Why Choose Contour Architectural Designs?

LABC Registered

70+ Years Experience

Highly Recommended

Fully Insured

What is Planning Permission?

Planning permission is a formally granted approval that relates to permission for the erection or alteration to a building to be done.  Not to be confused with building regulations which relate to how a building should be constructed.

Who is responsible for checking adherence to Planning Permission?

Although Parliament controls national planning policy, the local council is responsible for deciding whether to planning permission is granted.  Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Secretary of State has power to revoke or modify a planning permission granted by a local council but only before a planning permission is implemented.  Contour Architectural Designs Ltd ("Contour Designs") will be able to advise you whether your project is subject to planning permission.

The following will give you some idea of what works that do not fall under the  planning permission criteria, but this is not an exclusive list.

Do I need Planning Permission to replace internal fittings in my home?

No. Internal fittings do not fall under the criteria for planning permission

Do I need Planning Permission to change windows or the front door in my property?

You do not usually need planning permission to change windows or doors, unless there are conditions attached to the original permission.

Do I need Planning permission to build a building in my garden?

Garden buildings are usually considered to be permitted development as long as the building is placed less than 2 metres from the boundary of the existing uilding and is no higher than 2.5 metres

What is Permitted Development?

Permitted development is simply a list of works that the Government has agreed can be carried out without having to get local council approval. Generally permitted development rights cover minor extensions, loft/garage conversions, demolition and certain changes of use.  However Contour Designs will always recommend that you apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness if you carry out work under permitted development.

What is a Certificate of Lawfulness?

There may be times e.g if you decide to sell your property, that you may need to prove that the additional work completed at your property meets the permitted development criteria.  A Certificate of Lawfulness does this.  These certificates can be obtained from your local council.  Contour Designs will be able to work with you to obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness on your behalf.

What can I do if my request for Planning Permission is refused?

You can either amend and resubmit your plans having dealt with the reasons for the refusal, or you can make an appeal to the planning inspectorate.

I live in a conservation area (designated land), does this make any differance to planning permission?

You may need permission from the Council before making alterations such as cladding, inserting windows, installing satellite dishes and solar panels, adding conservatories or other extensions, laying paving or building walls. Demolition or substantial demolition of a building within a conservation area/ designated land will usually require permission from the Council.  If you are thinking of cutting down a tree or doing any pruning work you must notify the Council 6 weeks in advance as the Council may wish to make a Tree Preservation Order.  Contour Designs will be able to confirm for you whether your property is in a conservation area.

I live in a Listed building, does this make any difference to planning permission?

Yes as well as obtaining planning permission in most cases you will also need to obtain listed building consent. You will need listed building consent permission before making alterations such as cladding, inserting windows, installing satellite dishes and solar panels, adding conservatories or other extensions, laying paving or building walls.  Demolition or substantial demolition of a building within a conservation area/ designated land will usually require permission from the Council.  Altering outbuildings, garden walls and statues within the boundaries of a listed building may also require listed building consent.

Can I be prosecuted if I carry out works without obtaining Listed Building Consent?

Yes. To carry out works without first obtaining listed building consent on a listed building is an offence under Section 9 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Anyone found guilty of such an offence is liable of a fine of up to £20,000 and/or up to 6 months’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine and/or up to 2 years’ imprisonment if convicted.

How long do I have to commence the works?

Once your application has been approved, you have three years in which to commence the works. After this time you may have to re-apply for planning permission.

Can I alter my plans once Full Permission has been granted?

Yes you can make minor alterations by applying for a non-material amendment. However, major alterations may further application for planning permission.

Can I apply for Planning Permission retrospectively?

Yes you can make a retrospective application to the Council. However there is no guarantee that approval will be given

Can I be fined or have enforcement notices issued against me if I don’t comply with Planning Permission?

It is not illegal to develop on land without planning permission but it is not lawful. Should you fail to get the correct consent for your project, then the local council can take action to have the work altered or demolished.  However if no enforcement action is taken within four years of completion of the project,or ten years for change of use, then the development becomes immune from enforcement action and the development  becomes lawful!

What do I need to do now?

If you want see how Contour Designs can help you obtain planning permission for your chosen project, why not take a look at our website -  www.contour-designs.co.uk to find out more.  If you want to see what other services Contour Designs offer, these are listed under our Services page.  Alternatively, you can contact us directly using our Contact Us if you have specific questions or want to arrange an initial consultation.

Our Core Services

Site / Building Surveys

Building Regulations Drawings

Planning Permission & Architectural Designs

Topographical Surveys

Structural Design

Drainage Surveys

Flood Risk Statements

Get In Touch

For more information on precisely what our architectural consultants and designers can do for your project simply pick up the phone and call our office on 01268 690974 or send a message through our contact page. Whether you’re making a general enquiry or wish to discuss a specific project, a member of our team will be only too happy to help.


If you want to stay in touch with Contour Architectural Designs, you can signup to our newsletter by clicking on the button below. In accordance with the GDPR, you can unsubscribe at any time by using the link at the bottom of each email.

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive Module Information