ derive from a general planning permission granted not by the local authority but by national government. Whilst Permitted Development Rights apply to many common projects for homes, they don’t apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings.

See further information below about different types of permitted development rights, restrictions on permitted development rights how to obtain a formal decision that planning permission is not required:-

  1. Permitted Development (Householders)
  2. Permitted Development (Commercial)
  3. Changes of Use
  4. Restrictions Under Permitted Development - Article 4 Directions 
  5. Lawful Development Certificates 

1. ‘Permitted Development’ (Householders)

Works covered under householder permitted development rights include rear and side extensions, loft conversions and associated roof works, rear outbuildings/sheds, porches, boundary walls/fences and solar panels.

Please use the following link to the Planning Portal where you can use the visual interactive guide for an indication of whether your proposal would constitute permitted development, or if you’ll require planning permission. There are some differences in permitted development rights for detached houses and semi-detached/terraced houses. 

Interactive Planningportal

Householder permitted development rights falls into the following categories:

Class Aenlargement, improvement or alteration of a dwelling house, for example rear or side extensions;

Class Badditions etc. to the roof of a dwellinghouse, for example loft conversions and rear dormers;

Class Cother alterations to the roof of a dwellinghouse;

Class Dporches.

Class Ebuildings etc incidental to the enjoyment of a dwellinghouse, for example sheds or ‘summer- houses’;

Class Fhardsurfaces incidental to the enjoyment of dwellinghouse, for example hardstanding for driveways or off-road parking;

Class Gchimneys, flues etc on a dwellinghouse;

Class Hmicrowave antenna on a dwellinghouse.

Certain new, or recently built properties, may have had certain permitted development rights removed and there are number of ways to check if your PD rights are intact:

  1. You can call Planning Customer Services on 0121 569 4054 and they will be able to check for you;
  2. You can email us at with your address and details of proposed works;
  3. You can search a planning application for the history of your property, using key words such as your post code or single line of your address.  

Some new house builds may be part of a housing development that has had planning permission, and a copy of the planning decision notice will be available on the Council website. You can search by the planning application reference number.

If permitted development rights have been removed for the properties within the housing development, then this will also be recorded as a planning condition on the decision notice. See example below:-

"27. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any order revoking and re-enacting that order with or without modification), no development covered by Class B and F of Schedule 2 (Part 1) of that Order shall be carried out without the express written consent of the Local Planning Authority."

2. Permitted development (Commercial)

There are a number of permitted development rights which also apply to commercial development and you can find out more via the planning portal.

Some common projects are listed below:


Warehouse and industrial buildings

3.Change of use

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 is a Statutory Instrument, applying in England and Wales, that specifies various ‘Use Classes’ for which planning permission is not required for building or other land to change from one use within that class to another within that same use class.

Depending on the specifics of any proposed change of use, including any building work associated with the proposal, it may require an application for planning permission or prior approval.

The current Use Classes were last updated on 1 September 2020.

4. Restrictions Under Permitted Development - Article 4 Directions

In some areas of the country, known generally as ‘designated areas’, permitted development rights are more restricted. In Sandwell, for example, this commonly relates to:

Article 4 Directions are used to remove permitted development rights in specific places. Where an Article 4 Direction is in place, planning permission is needed for certain types of development that might usually be permitted automatically elsewhere (such as a small building extension).

There are three parts of Sandwell where an Article 4 Direction is in place. Click on the links below to find out more about each Article 4 Direction and the properties and land that they impact. 

5. Lawful Development Certificates

The planning system provides the possibility of obtaining a statutory document confirming that an existing/proposed use, operation or activity of a building or site named in it is lawful for planning control purposes. The planning merits of the use, operation or activity in the application are not relevant. The issue of a certificate depends entirely on factual evidence about the history and planning status of the building or other land and the interpretation of any relevant planning law or judicial authority. The onus is on the applicant to provide information or evidence to support the application. Further information can be found via the link below:-

What is a Lawful Development Certificate?

Applications can be made to the local planning authority or online using the following link:

The Planning Portal

Please refer back to the link to apply for planning permission