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Permitted development, prior approval and changes of use

Changes to what you can do without planning permission known as permitted development

The Government has issued a number of changes around the rules about what requires planning permission.  The Planning Portal has detailed information on these changes.

Residential extensions - prior approval

If you live in a terraced or semi-detached property, which is not within a Conservation Area and is not a Listed Building, permitted development rights allow you to extend the rear of your house by 6 metres - subject to certain criteria.  For people living in a detached property the allowance is 8 metres. However, anyone wishing to do this will first need to apply to the Council for Prior Approval, which is different to a planning application.

You will need to complete a 'notification form for a proposed larger home extension' but there is no fee.  We will then write to the immediate neighbours and give them at least 21 days to decide if they wish to object.  If there are no objections then as long as an extension falls within the rules we have to grant Prior Approval (ie the scheme can go ahead).  If there are objections we will consider the impact of the proposal on the residential amenity of all adjacent neighbours and will either decide that the impact is acceptable and grant Prior Approval or take the view that the impact is not acceptable and refuse. There is a right of appeal against any refusal of a Prior Notification.  We have to issue a decision within six weeks; if we fail to do so Prior Approval is automatically granted.  This procedure will be in place until 30 May 2019, after which the Government will review the situation.  It should be noted that the Government has advised that it is intended for this to be made permanent although the legislation is awaited.

Government information on 'Larger Home Extensions - Neighbour Consultation Scheme' provides more detail on the process.

Icon for pdf Notification Form for a Proposed Larger Home Extension [456.98KB]

Icon for pdf Guidance Note to Notification of Larger Home Extension [28.6KB]

Other Prior Approvals

Certain changes of use do not require planning permission providing certain specified issues are agreed and a number of limitations and conditions are met, including the size of the unit and the commencement date.  This is referred to as the Prior Approval process.  It includes being able to change from an office to a residential use and being able to change from shops, restaurants, storage and leisure uses to other similar uses. For further details, please see the list of Icon for pdf Prior Approval Provisions [24.04KB] and the subject matter which requires prior approval. 

There is a fee of £96 payable for an application for a prior notification of a change of use.  Where associated building works are proposed with the change of use then then fee is £206.

Class A4 (Drinking Establishments) Use

Planning permission is required to convert a Class A4 (Drinking Establishments) Use to any other use.  In addition, planning permission is required to demolish any Class A4 (Drinking Establishments) Use.

Application forms for other types of prior notification

Icon for pdf Form for Prior Notification of Proposed Change of Use from Offices to Residential [224.43KB]
Icon for pdf Form for Prior Notification of Proposed Change of Use of Agricultural Building [226.57KB]

Icon for pdf Form for Prior Notification of Proposed Change of Use to State Funded School [223.88KB]

Icon for pdf Form for Prior Approval change ofa use of Agr Bldg to State Funded School or Nursery [244.23KB]

Icon for pdf Form for Prior Approval of Proposed Change of Use of Agr Bldg to a Dwelling House [247.42KB]

Icon for pdf Form for Prior Approval of Change of use from retail or mixed retail and residential to Dwelling House [236.1KB]

Form for Prior Approval of Change of Use from retail, financial/professional use, betting shop, casino or pay day loan shop to residential.

Form for the Change of Use from a warehouse/storage to a dwelling.

Form for the Change of Use from a shop, betting shop or pay day loan to leisure.

Form for the temporary use of land or buildings for the purposes of commercial film-making.

*For any other Prior Approval forms not listed above please see the Planning Portal website

Permitted Development otherwise known as Article 4 Directions

In order to keep control over development in certain locations, eg Conservation Areas, the Council is able to make an 'Article 4 Direction', the effect of which is to take away 'permitted development' rights, meaning that planning permission will be required.

Article 4 Directions are made under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.  The effect of a Direction is that planning permission is required for specified classes of work.  Details of Article 4 Directions can be found via Planning Constraints.

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