Do I need planning permission or building control?


Depending on the work you're doing you might need to get planning permission or building regulation approval, or both.

If you go ahead without permission or approval, you might end up having to put things back to how they were.

The owner of the property or land is responsible for meeting the relevant planning rules and building regulations. This is the case with all building work.

Are you unsure about the differences between Planning Permission and Building Regulations Consent? If so, the Planning Portal have prepared the following guide that explains: 

What is the difference between Building Regulations and Planning Permission?


Planning Permission

The following guidance can help you assess whether you need Planning Permission.

Permitted development rights

You can make certain types of minor changes to your house without applying for Planning Permission. This is called "permitted development"

The Planning Portal has an interactive guide. This provides guidance on whether the works you are proposing fall within “permitted development”:

Planning Portal Permitted Development GuidanceYou can find information on permitted developments that need prior approval at: Planning Portal - prior approvals

You can also view the complete permitted development legislation online. This is the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015).

In some cases, some of the permitted development rights may have been removed by condition or the issuing of an Article 4 direction. This will mean that a planning application will need to be submitted for works when it normally wouldn't be required.  For further information, please see our permitted development web page.

Planning Portal

The Planning Portal website provides up-to-date information. This shows work that can be carried out with and without planning permission.

This information is provided in an interactive guide: Do you need permission?

The Planning Portal also provides planning and building regulation guidance for many common building work projects for the home.

Checking Service

If, after using the above links and guidance, you:

  • feel that Planning Permission is not required for your proposed works, but
  • would like confirmation of this through an informal response

You may wish to use one of our below services:

Planning Advice Services

 

  Do I Need Enquiry/Do I need checking service Pre-application Advice Householder/Full Application Lawful Development Certificate (Existing) Lawful Development Certificate (Proposed)
What the service provides This service answers the question ‘do I need planning permission?’ Provides planning advice and what development would be supported Development considered by a Case Officer against legislation and Planning Policy.  Permission is granted or refused after the decision process Answers the question is an existing development lawful/did it need planning permission at the time of development? Answers the question is what I propose to do lawful i.e. do I need permission?
Formal or informal advice? Informal advice of a Planning Officer Informal Advice of a Planning Officer Formal decision notice issued Formal lawful development certificate issued. Formal lawful development certificate issued.
Fee

Householder development - £330 (inc VAT)

All other developments £450 (inc VAT)

Fee depends on type and size of development.  Fees start from £150. 

Please see our fees  and charges for a full list of fees.

Householder applications £206, all of other fees depend on the size and nature of the development. 

Please see our fees and charges for a full list of fees.

Same as a full application for that use or operation.

Householder applications £206 all of other fees depend on the size and nature of the development.

Please see our fees and charges for a full list of fees.

Half the normal planning fee if submitting a new application for that use or operation.

 

Householder applications £103 all of other fees depend on the size and nature of the development.

Please see our fees and charges for a full list of fees.

How long does it take? 20 working days * 30 working days* 8 to 13 weeks* 8 weeks* 8 weeks*
What do I need to provide?

Do I need form; fee; sketch location; signed Privacy Notice/acknowledgement the notice has been read and understood.

Pre-application form; fee; to scale location plan; details of the proposed development; signed Privacy Notice/acknowledgement the notice has been read and understood. Full information of what is required can be found in the Cornwall Council Validation Guide. Requirements include: Completed and signed form including ownership certificates; scaled drawings including location plan, existing and proposed site or block plan, existing and proposed elevations, existing and proposed floor plans and finished floor levels; fee; CIL form; other assessments and reports based on the constraints at the site. Full information of what us required can be found in the Cornwall Council Validation Guide.  Requirements include:  Completed and signed form including ownership certificates; to scale location plan; fee; precise description of what is being applied for; sufficient information/evidence to support the application; proof that any building was 'substantially complete' more than four years before the date of the application; proof that any use (or breach of condition) has been carried out continuously for a period of ten years (four years in the case of a dwelling).  Full information of what is required can be found in the Cornwall Council Validation Guide.  Requirements include: Completed and signed form including ownership certificates; to scale location plan; fee; CIL form; Precise description of what is being applied for; sufficient information/evidence to support the application.
Who can apply? Anyone you don’t need to be the owner of the property. Anyone you don’t need to be the owner of the property. Anyone however if the applicant is not the owner of the land notice must be served on the land owner/s. Anyone however if the applicant is not the owner of the land notice must be served on the land owner/s. Anyone however if the applicant is not the owner of the land notice must be served on the land owner/s.
Where can I find further information about this service?   Cornwall Council - Pre-application advice Cornwall Council - Make a planning application Cornwall Council - Lawful development certificates Cornwall Council - Lawful development certificates 
What other advice is there available? Planning Portal - Do I need permission - Common Projects Cornwall Council - Cornwall Design Guide

Cornwall Council - Make a better application

 

Government Guidance - Lawful Development Certificates

Planning Portal - Lawful development certificates

Government Guidance - Lawful Development Certificates

Planning Portal - Lawful development certificates


* The time taken to process the above services starts from when the submission becomes 'valid' i.e. when all the information required has been received.

Change the access to my property - Dropped kerb/altered access permission

Are you creating a new vehicle access or off-road parking space?  If so, you may need to apply for Planning Permission. This depends on the location and category of road.

The planning permission checklist sets out when you will or will not require planning permission or related consent(s) for such works.

If you have completed the checklist and you don't think planning permission is required but wish to have a formal determination.  You can make a 'do I need planning enquiry' or submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate.

You should apply for a vehicle crossover licence:

  • when planning permission has been approved, or
  • you have confirmation that planning is not required

This will give you permission to cross the footway with a vehicle. There is a fee for the licence.

Apply for a Vehicle Crossover Licence

Solar Panels

Solar panels and equipment installed on domestic buildings and land.  Are usually considered permitted development.  Meaning that planning permission is not required.  But there are a few exceptions.  Please visit the Solar panels and planning permission web page for further information.

Civil Ceremonies

If you are considering establishing a wedding venue please use this form to enquire the need for planning permission to hold a Civil Ceremony. 

Find out if you need planning permission for civil ceremoniesPlease send your completed form by email to planning@cornwall.gov.uk.  The relevant fee of £450 (inc VAT) should be paid online via the Planning Fees web page.  Both elements must be received for the request to progress.

You will also need to apply for a license, see Licensing of premises for civil ceremonies - Cornwall Council for further information.

Accredited Agents

Applicants may also consider contacting an agent to obtain advice.  For householder or tree applications Cornwall have a list of accredited agents.  

List of accredited agents

Building Control

Building Regulations apply to most building work. Building Control ensures the health safety and welfare of people in and around buildings. It also ensures the conservation of fuel and power. It is important to find out if you need permission.

Exempt work

Not all building work needs building regulation permission. Full details about works that do not need permission can be found on the LABC Front Door website.

Some exempt buildings include:

  • Detached garages less than 30m2 set more than 1m from a boundary.
  • Detached garages less than 30m2 on the boundary, if made of non combustible material.
  • Detached buildings less than 30m2 with no sleeping accommodation 1m away from the boundary.
  • Detached buildings less than 30m2 with no sleeping accommodation. If on the boundary made of non combustible material.
  • A building less than 15m2 which contains no sleeping accommodation.
  • A car port. Open on two sides and less than 30m2.
  • A porch, covered way or conservatory less than 30m2. Conservatories should be wholly or partly glazed.

Find out if you need permission

To find out whether Building Regulation permission is required you can complete the form below. This service is free of charge.

If you do need permission you can make a Building Regulation Application  


Planning and Building Control for businesses

For more information and guidance on how to start a new business, or how to expand an existing business.  Please see the Planning Portal.

The following links may also be of use:-

The Council works in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership. 

The Council also works with business support agencies across Cornwall.  This ensures that information, advice and guidance is available to help your business when you need it. You can visit our business support and advice page for further information.

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