Do I need Planning Permission?
Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission under Permitted Development (PD) rights. However, this may not be the case if your house has been extended in the past, or if PD rights have been removed. Even conservatories may need planning permission.
Examples of the type of proposal that, in most cases, need planning permission include:
- a dormer window in the roof of your house facing a road, or if you are in a Conservation Area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
- a two storey extension, or an extension to the front of your house, or to the side if it faces a road
- a new access onto a classified road ('A', 'B' and 'Classified unnumbered', unofficially known as 'C')
- if your permitted development rights have been withdrawn, common in more recently built houses
Permitted Development Rights
Some types of work can be carried out to your house without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called 'permitted development rights'. Whilst not compulsory, if you want to be certain that your proposal does not require planning permission, you can apply to Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) for a 'Lawful Development Certificate' (LDC). This can be done via the Planning Portal online application service (see 'Planning Application Forms and Fees'), and you will have to pay a fee.
However, PD rights do not apply to:
- flats, maisonettes or other buildings
- if the property is in a Conservation Area, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or is listed
- some areas of the district where permitted development (PD) rights have been restricted ('removed') by MVDC
If you need to apply for planning permission where your PD rights have been removed, the application is free of charge.
Larger Home Extensions
The government has increased the size of single-storey rear extensions that can be built under permitted development. Until 30th May 2019, householders can build 'larger' single-storey extensions under PD. The size limits have doubled from
- 4 metres to 8 metres for detached houses
- from 3 metres to 6 metres for all other houses.
As above, this does not apply where permitted development rights have been removed, if the property is located within a conservation area, AONB, or is a listed building.
If you wish to build a 'larger' extension under PD, you must notify MVDC using the appropriate application form (see 'Planning Application Forms and Fees'). These notifications are free of charge, and MVDC has eight weeks to decide if it complies with the regulations. If it does, the extension must be completed on or before 30th May 2019, and the developer must notify MVDC in writing of the date of completion. Failure to do this may result in enforcement action being taken and/or a full planning application being required.
Most alterations to business premises need planning permission, including:
- some shop and office extensions
- alterations to shop fronts
- external security shutters or grilles
For more information, please refer to the relevant link specific to your query (see 'Internet Links').
The Planning Portal Website
The Planning Portal is a joint venture between the Department for Communities and Local Government, and TerraQuest Ltd. It provides planning and building regulations information relevant to England and Wales including:
- interactive house guides to learn about planning and building regulations
- help to apply for planning permission
- help to appeal against a planning decision
Several Mini Guides and case studies providing specific information are also available. Guidance on many householder projects can also be found on the Planning Portal website using the direct links on this page (see 'Internet Links).
The website also provides all of the resources necessary to submit planning applications electronically to MVDC (see 'How to Submit a Planning Application').
Choosing an Architect
Mole Valley District Council is not able to recommend architects. However, by law, anyone who calls themselves an architect must be trained, qualified and registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). To help you choose, it is suggested you talk to other people who have employed the services of an architect, or look in paper or online directories of trade's people. The ARB have a register of qualified architects which can be accessed either by calling 0800 389 6221 or visiting their website (see 'Internet Links').
Land Ownership and Boundaries
In England and Wales, the Land Registry registers title to land, and records dealings (e.g. sales and mortgages) with registered land. The Land Registry can be contacted on: 0300 006 0411 (Monday - Friday, 8am to 6pm).
For more information about boundary, rights of way, access or land ownership issued, please call Surrey County Council on 03456 009 009 or visit their website (see 'Internet Links')
New Development in the Green Belt
MVDC often gets calls from customers who are being offered the "chance" to buy a piece of land within the Green Belt, with a view to building a new dwelling. Please be aware that the development of new dwellings within the Green Belt is contrary to national and local planning policies, and will not be granted planning permission.
For more information
If you are unable to find the answer to your question, or have any doubts about whether planning permission is required, MVDC offer a Pre-Application Advice service. Visit the 'Pre-Application Advice' page (see 'Related Pages') for more details. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01306 885001. Please include a full postal address of the property and as much relevant information regarding your proposals as possible.