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Projects without planning permission

Discover a range of projects without the need for planning permission. From extensions to conversions, we take a closer look at when permission isn’t needed.

Planning permission is a key part of many construction projects ranging from extensions to conversions and building new structures. This means, if you have plans to renovate your home, you’ll need to check whether permission is required and follow the correct application process. However, did you know it’s possible to complete certain projects without planning permission in the UK?

Planning permission applications can be very time consuming, which can cause delays in home improvement projects. So, if you’re eager to get started, why not choose a job that doesn’t need planning permission? The following projects don’t require planning permission, so it may be worth altering your plans if you are in a hurry:

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What is outline planning permission?

outline planning permissionWhen you submit a planning permission application to your local council, you’ll need to give a detailed description of your plans. In order to save time and get a preliminary go ahead, you can submit an outline planning permission application instead. Here, you give a brief explanation of your project plans, ahead of an in-depth application.

If outline planning permission is denied, you’ll have saved yourself the time of filling in a full application.

Land for sale with planning permission

If you’re hoping to build your own home, it may be possible to buy a plot of land for sale with planning permission. Depending on the scale of your plans, this can save you the cost and time of submitting a planning permission application once you’ve purchased the land. You can find land for sale with planning permission online, but contacting a real estate agent can also be a good option.

If you’re considering buying a piece of land where you have permission to build your dream home, it’s worth checking exactly what construction is permitted. Generally, there will be restrictions or conditions on the permission which may interfere with your plans.

What is retrospective planning permission?

Retrospective planning permissionPlanning permission is a legal requirement for certain types of projects, so it’s important to check whether this is necessary before beginning. If you do build without planning permission, you could face penalties and an enforcement notice to undo your alterations. However, you can choose to apply for retrospective planning permission after construction has started.

Our retrospective planning permission guide covers everything important that you need to know. It includes advice about building control, breach of planning conditions, and applying for retrospective planning permission.

How much does planning permission cost?

If you’re taking on a project that requires planning permission, you’re probably wondering about average costs. Luckily, our planning permission cost guide is bursting with prices and more.

For reference, the price for a full planning permission application for a new single dwelling house is £426. What’s more, our retrospective planning permission guide also includes average prices.

Which tradesperson should I use for the job?

When making construction plans, you’ll need to use tradespeople with a range of skills. Instead of searching for endless professionals, why not try our request a quote feature? Just give us the details of your job and we’ll pass these onto three local experts. They’ll either ask for further information or send you a quote, it really is that easy!

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Do I need planning permission?

This will depend on what exactly you plan to build and the scale of your project. For example, a double-storey extension will need planning permission, while a small, single-storey extension may not. It’s always worth checking if you need planning permission before you start construction.

How long does planning permission take?

Often this will come down to your local authority but as a general rule, it’ll take about eight weeks for a decision. Having said that, particularly large or complicated applications may take up to 13 weeks.

How long does planning permission last?

While some types of planning permission may last longer, you’ll usually have up to three years to action your plans.

How can I search for planning permission?

If you’re curious about upcoming local developments, you can search online at the government website There you’ll find your local authority where you can check different types of planning applications.

Do you need planning permission for a conservatory?

You won’t usually need conservatory planning permission unless you plan to build a large or complex conservatory. You can read more about adding a conservatory to your home in our conservatory guide.

loft conversion with planning permissionDo you need planning permission for a loft conversion?

Loft conversions are usually internal alterations that won’t affect the appearance of your home. This means you generally won’t need loft conversion planning permission.

Take a look at our loft conversion planning guide for all you need to know about the conversion process.

Do I need planning permission for a shed?

Usually adding a shed to your garden is considered permitted development. This means you won’t need planning permission before you can build your new shed. It’s worth noting that if you intend to transform your shed into extra living space, you probably will need planning permission.

Check out our shed planning permission guide for more information.

planning permission for extension

Do I need planning permission for a garage?

Most garages fall under the umbrella of outbuildings which are often considered to be permitted developments. As long as your garage is small and isn’t designed to be lived in, you generally won’t need planning permission.

Take a look at our garage planning permission guide to learn more.

Do you need planning permission to convert a garage?

If you only plan to make internal changes to your garage, it’s likely you won’t need planning permission. However, to add a garage extension, an extra floor, or to make extensive external alterations, you may still need planning permission.

You can find out more in our garage planning permission guide.

Do you need planning permission for an extension?

Again, this will depend on the type and size of the extension you’re planning to build. As long as your extension falls into permitted development, you won’t need planning permission. If you’re unsure, our extension planning permission guide tells you everything you need to know.

Do you need planning permission for a summer house?

Most summer houses aren’t considered permanent structures and aren’t designed to be lived in. This means, you usually won’t require planning permission to build a new summer house.

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