Prior approval guidance

There are types of development that are permitted by legislation without the need for a planning application: these are called permitted development. In certain cases of permitted development, prior approval is required.

Find out more about the prior approval process and the different types of prior approval: 

If you have a concern about a prior approval application in your area, in addition to submitting your comments to the Planning Service, you can contact your local Councillor.

Householders  

Prior approval type: Class A - Larger home extension
Single-storey rear extension to an existing house

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters – directly adjoining properties only

Considerations:

  • whether the size of the extension is within permitted limits
    (select prior approval type for more details)
  • if an adjoining neighbour objects, the local planning authority (LPA) must consider the impact of the development on amenity of adjoining neighbours

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class AA - Enlargement of a dwellinghouse by construction of additional storeys
Up to two additional storey/s above an existing 2+ storey house or,
One additional storey above an existing single-storey house

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters – directly adjoining properties only
  • relevant consultees as per site constraints

Considerations:

  • whether the size of the extension is within permitted limits
    (select prior approval type for more details)
  • impact on amenity of adjoining premises
  • external appearance
  • air traffic and defence asset impacts
  • impact on protected views

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Change of use to residential 

Prior approval type: Class O - Office (B1a) to residential (C3)
Change of use of a building used as an office to a dwelling

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • transport and highways impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • impact of noise from commercial premises
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class M - Shop (A1/A2/A5) to residential (C3)
Change of use of a building used as shops or financial/ professional services to a dwelling

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • transport and highways impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • impact on provision of services provided by building
  • sustainability of shopping area (if within key shopping area)
  • design or external appearance of the building
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class PA - Light industrial (B1c) to residential (C3)
Change of use of a building used for light industrial processes to a dwelling

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • transport and highways impacts
  • contamination risk
  • flooding risks
  • whether the site is within an area important for providing industrial services
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class P - Storage and distribution (B8) to residential (C3)
Change of use of a building used for storage/distribution to a dwelling

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • impact of air quality on intended occupiers
  • transport and highways impacts
  • contamination risk
  • flooding risk
  • noise impacts
  • whether the site is within an area important for providing industrial services
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class Q - Agricultural buildings to residential (C3)
Change of use of a building from agricultural to a dwelling

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • transport and highways impacts
  • noise impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • whether the location or siting of the building makes the development impractical/undesirable
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Change of use to commercial 

Prior approval type: Class C - Retail, betting office or pay day loan shop (A1/A2) to a restaurant or café (A3)
Change of use of a building used as shops or financial/ professional services to a café

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice.

Considerations:

  • noise impacts
  • odour impacts
  • waste storage and handling impacts
  • hours of opening impacts
  • transport and highways impacts
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits
  • adequate provision of A1/A2 services
  • sustainability of shopping area (if within key shopping area)
  • siting, design or external appearance of facilities

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class T - Business, hotel, residential institution or assembly and leisure (B1, C1, C2, C2A or D2) to a state funded school or registered nursery
Change of use of a building used as a business, hotel, residential institution, secure residential institution or assembly and leisure to a state-funded school or a registered nursery

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • transport and highways impacts
  • noise impacts
  • contamination risks
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class J - Retail or financial/professional services (A1/A2) to assembly and leisure (D2)
Change of use of a building used as shops or financial/ professional services to assembly and leisure

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • noise impacts
  • hours of opening impacts
  • transport and highways impacts
  • adequate provision of A1/A2 services
  • sustainability of shopping area (if within key shopping area)
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class R - Agricultural to flexible commercial use
Change of use of a building from agricultural to shops, financial/professional services, restaurant/ café, business, storage/distribution, hotel or assembly and leisure

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • transport and highways impacts
  • noise impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Upwards extensions 

Prior approval type: Class A - New dwellinghouses on detached block of flats
Up to two additional storeys of new dwellings above a detached block of flats

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters – directly adjoining properties and addresses within the existing building only
  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • whether the size of the extension is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)
  • transport and highways impacts
  • air traffic and defence asset impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • external appearance of the building
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • amenity of existing and neighbouring buildings
  • impact on protected views
  • fire safety

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class AA - New dwellinghouses on detached building in commercial or mixed use
Up to two additional storeys of new dwellings above a detached building used as a shop, financial/ professional service, restaurant/café or offices or, a mix of the above uses or, a mix of the above uses and dwellings

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters – directly adjoining properties and addresses within the existing building only
  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • whether the size of the extension is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)
  • transport and highways impacts
  • air traffic and defence asset impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • external appearance
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • amenity of existing and neighbouring buildings
  • noise impacts
  • impact of residential use on trade/business or other use
  • impact on protected views
  • fire safety

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class AB - New dwellinghouses on terrace buildings in commercial or mixed use
Up to two additional storeys of new dwellings above a 2+ storey terrace building or up to one additional storey of new dwellings above an existing single-storey terrace building used as a shop, financial/ professional service, restaurant/café or offices or, a mix of the above uses or, a mix of the above uses and dwellings

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters – directly adjoining properties and addresses within the existing building only
  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • whether the size of the extension is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)
  • transport and highways impacts
  • air traffic and defence asset impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • external appearance
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • amenity of existing and neighbouring buildings
  • noise impacts
  • impact of residential use on trade/business or other use
  • impact on protected views

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class AC - New dwellinghouses on terrace buildings in use as dwellinghouses
Up to two additional storeys of new dwellings above a 2+ storey terrace building used as a single dwelling or up to one additional storey of new dwellings above an existing single-storey terrace building used as a single dwelling

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters – directly adjoining properties and addresses within the existing building only
  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • whether the size of the extension is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)
  • transport and highways impacts
  • air traffic and defence asset impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • external appearance of the building
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • amenity of existing and neighbouring buildings
  • impact on protected views

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class AD - New dwellinghouses on detached buildings in use as dwellinghouses
Up to two additional storeys of new dwellings above a 2+ storey detached building used as a single dwelling or up to one additional storey of new dwellings above an existing single-storey detached building used as a single dwelling

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters – directly adjoining properties and addresses within the existing building only
  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • whether the size of the extension is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)
  • transport and highways impacts
  • air traffic and defence asset impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • external appearance of the building
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • amenity of existing and neighbouring buildings
  • impact on protected views

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Telecommunications 

Prior approval type: Telecommunications
Development by electronic communications operators on land owned by that operator for installation, alteration or replacement of apparatus.

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters
  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • siting of development
  • appearance of development
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Demolition 

Prior approval type: Class B - Demolition
Any building operation consisting of the demolition of a building.

Consultation requirements:

  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice to be positioned adjacent to site by developer

Considerations:

  • method of demolition
  • proposed restoration of site

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.


Prior approval type: Class ZA - Demolition of buildings and construction of new dwellinghouses in their place
Demolition of detached block of flats or detached building comprising offices, research and development and/or industrial processes and construction of a detached block of flats or a detached dwelling.

Consultation requirements:

  • neighbour notification letters – directly adjoining properties and addresses within the existing building only
  • relevant consultees as per site constraints
  • site notice

Considerations:

  • transport and highways impacts
  • contamination risks
  • flooding risks
  • design of the new building
  • external appearance of the new building
  • provision of adequate natural light
  • amenity of the new and neighbouring buildings
  • noise impacts
  • impact of residential use on trade/business or other use
  • heritage and archaeology impacts
  • method of demolition
  • landscaping
  • air traffic and defence asset impacts
  • impact on protected views
  • whether the size of the proposal is within permitted limits
  • (select prior approval type for more details)

Who makes the decision?

Officer delegated. Committee meetings do not take place for prior approvals.

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