Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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When to apply for planning permission

Whether you need to apply for planning permission or not, will depend on the scale and location of the proposed works or development and on the planning policies related to the application site. For general advice on the need for planning permission refer to the Planning Portal.

Here are some common examples where you would need to apply for planning permission:

  • adding or extending a flat or maisonette, including those converted from houses
  • dividing off part of your house for use as a separate home (for example, a self-contained flat or bed-sit)
  • using a building or caravan in your garden as a separate residence for someone else
  • building a separate house in your garden
  • dividing off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a workshop) or building a parking place for a commercial vehicle
  • building something which goes against the terms of the original planning permission for your house (for example, a planning condition may have been imposed to stop you putting up a fence in the front garden because the house is on an ''open plan'' estate)
  • work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users
  • work would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road
  • installing a satellite dish
  • laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not control rainwater running off onto roads
  • dropping kerbs to make a new access into the garden across the footpath
  • erection of a permanent awning or a freestanding building/structure to provide shelter for smokers

If you build something which needs planning permission without getting permission first, you may be forced to put things right later, which could prove troublesome and costly.

Permitted development rights

Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission. This is known as permitted development.

A simple visual guide that outlines common household projects is available from the Planning Portal.

It is always best to check with the planning department first as there may be local circumstances which might affect the need for permission. Please contact us if you have any queries.

Council information on...

  • Built Environment
  • Address: Cheltenham Borough Council
    Municipal Offices
    Promenade
    Cheltenham
    GL50 9SA
  • Tel: 01242 264328
  • Fax: 01242 227323
  • Email: builtenvironment@cheltenham.gov.uk