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Check if you need planning permission

Planning permission is necessary for a wide range of development, including relatively minor alterations that may affect the appearance or use of buildings, and you may need to apply for one or more consents.

Permitted development

Certain works can be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission. This is known as 'permitted development'.

In a conservation area you do not need consent to demolish a building which does not exceed 115 cubic metres or to take down any wall, gate or fence which is less than 1 metre high where abutting a highway, or less than 2 metres high elsewhere.

Lawful Development Certificates

You can apply for confirmation that your proposed development does not need planning permission by applying for a Lawful Development Certificate.

The application form and guidance notes can be accessed from the Planning Portal.

Pre-application advice including Householder and Listed Buildings

If you would like specific advice before submitting an application, we offer a chargeable pre-application advice service.

Pre-application advice forms, guidance notes and charges can be found at the bottom of this page.

We will not provide free advice following any decision of an applicant to withdraw a planning application. Any advice required after a withdrawal of an application will be charged under this schedule.


Pre-application advice is not placed on the public planning register. However, if you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), there is a statutory code of practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals with obligations of confidence.

The Council will release pre-application information as standard practice, as appropriate, following a request under FOI or EIR. Should you not wish your pre-application information to be released, then you must explain to us when you make your application why you regard the information you have provided as confidential.

If we receive a request for disclosure of the information, we will take full account of your explanation but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality will be maintained in all circumstances.

External Pre-Application Advice

There are other external statutory bodies which you may wish to consult with about your proposal, which have their own pre-application charges.

Additional Environmental Approval applications

Planning permissions with a time limit for implementation between 23 March 2020 and 19 August 2020 will only benefit from the statutory extension to 1 May 2021 where Additional Environmental Approval is granted by the local planning authority (or deemed to be granted).

If an applicant wants written confirmation of the extension to the commencement date, they should contact the relevant local planning authority. Applications must be made in writing and emailed to This application must include the following:

  • date of extension request
  • details of application to be extended including application reference no and address of application in question
  • details of appropriate condition

There is no fee for this.

The Extension of certain planning permissions: guidance provides more information.

Working on a property in Letchworth Garden City

You may need consent from the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.

Telephone Duty Officer

The Duty Officer service provides general planning advice. Lines are open from 9am – 12noon, Monday to Friday - call on 01462 474000.

Further advice

The Planning Portal offers general advice on all aspects of planning.