If you want to build an extension to your property or do other work to your home, or if you want to expand your business or change the use of your premises, you may need to apply for planning permission.
Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission. This is known as permitted development.
Planning Portal has interactive guides to help you establish if planning permission is required and/or building regulation approval.
If you would like an officer's informal decision on whether planning permission or listed building consent will be required, please complete the 'do I need planning permission form' below which needs to be completed and submitted along with a fee of £40. This can be paid via cheque or over the phone. A response should be expected within 15 days.
Do I need planning permission Application Form:
More information on Permitted development rights.
Permitted development rights
In some cases your permitted development rights may have been removed. This could be due to the fact that your property is listed, in a conservation area, or that the rights for a particular housing area have been removed, so if you're not sure always check with the local planning office. You contact us via email at email@example.com. Our planning liaison team will be able to confirm whether these rights have been removed from your property - More information on Permitted development rights.
All enquiries relating to dropped kerb applications are answered by the Vehicle Access Team. Information about the process can be found on the Streets and street care page.
If you need to find out whether permission for a dropped kerb is required please call the vehicle access team on 01225 713352 or email firstname.lastname@example.org who will send out an application pack.
We offer a pre-application advice service to anyone wanting help with a development before the submission of a planning application.
The aim of our pre-application service is to provide responsive, consistent and timely advice that de-risks the application process and reduces the time taken to deal with your application through the formal decision making stage.
Pre-application advice will provide you with the following benefits:
- An understanding of how our policies will be applied to your proposal
- Identify the need for specialist input at an early stage e.g. for listed buildings, transportation, trees, landscape, noise, health, ecology, contaminated land or archaeology
- Assist in the preparation of proposals for formal submission, which, if you follow our advice, should be handled more quickly and be more likely to result in a positive outcome
- Help to reduce the time that you or your professional advisors spend in working up the proposals
- Identify those proposals that are completely unacceptable, so saving you the cost of pursuing a formal application
Any works to a listed building which affects its special architectural and historic interest will require listed building consent from the planning authority.
If the tree is in a conservation area or has a Tree Preservation Order then consent will be required except in cases where the tree is dead or dangerous - More information on trees.
If you are submitting your application through the Planning Portal, it will give guidance with what needs submitted. If you are using an application form from our website page, Planning application forms and fees, there are validation checklists that will assist with your application.
Most applications require a fee that is set by government, but there are some applications that do not require fees such as an application for a listed building, or works to trees in a conservation area. When submitting your application through the Planning Portal, it will advise you of any fee required and payments can be made online using the payment system. Downloadable application forms can be found at Planning Portal: Download offline forms.
When an alleged breach is reported or suspected, the site will be inspected and relevant information will be sought to identify whether there is a breach. If a breach is identified, the person responsible will be informed of the issue and what action is required. Unless there is serious and immediate ongoing harm to the environment, highway safety or neighbours, the person responsible will be given an opportunity resolve the breach before commencement of formal action.
If you feel a breach has occurred and would like the enforcement team to investigate, please complete the e-form on our Planning enforcement page.
A general guide to submitting your householder application
At this stage, if you've decided to use an agent, they will take responsibility for the process as a whole, as well as guiding your project design with you. If you decide to do the work yourself, you should consider the following;
- What size do I want the building/extension to be?
- How do I want the inside to be laid out?
- What materials should I use?
- How will the design 'fit in' with the rest of the dwelling?
- What effect will it have on neighbouring properties?
Poor preparation can lead to considerable increases in time on the project. If you have decided to do the work yourself, prepare a simple scale drawing of the project. It should have the key dimensions, such as length, width and height. This will give you something to refer to as you step through the process.
The Planning Portal has an Interactive 3D guide for houses and Interactive 3D guide for flats. These are very useful guides that can help you to quickly determine whether you need planning permission and/or building regulation approval or not. It contains information on the most common householder applications such as extensions, loft conversions and external works.
Some extensions to dwellings are allowed under 'permitted development' rights. This means that in effect the government has given a blanket approval for the work. As long as you come within the restrictions in each case you will not require planning permission.
In some cases your permitted development rights may have been removed, so if you're not sure always check with the local planning office. They will be able to confirm whether these rights have been removed from your property.
By now, you should be fairly sure whether you need planning permission or not. If you're still unclear, check with your local planning office. If you can't get to your local planning office, contact us and the planning officer will confirm the position. They will be able to guide you on the requirements of the legislation and give advice on whether a planning application is required.
If you've decided to use an agent (architect, surveyor etc.) they will have already gone through the earlier steps on your behalf. We would always advise that for larger more complex works, you seek professional advice. A good agent will help you refine your ideas and design and develop the project for you. They will also be able to advise you on what other permissions (if any) are required.
At this stage you will need to get proper plans drawn. With properly drawn plans your builder can more accurately 'price' the project for you.
Our website contains all the necessary forms, guidance leaflets and instructions you will need. You can download the planning application forms and guidance from our application forms and fees page.
Make sure that you've included all the necessary plans, forms and statements required for your application to be registered.If you've used an agent this work will have been done on your behalf.
Each office has the facility to accept applications electronically, so if you can scan your information in you can send it to us in Adobe .PDF format. Or apply online using the planning portal. You will need to send the cheque in under separate cover.
Typical time allowed for this step up to 8 weeks.
The decision making process normally takes up to eight weeks. This gives you the time to check with building control. Most extension and alteration works require building regulation consent. At this stage and for more information on the building control and construction process in general, see the building control pages.
Commenting on planning applications
Before planning applications are considered by the council, members of the public and other interested parties are invited to send us their comments on the application. You can do this online using this website, by email, or by post. The deadline for comments to be received will be shown on the application details page.
Will my comments be made public?
Details will be published on our website under the terms of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985. Representations and comments published are the views of the consultees and members of the public who make them and not the views of the council. We make all decisions on the application in line with established procedures and after careful scrutiny.
Please make sure that you only provide information, including your personal information, you are happy for other people to view. If you supply other people's personal information, please make sure that you have their permission. We do not edit consultation responses unless there is a very special case to do so that is considered to be in the public interest. See our Privacy notice for further information.
Comments should not be of a discriminatory, defamatory or libelous nature. Any comments received like this will not be considered.
If you have a problem or you require further advice please contact the team on 0300 456 0114.
What will be considered?
The key point to remember is that you can only comment on 'material considerations' that affect the application. These include things like;
- Planning Policies - are there any policies in the Development Plan, including any relevant Neighbourhood Plan that relate to the proposal?*
- Government Guidance, Planning Policy Guidance and Statements
- History - previous decisions, particularly appeals
- Comments from consultees
- Amenity e.g. privacy, sunlight, daylight, noise and smell
- Highway safety
- Nature, archaeology conservation and landscape
- Impact upon adjacent land use
- Human Rights Act
- And many others
What won't be considered?
We will not consider matters that are not material or relevant to the application as these are outside the boundaries of the planning process and are regarded more as civil matters between parties. These include things like;
- Loss of value
- Loss of view
- Viability, including matters such as party walls and structures
- Private rights (access)
- A change from a previous scheme
- Moral issues
- Restrictive covenants
- Land ownership
- The development has already taken place prior to an application being submitted
*The Development Plan includes the Wiltshire Core Strategy; Neighbourhood Plans; Wiltshire Housing Sites Allocation Plan; Chippenham Sites Allocation Plan; and Minerals and Waste Plans. These documents can all be found on our website.
To submit comments on an application, please search for the planning application using the Search for an application page.
Comments can be submitted up until the Consultation Expiry date (which is a minimum of three weeks), using the 'comment on this application link' on the application details page. If the application is not open to comment on using this link, you can still submit your comments via email to email@example.com up until the target date for decision, however we cannot guarantee that any late comments will be accepted. Please include the planning application reference number and your postal address as we cannot consider comments that are anonymous or that do not include your address.
You can send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send your comments to any of the three main council buildings:
- Wiltshire Council, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 8JN
- Monkton Park offices, Monkton Hill, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 1ER
- Bourne Hill, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 3UZ
If the advice you require is not listed on this page then please contact us on the following:
- Email email@example.com
- Telephone 0300 456 0114