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Do I Need Planning Permission?

Why can't you just tell me if I need permission?

What appears to be a simple question isn't straightforward for the Council to answer.  We need to follow a number of regulations, complete history checks and consider various planning rules, and these take time and resources to carry out.  The Council has a number of services available to help provide the information.

1. Need Informal Verbal Advice?

2. Need a Written Response?

3. How likely is it that my proposal will be acceptable?

4. What else do I need to know?

1. Informal Verbal Advice

Our Duty Planner Service can provide informal, verbal advice and help for your project. You can find out about the Duty Planner Service here.

If you are looking for general advice about doing works to a Listed Building you can use our Heritage Duty Planner Service, available on a Thursday morning.

The Planning Portal can help you explore whether you need permission for a particular project. You are also able to find out about common householder projects, with mini-guides and case studies. They also have a host of interactive guides to planning rules relating to common projects and the planning laws that relate to them.

 2. Written Responses - Lawful Development Certificate

For peace of mind we highly recommend you apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC). This is not the same as planning permission but is proof that your household building work is lawful.  If you should later want to sell your property an LDC can help to answer queries raised by potential buyers or their legal representatives. As such, it is important that all paperwork and records relating to your property are clear and up to date. 

As part of this process, we will check:

  • if permitted development rights have been removed from your property,
  • if your property falls within an Article 4 area or another restrictive designated area,
  • and if your proposal falls within the parameters set by the General Permitted Development Order (regulations set by national government).

You can apply to your local council for an LDC using the Planning Portal - How to Apply service. You will have to pay a fee.

Planning Application Guidance on how to apply and what you are required to provide.

 3. How likely is it that my proposal will be acceptable?

If you wish for an officer to give you advice on the likelihood of proposals being acceptable, then you will need to submit a pre-application enquiry form to us using the link below.  There is a charge for this service.

Pre-application Service

Planning portal guidance

The Planning Portal website ( provides lots of useful information on how to find out if you will need Planning Permission or to find advice on the planning process can be found using the links below.  However, if your property is in a Conservation Area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the guides they provide will not be able to assist you fully.

4. What else do I need to know

With all building work, the owner of the property (or land) in question is ultimately responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules and building regulations. This is regardless of the need to apply for planning permission and/or building regulations approval or not. The Planning Portal has further details on your responsibilities.

Planning permission and Building Regulations' Approval are two separate things. Please visit the Devon Building Control Partnership website for more information.

Our Duty Planner Service may also be able to provide some general advice.

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