How to make a planning application

You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to your building, e.g. building an extension
  • change the use of your building or land
  • merge houses or flats in a way which reduces the overall number of homes. (The amalgamation of residential units into larger units normally requires planning permission. These applications will be subject to close scrutiny in view of the potential loss of residential units and the need to meet the Borough's housing target as set out in the London Plan).

In certain cases, planning permission is not required for a development as the works can be carried out using 'permitted development rights'.

Permitted development rights are set nationally and not by local councils, so the best way to find out if you can carry out permitted development works is to check using the Government's Planning Portal, to use their "Interactive House" tool .

Flats do not have any permitted development rights. If you intend to materially alter the external appearance of a building containing flats you will always require planning permission.

This includes installing double glazed windows in place of single glazed windows in a flat, unless the appearance of the new windows would be identical to the existing windows.

Changing the use of buildings does not always need planning permission. More information is available on the Planning Portal.

New buildings, and many external changes to buildings will require planning permission, which you can get by submitting a planning application.

Don't forget - the Planning Portal is also our recommended way of submitting planning applications.

What if you don't need permission?

If you would like the Council to confirm that you don't need planning permission, you should apply for a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use or Development through the Planning Portal.


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. Further information and advice is available on our Planning Enforcement page.

Appointing someone to handle your planning application
You are able to search for an Architect or Planning consultant to assist you in preparing a planning application from the below organisations: