Skip to content

Do I need planning permission?

You can make certain types of minor changes to your house or business without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called permitted development rights, provided you don't own a listed building or are located in a conservation area. However, you'll probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to your building - e.g. building an extension
  • change the use of your building
  • you want to make changes to a listed building or are located in a conservation area

Great householders' advice from the Planning Portal

The Planning Portal's guidance for householders is a great tool that's designed to help you understand what needs planning permission, by explaining the new rules for each part of the house you click on. The Planning Portal website also has guidance on planning and building regulations for a list of common development projects.

You can also find out how much you will pay for your planning application using the planning portal's online fee calculator. You can also apply for permission online.

Special circumstances - listed buildings, conservation areas and withdrawn permitted development rights

Depending on where you live, you may need additional permissions/consents, or you may need planning permissions even if people living elsewhere don't - examples of this include listed buildings, external works to buildings in conservation areas and buildings where permitted development rights have been withdrawn.

In exceptional cases, permitted development rights may have been withdrawn from a property. In these circumstances, a planning application may be necessary. To find out if this is the case please review our householder advice.

Non-residential development

If your proposal is for a business or commercial venture, please contact our development management team with as much detail of as possible, including a site location plan and sketch drawings so we can help you to establish whether planning permission is required.

Change of use advice

In addition to developments, changes of use may require planning permission, for example a change of use from a shop to a home or the other way round. The planning portal's section on change of use lists the various use classes and provides information on changes of use which do and don't need planning permission.

For further details please contact our development management team.


You may or may not need planning permission if you want to install a defibrillator on the outside of a building in the district. This will depend on its size, location, and whether or not it constitutes as a development. Find out more.

Always check!

The laws governing whether or not planning permission is required are complex, therefore it is always advisable to consult us prior to undertaking development to check whether planning permission is needed. If you are at all unsure about whether you need to apply for planning permission please contact our development management team.

Please be aware that it is not possible to tell you over the phone whether or not planning permission is required.

Services A - ZSee all services
Get in touch or visit...

Our location and travel details >>

Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

Opening times

Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm. Our phone lines close at 5pm.