Skip Navigation

Do I need planning permission and am I likely to get it?

Information about Certificate of Lawfulness and pre-application advice.

Person with question

Do I need planning permission?

Householder enquiries:

Some alterations and extensions to your residential property do not need planning permission. This is known as 'permitted development'.

However, depending on what you want to do, you may need planning permission. The Planning Portal website has a useful interactive house which will provide some information on what does and doesn't require planning permission.

Sometimes however, even if you check the criteria and it appears you don't require permission, you may find that your 'permitted development rights' (your rights to build without permission) have been restricted or removed. This can apply if for example your property is:

  • A listed building,
  • Within a conservation area,
  • Within an area covered by an Article 4 Direction, or
  • Permitted Development rights were restricted by planning conditions when the property was built. The planning portal website interactive house will not be able to advise on whether your permitted development rights have been restricted or removed.

Although you may not require planning permission, you may still require building regulations approval. More information can be found on our Building Control pages.

How can the Council help me?

If you wish for Fenland District Council to determine whether planning permission is required, you can submit an application to us, known as a 'Proposed Certificate of Lawfulness.' You would need to submit a form and plans for an officer to be able to determine this. It is advisable to use an agent to help you with your application to make sure the right information is submitted. Please see the Planning Forms page to find out more about the requirements. The fee for this is £103.00 (for Householder).

A Lawful Development Certificate is similar to a planning application in that it creates a legally binding decision. It is particularly useful if you sell your property in the future, as solicitors may ask for this information to show permission was not required for any works to your property.

What can I do if my certificate of lawfulness application is refused?

If your certificate of lawfulness is refused it means we have determined that planning permission is required.  You can then either apply for formal planning permission for the proposed works, or if you disagree and feel planning permission is not required, you can appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate (details of which can be found on the back of your decision notice).

Non Householder enquiries:

We can also help you understand if planning permission is needed for non-domestic applications through a 'Proposed Certificate of Lawfulness.' The fee for this is half the normal planning fee.

Would I get planning permission?

If you know that planning permission is required but what to know before you submit your formal application what the council's views are, we offer a pre-application service. This is an informal view from a planning officer, and is not a guarantee that permission will be granted.

It is beneficial because you will understand how our policies apply to your development, and what information the planning officer is looking for to be submitted with the application. It will also indicate if your proposal is unacceptable.

Please note that these enquiries are not treated as confidential.