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Do I need planning permission?

Permitted development

You can make some minor changes and extensions to your home without planning permission. This is called permitted development.

If you don't know whether you need planning permission, the Planning Portal provides a series of guides and a very useful interactive house to help you decide.

For external building work we recommend you apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for a Proposed Use or Development.

Some homes may need planning permission for external work because previous planning permission restricts what you can do. This is most common if they have been converted (for example, a barn conversion).

To check whether this affects your property please contact us at development.management@southlakeland.gov.uk We will need the address, postcode and sometimes an identification map. It may take up to 10 days to retrieve this information for you.

Specific confirmation

To know for certain whether planning permission is needed you must submit an Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for a Proposed Use or Development.

The simplest way to apply is via the Planning Portal.

You can also use the Paper Form Chooser on the Planning Portal to download forms as PDF documents. You can print these out or fill them in on your computer and email them to us at development.management@southlakeland.gov.uk.

You can purchase a location plan from buy a plan.

A Lawful Development Certificate for a Proposed Use or Development gives you a definite legal answer on whether you need planning permission. The certificate is important for future buyers of your property so keep it safe.

If you don't need planning permission you may carry out the work (make sure you comply with building regulations). If planning permission is needed please refer to the Planning Portal's making a planning application page.

Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for a Proposed Use or Development

To apply for the certificate you will need:

  • the current fee of £86
  • the completed application form
  • a location plan (this must be up to date, scale 1:1250, showing the north point, with a red line around the boundary of the site)
  • plans of your proposal 

Plans of your proposal should include:

  • a block plan at scale 1:200 or 1:500 showing a birds eye view of the extension/alteration in relation to your existing house and the garden or outside space
  • existing and proposed elevations and floor plans (preferably to a metric scale of 1:50) or an elevation plan showing each side of the building (the front, each side and, if free standing, the rear)
  • a floor plan showing the room layout inside the dwelling (one for each floor) with the rooms clearly labelled (kitchen, bathroom etc).
  • elevations and floor plans should preferably be drawn to a recognised metric scale of 1:100 or 1:50 (if you submit plans that are not drawn to a recognised metric scale then all the plans must show clear and accurate metric dimensions, including for all the proposed windows, roof lights, dormers and external doors)
  • full details of all the external materials used 

Kendal conservation area

Dwellings within the Kendal conservation area are subject to tighter controls than elsewhere. An Article 4 Direction covers most of the conversation area.

This means most alterations at the front (including replacement window frames, doors, garden walls, railings, guttering etc) require planning permission.

There is no fee for this type of application, provided permission is not required for other reasons.

Flats or maisonettes

To make external changes to a flat planning permission is usually required and a planning fee charged.   

Temporary permitted single storey rear extensions to dwellings

You may be able to extend beyond the rear wall of your home (as built, or prior to 1948) without planning permission (subject to a new notification procedure).

However, extensions must be completed by 30 May 2019.

Our summary sheet (PDF/66KB/6 pages) provides more details.

We have created an optional  application form (PDF/41KB/2 pages) and example plan (PDF/27KB/1 page), to help you give us the right information. 

Please open the flow chart (PDF/115KB/1page) which shows the stages of the new prior notification process.

Advice for businesses

The Town and Country Planning Act includes a set of rules which aim to:

  • make it easier for businesses to make best use of their premises
  • deliver more homes
  • support our high streets
  • support sustainability by allowing the re-use of buildings
  • facilitate the provision of registered nurseries and state schools

The Planning Portal has more information on these rules.