Do I need planning permission?

Are you planning to extend or carry out work to your home? Before you start with your proposed works you should check and satisfy yourself as to whether or not planning permission is required.

What is permitted development?

Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission. This is known as permitted development.

The Planning Portal is a national initiative to give advice on planning matters, including permitted development. You can use the Planning Portal to get advice, complete forms, upload plans and other supporting information and pay any required fee. You can also use their Interactive House tool to find out if you need planning permission for the works you want to carry out.

Alternatively, you can complete a permitted development enquiry form [PDF, 1Mb] and submit the correct fee Schedule of fees for pre-application enquiries [PDF, 222Kb]. We will let you know in writing whether or not you need planning permission.

Important information

It is your responsibility to seek planning permission. If required, planning permission and building regulation approval should be granted before work begins.

If you build something without planning permission that needs it, you may be forced to put things right later. You may even have to remove an unauthorised building.

In line with new Government regulations, the council is increasing fees for applications submitted after 17 January 2018.

Prior to the submission of a planning application, it is our aim to provide, clear and accurate advice. For more information please go to pre –application planning advice web page.

Where planning permission is required, we recommend that you obtain advice from us before submitting your application. This enables you find out whether the council is likely to support your proposal, before you commit to any further expense.

By seeking advice it facilitates the opportunity to work with us to reduce any likelihood for the need to change your proposal once a formal application has been submitted and avoid a delay in receiving a decision.

You can make certain types of minor changes to your house, for example, changing windows and doors without the need to apply for planning permission. These are called ‘Permitted Development Rights’.

Changes to Permitted Development Rights

New rules governing house extensions and commercial changes of use came into effect on 30 May 2016.

In brief, the key changes include allowing the following without the need for planning permission:

  • larger single storey rear extensions to residential properties
  • larger extensions to industrial and warehousing premises, shops and offices
  • conversions between office and residential uses
  • more flexible use of shops, offices, residential institutions and agricultural buildings
  • easier conversion of premises for school uses
  • telecommunications installations in conservation areas

For more information view the permitted development pages on the Planning Portal

Apartments, maisonettes and flats do not have the same permitted development rights as houses. You can find out more using The Planning Portal

The council also has the power to withdraw permitted development rights and there are two types of situation where this may happen:

  • Where the character of an area, such as a conservation area, would be threatened by permitted developments, the council can issue an ‘Article 4 direction’. These affect a number of properties in the following conservation areas:
    • Alkborough
    • Appleby
    • Barrow upon Humber
    • Barton upon Humber
    • Brigg
    • Burton upon Stather
    • Kirton in Lindsey
    • New Frodingham, Scunthorpe
    • Saxby All Saints
  • On modern housing estates where extensions or alterations could have an adverse impact on neighbours, the council may have removed permitted development rights when the estate was granted planning permission.

If the estate has open plan front gardens, permitted development rights to provide boundary treatments may also have been withdrawn in this way.

If you think your home might fall into either of these categories, please complete a Permitted Development Enquiry Form [PDF, 1Mb]. We will let you know in writing whether or not you need planning permission.

Please also note that permitted development does not apply to Building Regulations and does not affect the need to submit a Building Notice.

New directions – By end 2013 the council aims to rationalise its use of Article 4 Directions by making a new series called Article 4 (2) Directions. These will control minor works affecting those parts of family houses visible from public places in conservation areas, except in Burton upon Stather, New Frodingham and Saxby All Saints, existing Article 4 Directions will be replaced by Article 4 (2) Directions.

Ultimately all 17 of the council’s conservation areas will be covered by some form of Article 4 Direction controlling minor works.

If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful for planning purposes or that your proposal does not require planning permission you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate.

This is not the same as planning permission but it is proof that your household building work is lawful, it is a legally binding document and would be of use to you if you sell the property.

You can apply to your local council for a Lawful Development Certificate using the Planning Portal’s secure online application service. You will have to pay a fee.

We have introduced a scheme where planning agents can apply to become an accredited agent.

The scheme encourages the submission of good quality planning applications. Agents have to sign up to a code of practice and can only acquire accreditation by achieving a consistently high standard in the planning applications they submit on behalf of their clients.

The quality of applications is continually monitored to ensure the agent maintains a high level of submission quality.

The scheme is limited to particular types of applications and if you are an agent interested in becoming accredited the details can be found in Information regarding the agents accreditation scheme [PDF, 18Kb].

Achieving accreditation does not imply that we recommend any of the agents listed. It is for applicants to satisfy themselves that their choice of preferred agent meets their personal requirements.

Accredited agents submissions must still meet and will still be assessed against, all national and local policies in order to be recommended positively.

Details of those agents currently holding accredited status can be found in our current list of accredited agents [PDF, 22Kb].

01724 297000

Please check beforehand to save any unnecessary journeys.

Development Control
Church Square House
30-40 High Street
North Lincolnshire
DN15 6NL

Monday to Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Friday: 9am to 4.30pm

Please check beforehand to save any unnecessary journeys.

Please note: Duty office hours are suspended pending a review. Please email any queries in respect of permitted development enquiries and pre-application enquiries to:  We will get back to you in due course.