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Anyone who wishes to carry out work on buildings or land may be required to, firstly, secure planning permission


Chand Patel, Property and Estates Manager

Anyone who wishes to carry out work on buildings or land may be required to, firstly, secure planning permission.

Planning permission is necessary for a wide range of developments from large scale redevelopments and extensions to minor alterations to buildings.

This could include satellite dishes and signage, in certain instances.

Do you require planning permission?

  • If you intend to erect a new building, alter the appearance of an existing building, or change the use of a building or part of a building, you will probably require Planning permission (1).
  • If you intend to alter the appearance of a listed building, externally or internally, you will probably require Listed building consent (2).
  • If you intend to demolish an unlisted building that is situated inside a Conservation area, you will require Conservation area consent (3).
  • If you intend to display a new advertisement or sign, you will probably require Advertisement consent (4).
  • Work to trees (5) (felling or pruning) protected by a Tree Preservation Order or in a conservation area, will probably require written consent from the council first.
  • If you are carrying out new building work, you will probably have to comply with Building regulations (6).

Planning permission

Planning permission is the permission required in order to erect new buildings on land or to change the use of land or existing buildings.

From 6th April 2010 changes to the Town and Country Planning legislation governing schools, colleges, universities and hospitals will mean that planning permission will no longer be required for minor new developments or extensions to existing buildings.

The extended permitted development rights will allow for new buildings or extensions for existing buildings of up to 25% of the gross floor space of the original building or up to 100 square metres, whichever is the lesser.

Certain constraints would apply including restrictions on height, proximity to boundaries, loss of playing field areas, and a requirement that the materials used matched those of the existing building in historically or aesthetically sensitive areas. Permitted development is not allowed within the cartilage of a listed building.

You will need the consent of the Council to demolish all or part of a listed building, and for any alteration – internal or external – that would affect its architectural or historic interest.

The need for listed building consent is different from planning permission, but the process is very similar. It is a criminal offence to carry out works to a listed building without consent from the council – even if you did not know that the building was listed.

These are ‘areas of special architectural and historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'.

This means that special efforts will be made to retain the unique character of the area and its buildings.

The overall design of individual advertisements, their size, what they are made of, whether they are illuminated, the type of building they are on, their position on the building, the appearance of surrounding buildings, and their cumulative effect, are all important factors in the impact of a single advertisement on the street scene. A particular design may be appropriate in one location, on a particular building, but the same design may appear discordant on a different building of in a different place.

Councils are principally concerned to ensure that all outdoor advertising is of a high quality, well suited to the building or street for which it is proposed and makes a positive contribution to the appearance of an area.

Many trees on privately owned land are protected either by Tree Preservation Orders or because the property is situated in a Conservation Area. It is a criminal offence to carry out tree surgery or to remove trees protected in these ways without following the Council’s procedures. Some trees on development sites are also protected by specific conditions on planning permissions to ensure their protection during development.

Contact the Tree Section at the relevant local authority to check if your trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

Please refer to the relevant project office technical policy statements and the College’s approved inspectors list held by the project office.

In certain circumstances, satellite dishes can be installed without the need to apply for planning permission under what are known as ‘permitted development rights’. This depends on a number of criteria including (i) the size of the equipment; (ii) the type and height of building to which it is attached; and (iii) whether the building is situated within a conservation area.