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Do you need Planning Permission?

If you want to build an extension, erect a conservatory or garage or do other work to your home, or if you want to expand your business or change the use of your premises, you may need to apply for planning permission.

Information on this web site and the Planning Portal (a government website) will give you some idea of whether you will need to apply for planning permission or not. The answer will depend on a number of matters, including what you want to do, the location of your site and for householders, for instance, whether any proposed extension faces the street.

In most cases a planning officer will be able to indicate why a particular application may or may not be successful. See our pre-application advice service page for how to contact a planning officer.


For projects including: conservatories, extensions, loft conversions, outbuildings, patios and driveways, porches, windows and domestic wind turbines we recommend that you look at this Planning Portal page which has interactive house guides and planning and building regulations advice for about 50 common householder projects. Some examples include printable miniguides.

Some projects such as smaller rear extensions may not need planning permission because they are permitted development. New rules allowing larger single storey rear house extensions as permitted development came into effect in 2013. If your extension is in this category you will need to fill in a prior notification form and send that to the council. See our permitted development rights page.

There may also be local circumstances which need to be taken into account and you are advised to check with our pre-application advice service. For example, permitted development rights might have been removed, or your site may be in designated land such as a conservation area, the Broads, or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beaty (AONBs) are areas where protecting the special qualities of the area is paramount. Our AONBs page has a link to NNDC core strategy proposals maps for the east and west of the district. (In these maps the AONB areas are designated with ochre diagonal hatching.)
  • Conservation Area pages outline what is permissible in a conservation area and a list of maps of conservation areas is provided so you can check if your site falls in a conservation area.

Application forms and validation requirements checklists that should be used for householder projects are available from our Forms, Fees and Guidance page. For householders use the forms numbered 1, 2, 3 and 11 if a listed building is involved.

For an overview of the decision process at the Council see 'how we deal with planning applications and amendments'

The whole process of making an application can be quite daunting and we would recommend that if you have any concerns you should use a professional adviser / agent. Here is a list of local planning agents (pdf 35KB), and the Architects Registration Board (ARB) Register of Architects listing every architect in the UK. (The ARB was set up by Parliament as the independent UK regulator of architects).



Information on available grants can be obtained from the Energy Savings Trust

After planning permission has been granted (if needed) and before starting the project, you need to consider how the building or extension is constructed and whether it complies with Building Regulations. You may have to submit detailed plans to the Building Control Service for approval. The Planning Portal also has information on other permissions that may be required.


The following information may assist developers and agents in deciding whether any proposals are likely to require planning permission and whether or not any proposals are likely to be viewed favourably by officers.

  • Permitted Development - New rules governing commercial changes came into effect in 2013.
    The key changes may allow the following without the need for planning permission:
    - larger extensions to industrial and warehousing premises, shops and offices
    - conversion between office and residential uses
    - more flexible uses of shops, offices, residential institutions and agricultural buildings
    - easier conversions of premises for school uses
    - telecom installations in conservation areas
    See our permitted development rights page.
  • For ‘major’ development projects NNDC has a special team. You will find more information and contact details on this Developer Information page.
    The Portal has a page on planning for large scale development. The ATLAS Guide requires that you login to the ATLAS site. (Funded by the CLG and the Planning Advisory Service)
  • Section 106 Legal Agreements
    The scope of such agreements is laid out in the government’s National Planning Policy Framework practice guide
    North Norfolk District Council’s standard terms for inclusion of Section 106 Agreements relating to affordable housing can be downloaded here .
  • Conservation Area pages outline what is permissible in a conservation area and a list of maps of conservation areas is provided so you can check if a site falls in a conservation area.
  • Environment Agency Advice
    In the Anglian region the Environment Agency is now charging for advice to developers and their consultants.   (This does not apply to advice they give to Local Planning Authorities in response to a planning application consultation.)

    The agency will continue to provide a free service to developers and consultants in the form of a preliminary opinion. This preliminary opinion will outline the agency position and highlight any environmental issues they may be concerned about as a statutory consultee. They can then provide developers with further bespoke advice, if required, at a chargeable rate. This could include the review of technical documents, meetings, or site visits. The charges will be £84 per hour and they do not charge VAT.
    The agency will not be charging for advice on Strategic Plans or Strategic advice to Local Enterprise Partnerships, City Deals and Enterprise Zones but they will charge to provide detailed technical advice on individual development proposals, including Local Authority schemes.

  • Planning practice guidance is now available on these National Planning Policy Framework pages.


See the planning portal suggestions at

Note that lawful development certificate application forms are available from the table on our Forms, Fees and Guidance page.

Links which might be of use in preparing a planning application.