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2. Do you need to apply?

Some types of development in non-protected areas may not need planning permission.

However, it is important to check with the Planning Team before starting any work (Contact Planning).

For small scale proposals you are advised to submit a Lawful Development Certificate application for consideration or consult the Planning Portal (Lawful Development Certificate).

Development that does not require planning permission

House extensions

Single-storey rear house extensions between 4m and 8m (for detached houses) and between 3m and 6m (for all other houses) for a period of three years, subject to a new consultation process.

In addition to the above, the development must accord with all other relevant limitations and conditions which currently apply to other rear extensions allowed under permitted development rules.

For more information on the current permitted development rights for house extensions and the new rules see Extensions - Planning Portal website.

The requirements of the Building Regulations will continue to apply to extensions to dwellings.

Business premises

In some cases business premises can change to other business, community and leisure uses for a period of up to 2 years.

Some office premises can be converted to houses, subject to prior approval covering flooding, highways and transport issues, noise and contamination.

For a period of 3 years the size limits and percentage increases for some businesses are also to be doubled.

Agricultural buildings

In some cases agricultural buildings under 500sqm can change to a number of commercial, storage and leisure uses.

The developer needs to inform the local planning authority where the floorspace does not exceed 150sqm.

For buildings between 150sqm and 500sqm, prior approval covering flooding, highways and transport impacts, noise and contamination is required.


The height of walls, fences and gates which may be constructed adjacent to a highway is 2m for schools, subject to the additional height not creating an obstruction to view likely to cause a danger.

Any building and land within its curtilage can be used once as a state-funded school for a single academic year.

Some businesses, leisure and community uses can change use permanently for an academic year to a state-funded school, subject to prior approval covering highways and transport impacts, noise and contamination.

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only and specific advice should be sought for individual cases where necessary.

Legislation pertaining to these guidelines is available on the Legislation website.