Do I Need Planning Permission? A Helpful Guide for Property Owners

One of the most common questions property owners ask when considering a building project is whether they need planning permission. The answer to this question can depend on various factors, including the nature of your project, your property's location, and any local planning restrictions. In this blog post, we'll explore the basics of planning permission and provide some guidance on determining whether your project requires it.

What is Planning Permission?

Planning permission is a formal consent granted by your local planning authority, allowing you to carry out specific building works or changes to your property. It's designed to ensure that any new developments or alterations are in line with local and national planning policies, protect the environment, and maintain the character of the area.

When Do I Need Planning Permission?

In some cases, your project may fall under permitted development rights, meaning you can carry out the work without needing to obtain planning permission. Permitted development rights vary depending on the type of property you own and its location. Common examples of works that may be covered by permitted development rights include:

  • Small extensions or alterations to your home
  • Loft conversions
  • Outbuildings (such as sheds or garages)

However, it's important to note that permitted development rights are not universal and can be restricted or removed by your local authority. Some areas, such as conservation areas or properties with listed building status, have more stringent planning regulations that may require planning permission for even minor works.

When in Doubt, Consult an Expert

Given the complexity of planning regulations and the potential consequences of carrying out works without the necessary permissions, it's always a good idea to consult an expert before starting any building project. A building consultant or architect with experience in your local area can help you determine whether your project requires planning permission and guide you through the application process if necessary.


Determining whether you need planning permission can be a complex process, but it's essential to get it right to avoid potential issues down the line. By consulting an expert and being aware of local planning policies, you can ensure your project proceeds smoothly and complies with all relevant regulations.

At Cotswold Building Consulting, I offer a range of services to help you navigate the planning process, from planning applications and design to project management. With extensive experience in the Cotswolds and a deep understanding of local planning policies, I can provide the guidance you need to ensure your project is a success, whether you're extending, renovating or building anew.