Chelmsford City Council

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

We are not able to give you advice over the phone, as each property is different, depending on its location and history. We strongly recommend that you follow the steps listed on this page.


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 confirmation your work does not need planning permission. This can apply to both completed or future work.


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.
  • Article 4 DirectionsIf your property is in an Article 4 Direction area, you may not have permitted development rights so would need to get permission. You can check where these areas are.
  • Dropped kerbsYou need permission from Essex County Council if you want a dropped kerb. You may also need permission from us.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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