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The City of London Corporation processes applications for planning permission and other related consents.

If you intend to construct a new building, alter the appearance of an existing building or change the use of a building you are likely to need planning permission.

In the planning application section, you can:

Permitted development

Some changes of use, minor alterations or extensions do not need planning permission. This is knows as permitted development. There is no fee for alterations falling within permitted development.

There are different types of permitted development and some do not apply in the City or are not used often. Even if the work is permitted development there are likely to be conditions and or the work will still need some planning approval before it can start.

You should contact the Department of the Built Environment to find out whether the work that you propose is permitted development or whether you will need to apply for planning permission.

Residential changes

Most residents in the City live in flats but works that would be permitted development on a house are not permitted development on a flat. Even minor alterations such as replacing a window or an external door will need planning permission. Go to the Planning Portal's Guidance on flats and maisonettes for more information.

Change of use from offices to residential

If you want to change an office to a residential property you will need to apply for planning permission. Go to change of use from commercial to residential to find out why you need planning permission in the City.

Business changes

The most common types of Permitted Development for businesses in the City of London are:

  • Minor Operations involving the erection of gates and boundary walls, construction of a means of access to a highway, painting of buildings and the provision of electric vehicle recharging points;
  • Changes of Use. There are many changes of use that are permitted development but the most common in the City of London are between various classes of retail activity, eg a restaurant to a shop, a shop to a bank and to another use specifically authorised when the existing activity was approved but this must be within 10 years of the planning permission being granted.
  • Temporary buildings and structures required in connection with building operations
  • Telecommunications development; Installation of CCTV camera
  • Minor extensions or alteration of an office building
  • Minor extensions or alteration of Shop (Use Class A1) or Financial and Professional Services (Use Class A2) premises.

In most cases there are restrictions on where Permitted Development rights apply and on the size and location of the works and uses. We recommended that you contact the Department of the Built Environment to find out whether the work or use you intend to do is permitted development.​

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