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Planning permission

Date created: 6/26/2020
Contact the Planning team

Not all developments such as some changes of use, minor alterations or extensions need planning permission. Go to the submitting the planning requirements page and the individual development pages for information on developments or alterations that need planning permission.

Permitted development without planning permission

Development or alterations that do not need planning permission is known as permitted development. However, in most cases there are restrictions on where permitted development applies and on the size and location of the works and uses and there are likely to be conditions or the development will still need some planning approval before it can start. There is no fee for permitted development alterations.

Contact the Planning team in the Department of the Built Environment to find out whether the work that you propose needs planning permission or is permitted development.

Change of use from office to residential

The City of London Corporation made an Article 4 Direction to remove permitted development rights for the change of use from offices to residential so planning permission is needed for this change of use. Contact the Planning team in  Department of the Built Environment  for more information is on the Article 4 Direction.

Business changes

The most common types of permitted development for businesses 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.

Residential changes

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 Guide on flats and maisonettes for more information.