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Frequently Asked Questions

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Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Below are examples of when you will need planning permission. If you have any doubts contact your local authority planning department for advice. Please be aware that if you build something that requires planning permission and you have not obtained it, you may be required to take it down.

The following are common examples of when you will need to apply for planning permission:

  • You want to make additions or extensions to a flat or maisonette (including those converted from houses). You do not need planning permission to carry out internal alterations or work which does not affect the external appearance of the building.
  • You want to divide off part of your house for use as a separate home (for example, a self-contained flat or bed-sit) or use a building or caravan in your garden as a separate residence for someone else. (But You do not need planning permission to let one or two of your rooms to lodgers).
  • You want to build a separate house in your garden.
  • You want to divide off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a workshop) or you want to build a parking place for a commercial vehicle.
  • You want to build 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. Your council has a record of all planning permissions in its area.
  • The work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users.
  • The work would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road.

The above has been reproduced from the website of the Department of Communities and Local Government and further details can be found on the website, see related information. The material is subject to Crown copyright.

See the website in related information to find your local authority.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.