It is a question that all homeowners should ask when it comes to doing any work to their property. Why? Because the rules can vary depending on a number of criteria, although there are some simple rules of thumb that will apply to most cases. To help clear up the confusion, this month we focus on some simple planning permission rules that it is helpful for every homeowner to know.

The basics

Every local authority has its own policies that it has developed to apply to the specific circumstances of the area. What applies to a rural area is unlikely to easily translate to an urban location. However, the government’s Planning Portal sets out the basic rules and regulations that apply across England. The two instances in which the chances are highly likely that you will need planning permission are where:

  • You live in a conservation area
  • You live in a listed building

If you are looking to replace the windows in your listed building property you must apply for planning permission. It is wise to double-check the requirements in your area before making any decisions as it could influence your budget and timescales for the work to be completed.

Permitted development

You may have heard of this term before. Permitted development is the implied permission that applies to any minor works you may be considering for your home. This could include things such as: building small extensions at the back of your property, loft conversions, replacing doors and windows, installing micro-generation equipment such as solar panels on the roof, building a porch, etc. However, there are restrictions on what you can do around size, location, and percentage of change – i.e. how much you are adding to your home if you are extending, for example. What has been done to a property in the past will also count, so you may not be able to do as much as you would like without additional planning permission.

Seeking planning permission

If you are unsure as to whether or not the changes you are considering will need planning consent then your first step should be to talk to your local authority. You should be prepared for this with detailed plans and drawings of what you are proposing to enable them to give you the right advice. While they may charge a small fee for the service, it is worthwhile doing as they will provide their advice in writing so that you are clear on what you can and cannot do. It will also give you the evidence you need, should you wish to sell the property within four years, that everything has been done correctly and a new homeowner will not have to seek retrospective planning permission for any works you may have done. Failure to secure planning permission when it is necessary could lead to an enforcement notice from your local authority and a requirement to return the property to its initial state, something that can end up being very costly.

You can apply for planning permission through the online portal. This also includes details of what documents you will need to provide as part of your application, the costs associated with it, and the timescales involved.

Are you thinking of replacing your windows and want some advice? Talk to our team of experts at 1st Scenic. With years of experience we can help you understand the process and get those new windows in for you as quickly as possible. Just call or email us on 01689 829 600 or at to book an appointment today.