There are various reasons why you need planning permission. It could be that you are looking to add a room to your home or build a property for your business. Whatever the reason, it is important to know the process in order to avoid potential problems.


You can apply for planning permission online. Before you make an application, you should contact your local authority. It may be that you may not need planning permission. It is also worth discussing your ideas and plans with your neighbours in order to bring up any issues that you might have to discuss with the local authority (and could reduce the risk of any objections being raised). If the changes could benefit the local community, it can be possible to circumvent this as well.

If you do the work without permission, then you could be served an enforcement notice requiring you to undo all the work you have done. It is illegal to ignore this notice, but you can lodge an appeal.

Even with some things that don’t require planning permission (such as outdoor advertisements or industrial premises), there are some restrictions so you should check this with the local authority first.


The local planning authority will look at issues such as how the changes will affect the local environment, infrastructure, and what you want to use the development for. It can also be affected by practical issues, such as whether or not it may result in increased traffic or noise disturbances in the local area.

With planning applications, a verdict arrives between eight to thirteen weeks, depending on the size of the project. If the verdict takes longer, you can lodge an appeal, or you can sign an agreement to extend the deadline in order for the local authority to reach an agreement.


If your request is refused (or the verdict takes longer than 13 weeks), you can lodge an appeal. You can also appeal if the permission is granted, but conditions are placed that you consider unreasonable or if something was previously allowed has been refused.

It is also possible to lodge an appeal if you have been served an enforcement notice and you do not agree with the reasons behind it. For example, you may have evidence demonstrating that you did not break planning permission; therefore, you do not need to undo the work you have already done.

We can help

People often make the mistake of seeing legal professionals as cold or unapproachable. This is simply not true- we are sympathetic to our clients, and we know that the planning permission process can be stressful at times.

Our motto has always been “Big enough to specialise, small enough to care” We have the resources to represent you, but we also want to guide you through the process as much as possible. To get in touch with a legal specialist and discuss your personal situation in more detail, please contact us today.