Difference between planning and building control

Planning permission

Without a planning system everyone could construct buildings or use land in any way they wanted, no matter what effect this would have on other people who live and work in their area. Planning is about the use of land and space locally and most new buildings or changes to buildings are likely to need permission.

Planning permission is however not normally needed for:

  • most internal alterations
  • some extensions
  • some loft conversions
  • some domestic garages

If you are planning work to your home and it is listed or in a conservation area, you may also need listed building consent.

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

From bike stores, to dropped kerbs, CCTV and solar panels, we have also put together a guide to common works to a home .

Planning permission may take at least two months so make sure you leave plenty of time before you start work.

Planning looks at:

  • local and national polices and guidance
  • the location of the site
  • the siting of the proposals
  • building heights and sizes
  • appearance
  • materials

Conditions may often be applied to a planning permission to require certain things to be put in place as part of the development. You need to get these signed off by the council before you build on site.