Do I need planning permission?

A certain level of work can done to your house without requiring submission of a planning application. This development is called permitted development.

Permitted development

To confirm whether the development you are proposing is permitted development, please use the Planning Portal interactive house. Click on the part of the house you are thinking of changing to find an explanation of the rules and see interactive guidance.

If you believe the work you are doing is permitted development but would like confirmation of this, you can ask for a certificate of lawful development – proposed. This will cost £86 and you will need to supply a completed application form (external site), existing and proposed plans, location and site plans, and the fee. We will issue a certificate within 8 weeks.

If your development is not permitted development, you must submit a householder planning application.

Office-to-residential permitted development rights

New change of use permitted development rights allow premises in B1(a) office use to change to C3 residential use, subject to prior approval covering flooding, highways and transport issues and contamination.

Prior approval means that an applicant has to seek approval from the local planning authority that specified elements of the development are acceptable before work can proceed.

Hackney placed a successful bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government to seek an exemption to these new permitted development rights in certain areas of Hackney.

You can also access a more detailed map that can be zoomed in to individual property level to find out whether or not a particular property is in the exempt areas:

  1. Enter and select the address you would like to check in find my nearest. A speech bubble and green pin will appear over the selected address
  2. Within the speech bubble, click the link which says ‘view detailed map of this property’. A new browser window will open
  3. On the left hand side, open ‘Environment and Planning’, then ‘LDF’, then ‘Dynamic Creative Economy’, and then select ‘PLA Areas Exempt from Office to Residential’
  4. The areas exempt from the new permitted development rights will be shaded in a translucent red colour with a red boundary. If the searched property falls within this boundary, it is exempt from the new permitted development rights

Does a flat differ from development to a house?

In planning terms, a flat is not the same as a house, and any development work to a flat (except for the addition of sustainable energy sources to the property, such as solar panels) requires full planning permission.

There are no permitted development rights relating to flats.

A full planning permission application for works to a flat will cost you £206 for a single flat and £407 for 2 or more flats.

Does a conservation area affect my application?

Yes. Along with all the standard information you will also need to provide a design and access statement.

To find out if your property is within a conservation area, see find my nearest and search by your address. Once you have located your property, select the Environment and Property tab at the bottom of the page.

For detailed information and advice, please visit conservation areas.

What process will you follow when considering my householder planning application?

We will consider your application against relevant adopted local and national policy. We aim to decide your application within 8 weeks of it being made valid.

Your application is valid when it has been confirmed that all required information has been supplied. If all information is supplied up front, the application is valid on the day we received it, even if it takes us longer to confirm this.

After receiving your application we will check that all information has been supplied. We aim to write to you within 5 days to confirm either that all information has been supplied, or to tell you that something is missing.

Once the application is ‘valid’ we will send letters to affected neighbours asking for their opinion of the development. These neighbours have 21 days to respond. We may also need to write to other groups to seek their opinion, such as conservation area advisory committees or local resident groups.

Once this 21 day period of consultation has passed, we will assess your application against local and national planning policy, and against any comments received.

We will prepare a report with a recommendation of either approval subject to conditions, or refusal. This report will be reviewed by a senior officer and a final decision made. 95% of all applications are decided by officers acting under delegated authority.

If your application is contentious, against policy, or if it is requested by a local councillor, it may be decided by the planning sub-committee. This is very rare for a householder planning applications.

What will you consider when looking at my application?

We will look at your existing and proposed plans, your application form, your design and access statement (where applicable), any comments received from nearby neighbours and any comments received from any other interested party. These are together referred to as ‘material considerations’.

Matters that are not considered as material considerations are:

  • any possible impact on the value of land or property
  • any matters related to the building control regulations (such as foundations or subsidence)
  • any dispute between you and your neighbour over a common boundary wall or fence, and
  • any other personal matters between you and your neighbours

How much will this cost?

A householder application will cost £206.

At present works to a house to allow access for a disabled person are exempt from this fee. There are no other exemptions.

What do I need to provide?

You need to provide the information as follows:

  • a completed application form
  • a site plan
  • a location plan
  • elevations and floor plans of the current arrangement of the property
  • elevations and floor plans of the proposed arrangement of the property
  • the relevant fee of £172
  • a design and access statement (only required if the property is within a conservation area)

To find out if your property is within a conservation area, see find my nearest and search by your address. Once you have located your property, select the environment and property tab at the bottom of the page.

You can find more information about the above details by viewing:

Can I get advice on my proposal before I submit an application?

We offer a pre-application service for householder developments.

Green homes

You can go green in your homes. The information below outlines a few common developments householders are interested in.

If you are proposing works or developments not mentioned below, please contact the duty planner to determine whether or not planning permission is required.

Page updated on: 28 September 2020

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