Permitted development

Certain types of development may not need planning permission and may be able to be built using 'permitted development rights'.The Planning Portal offers advice on permitted development including a 'virtual house'. Permitted development rights are set nationally and not by local councils. You can read the full statutory instrument on permitted development rights for householders on the link below.

Flats do not have any permitted development rights. If you intend to materially alter the external appearance of a flat or flats, you WILL require planning permission. This includes the installation of double glazed windows in place of single glazed units in a flat, unless the appearance of the new windows would be 100 percent identical to the existing windows. If you consider that they are 100 percent identical, then please submit a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Development to have this formally confirmed by the Council.

If you consider the works you wish to carry out to be permitted development, you are advised to submit a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use or Development. Obtaining a Certificate is on the only formal confirmation you can get from the Council to confirm whether permission is required or not.

On occasions, works are not considered to be permitted development and people simply do begin building works or change the use of a property without the correct planning consents in place. In these circumstances our Enforcement Team would investigate. Please consult our Enforcement page for further information and advice.

Removal of permitted development rights

Due to the nature of the streetscape and architecture in the Royal Borough, occasionally permitted development rights are removed when the Council wants to control development in a certain area. Generally this is done in one of two ways; by imposing an Article 4 Direction on the property or by removing the permitted development rights by way of a planning condition. Please click on the link below for further information on whether your property is covered by an Article 4 Direction.  

To establish whether your property has had its permitted development rights removed by way of a planning condition, you will need to consult any planning approvals granted on your property. You can research the history of your property using our Planning search page. Alternatively, you can request copies of planning decisions from our Records Section. Planning decisions are charged at £17 per decision. Please email planning@rbkc.gov.uk or write to the address below to request copies of planning decisions.

  • Postal Address: Records Section, Planning and Borough Development, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX

The result of the removal of permitted development rights means that work that would not normally require planning permission will actually require the submission of an application. A planning fee would not be required in these cases. You are urged not to rely on information drawn from external web sites in deciding whether your proposal falls within the boundary of permitted development or not. We would encourage you to submit a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Development for a definite view before proceeding. Please telephone PlanningLine on 020 7361 3012 for further advice.

Permitted development rights can also be limited for listed buildings. Irrespective of whether you require planning permission, if your building is listed, you will require listed building consent for any alterations that affect the fabric of the building. You can search whether your building is listed by clicking on the link below.

Planning permission is not required for internal alterations to buildings such as knocking down a wall between a kitchen and a lounge. However, if the building is listed, you will require listed building consent.

Use Class Order

Some uses of land, due to their similarities in planning land-use terms do not require planning permission to change between them. The Planning Portal offers advice on the use class order and change of use applications.