Do I need planning permission or building control?

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


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”:

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 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 page on Article 4s

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.

Pre-application advice

Do you need planning permission, but would like some advice on whether your proposal would be supported?  If so, please use our pre-application advice service before submitting your application to us.

Vehicle access and off-road parking spaces

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.

You will need to apply for a Vehicle Crossover Licence. You should do this:

  • 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.


Building Control

Building Regulations apply to most building work.  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 planning portal.

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,

You can also contact us via email to discuss your proposed work.

Help, we didn't get permission for our work


Checking Service

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

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

You may wish to use our "Do I need planning consent or building regulations? " service.

With this service we will check whether you need :

  • Planning Permission
  • Listed Building Consent
  • Demolition in a Conservation Area Consent
  • and/or Building Regulations

To use this service, please complete a Do I need planning consent or building regulations form.  We aim to respond within 10 working days.  The building regulations service is free.  However, there is a fee to check whether you need planning consent.

Do you need formal proof from us that:

  • planning isn't required?
  • building work is lawful?

If so, you can submit a lawful development certificates.   Please note there is a fee for this service.


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.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

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