Planning advice

A Brief Guide to Understanding UK Planning Permission

Are you embarking on a construction project or property modification? Navigating planning permission is a crucial step to ensure your project aligns with local regulations and benefits both the community and the environment. Dales Developments can provide advice on the types of permissions you may need depending on the size and location of your project but it is also worth reading this guide for a break-down of the UK planning permission process.

1. Do You Need Planning Permission?

The first step is to determine whether your project requires planning permission or if it falls under "permitted development rights." These rights allow specific changes without formal permission. Factors such as property type, location, and proposed alterations influence whether planning permission is necessary.

2. Connect with Your Local Planning Authority:

Contact your local planning authority to discuss your project and ascertain if planning permission is needed. Check your local council's official website for details. Many councils offer pre-application advice services, providing you with the opportunity to gain insights before formally submitting an application.

3. Preparing Your Planning Application:

If planning permission is required, the next step is to prepare a comprehensive planning application. This application package typically includes:

  • Application Form: Furnish details about yourself, the property, and proposed changes.
  • Site Plan: A detailed drawing showcasing the property's location and intended modifications.
  • Elevations: Visual representations of the property's external appearance before and after the proposed changes.
  • Design and Access Statement: Justify your design principles and project objectives.
  • Additional Documentation: This may involve environmental assessments, heritage statements, and more.

4. Submission of Your Application:

Lodge your planning application with the local planning authority. This can often be done online through the planning portal or by submitting physical documents. Be aware that there's a fee associated with submitting an application.

5. The Application Review Process:

Your local planning authority will review your application, considering factors such as community impact, environmental consequences, and more. They might also collaborate with relevant organisations, like environmental agencies or heritage groups.

6. Public Consultation:

In some cases, a public consultation might be conducted by the planning authority. This entails informing neighbouring properties and allowing them to voice their opinions or concerns regarding your proposal.

7. Receiving the Decision:

The local planning authority will issue a decision within a specified timeframe. This duration varies based on application complexity. Possible outcomes include permission granted, permission granted with conditions, or permission refused. If your application is declined, you have the option to appeal the decision.

8. Implementation and Adherence:

With a granted application, you can commence your project, adhering to any stipulated conditions. Failing to comply can lead to enforcement actions.


Navigating the UK planning permission process is an intricate journey, demanding a comprehensive understanding of local regulations and procedures. Seek expert advice from your architect, planning consultants, or builder before embarking on significant projects. Furthermore, tap into the resources provided by local planning authorities for region-specific information. It is worth gaining an understanding of your local authority rules before beginning the project design and costing. Dales Developments can generally help customers with planning or building regulations advice, or if necessary, recommend an architect, structural engineer or planning professional.