Chelmsford City Council

Chelmsford, along with the rest of England, is now in lockdown until further notice. You can find out what this means and get other useful information on our coronavirus updates page.

Check if you need planning permission

You need planning permission for most building work, or if you want to change the use of a building or a piece of land.

However, you can carry out some work without the need to apply for planning permission. This is called 'permitted development'. The  Planning Portal explains more about permitted development.

Even if the work does fall under permitted development, you may still need planning permission, as permitted development may not apply to your property.


You can find out what permitted development rights your property has by:

  • checking your deeds
  • getting advice from your planning agent (if you have one)
  • checking with us



Get advice or confirmation

You can find advice on the Planning Portal, or apply for advice from us. You can also apply for a Lawful Development Certificate if you want us to confirm that your work does not need planning permission.

  • Planning PortalYou can find general advice about if you need planning permission on the Planning Portal.
  • Planning adviceWe offer a chargeable planning advice service, where a planning officer will review your proposed development and advise you if you need planning permission.
  • Lawful Development CertificateYou can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for formal confirmation that your work does not need planning permission. This can apply to work you have already completed, as well as work you are going to carry out.
  • Larger home extensionsIf you want to extend your property larger than permitted development allows, you will need to apply for a type of prior approval known as the 'neighbour consultation scheme'.
  • Walls and fencesYou may need planning permission to put up or replace a fence or wall depending on its height and where it is located.


Other things you need to consider

As well as planning permission, there are other things you need to consider. This includes permissions, regulations and restrictions that apply to where you live or what you want to do.

  • Building controlEven if you don't need planning permission, you may still need building control approval. Building regulations make sure that buildings are safe, accessible and energy efficient.
  • Conservation areas and listed buildingsIf you live in a conservation area or your property is a listed building, you may need specific consent, as well as planning permission.
  • Community Infrastructure LevyThe Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge we apply to new developments, to help to fund improvements to infrastructure.
  • Work on a protected treeBefore you carry out work on a tree, you need to check if it has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on it.
  • Dropped kerbsYou need permission from Essex County Council if you want a dropped kerb. You may also need permission from us.
  • Article 4 DirectionsIf your property falls within an Article 4 Direction area, you may not have permitted development rights so would need to apply for permission. You can check where the Article 4 Directions are in the Chelmsford area.

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