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Planning advice and guidance

You need planning permission for a range of building work, including quite minor work which may affect the look or use of your property.

You must get planning permission before you start work, otherwise we may take action against you and you may have to knock down what you have built or undo changes you have made.

Do I need planning permission?

The Government's Planning Portal gives advice on planning permission for different types of work, including:
  • extensions
  • fences/gates
  • garden walls
  • changes to the use of land or buildings.
However we have additional controls over some developments, which are called Article 4 Directions. This means you will need planning permission for:
The Planning Portal also has useful interactive guides for a terraced house and semi-detached house. The guides show different types of work and whether they need permission from the council. There are also guides for:
If you want to build an extension you may need to work out its volume to find out if you need planning permission. The Planning Portal has a volume calculator that you can use to do this.

Permitted development

'Permitted development' is work that does not need planning permission.
If, when you read the information on the Planning Portal, you think the work you are planning is permitted development, you should apply to us for a certificate of lawfulness for a proposed use or development. We will assess your application and decide whether the work needs permission.
Getting a certificate from the council is important. If you do not have one, it may delay or affect the sale of your property later on.

Applying for planning permission

If you think you need permission, you may wish to use our pre-application service before you make your application. There is a charge for this service.
To find out about making an application, go to our Planning applications page.

Party walls

If you plan to do building work on your property, you will need to think about how it affects ‘party walls’ (those shared with other properties), boundary walls and any excavations (digging work) near neighbouring buildings. If your property is joined to another and you want more information, go to the Planning Portal.
We do not deal with party wall disputes. If you are worried, you may want to ask a solicitor for advice. You can also contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for more information.
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  • Duty planning officer
    Monday to Friday
    9am to 12 noon

    020 3373 8300

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