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Do I need planning permission? (householder)

Before starting any development work, you should find out if you need planning permission. Naturally, this will depend on what you intend to do.
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Some example situations are described below. Note that extra restrictions apply to listed buildings and some buildings in conservation areas. You may also require Building Regulations Approval, which must be applied for separately.

Permission is usually necessary for:

  • Making additions or extensions to your home. This could include a conservatory. 
  • Dividing off part of your house for use as a separate unit, such as a self-contained flat or bed-sit. (But you do not need planning permission to let one or two of your rooms to lodgers).
  • Building a separate house in your garden, or converting a barn or garage into a dwelling.
  • Dividing off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a workshop), changing use from residential to business or building a parking place for a commercial vehicle.
  • Building something that goes against the terms of the original planning permission for your house - for example, a planning condition may have been imposed to prevent your garage from being converted into living space. The council has a record of all planning permissions in its area.
  • Any work that might obstruct the view of road users.
  • Any work that would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road.

Permission is not usually required for:

  • Repairs or maintenance.
  • Minor improvements, such as painting your house or replacing windows.
  • Internal alterations.
  • Insertion of windows, skylights or roof lights (but if you want to create a new bay window, it will be treated as an extension of the house).
  • Installation of solar panels that, in the council's view, do not project significantly beyond the existing roof slope.
  • Re-roofing your house.

This list is for guidance only. If you are in doubt, please contact us using the Planning Permission Enquiry Form (at the bottom of this page) to see if your proposal requires permission.

If you find you do need planning permission we would encourage you to talk to us first before submitting your application. For this we offer an appointment system through the council's main reception (contact details are at the bottom of this page). More pre-application advice.

Be aware that even if you do not need planning permission, you might still need Building Regulations Approval.

Sometimes planning permission is required for working at home. It will depend on a number of factors. The main question is whether your house is still mainly a home, or if it has become mainly a business premises.

You can download application forms and guidance notes from this site or request copies from the planning department.

From 1 October 2008, what you can do without applying for planning permission has changed.

View planning and building regulations information for many common householder projects

The following guidance has been prepared to help you if you wish to make a planning application to extend your home:

Contacting planning services

The laws governing permitted development are complex, and the advice on this page cannot cover them all. For free and accurate advice relevant to your situation, please fill out a Planning Permission Enquiry Form (below).

You can download the form in pdf format to print, or a Microsoft Word version to complete on-screen and return by email. Copies of this form are also available from the planning services department.

Planning Permission Enquiry thumbnailContact details

South Derbyshire District Council
Planning Services
Civic Offices
Civic Way
Swadlincote
Derbyshire
DE11 0AH

Tel: 01283 228706
Online: contact form
email: planning@south-derbys.gov.uk

Page ref: LGSL 485, 487

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

The following document is in Word format. You can download software to view Word documents for free from the Word viewer page (opens in a new window) of the Microsoft website.