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Cambridge City Council

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Coronavirus: Updates and information

Find out about available support and how to offer help. Our customer service centre is open to help you by email and phone. Please continue to follow official NHS and government advice.

Coronavirus update from the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service

We have adapted some of our services in light of government advice with regards to social distancing. Click the link above for full information.

Check if you need planning permission for an extension or alteration to your house

Householder permitted development

Some building works don’t need formal planning permission, these are classed as ‘permitted development’ and are usually small things such as conservatories, replacement windows, solar panels and signs.

However, some works can't be classed as permitted development if:

  • your property is a flat or maisonette or commercial premises;
  • you are altering a Listed Building or a building in a Conservation Area.

There are other constraints on development to consider, for example if a tree on the property is protected, or there's a risk of flooding etc.

Check for constraints on your property

  • You can carry out a property search in our planning application system to find what constraints apply to your property. Look for details on the 'constraints' tab in the system.

Or, you can use the Planning Portal's interactive house service find out more about the types of work that do and don't need planning permission.

Get advice

It's best to have your proposals checked by us

For peace of mind, you can check if your proposals are permitted development. Use our enquiry form to apply for written confirmation. However, please be aware that this is not a formal confirmation.

  • Download the Householder Permitted Development form [PDF, 0.2MB] and send completed, to us with the required supporting information, as outlined in the form.
  • You should receive a response to your application for advice within 21 working days of us receiving it.
  • We don't charge for this service.

Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate

Discuss your proposals

  • Visit or call a duty officer to discuss proposals about your house - check for available times on our duty officer page.

When permitted development rights have been removed

In some cases permitted development rights may be removed by issuing what is known as an Article 4 Direction. These are usually removed on the original, or any later planning permission for the property.

This means a planning application will be needed for development which normally doesn't need one.

Before undertaking any development you should check if any restrictions on permitted development have been made.

  • Use the link at the top of the page to check your property in our online planning application system
    Or discuss with a duty officer.

If you think you do need planning permission

  • If you think that planning permission will be needed you can submit a request for pre-application advice.
  • This service is available free of charge (for householders and small businesses).

Building regulations

Even if your proposed building work doesn’t need planning permission, you’ll still need to meet building regulations.

Glossary of planning terms

The Planning Portal Glossary is a summary of phrases relating to land use and planning matters in England only. It covers a variety of issues ranging from new development and regeneration, to conservation and environmental protection.