Our Practice Advice Service outlines whether a purchaser wanting to develop a residential property needs specific planning permission.

I am acting for a purchaser in a residential conveyancing transaction. My client has a number of plans to develop the property and seeks advice as to whether or not he needs specific planning permission for the list of works contemplated. Where can I find a list of matters which do/do not require such permission?

Certain matters which would otherwise fall within the definition of development (and thus require planning permission) are specifically excluded from that definition by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) or by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 or, where the property is in Wales, Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

A summary of the main cases where permission is not required either by the statute or by regulation is listed in the Law Society’s Conveyancing Handbook (29th Edition) Chapter B24.4.1.

An interactive explanation of which matters do need planning permission in residential conveyancing may also be found on the government website: www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission

In any case of doubt, the statutory provisions and the various regulations should be checked, and/or advice sought from the planning department of the local authority. The Localism Act 2012 should also be considered where appropriate.

For further information please see:

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

This article is compiled by the Law Society’s Practice Advice Service. Comments relating to the questions should be sent to practiceadvice@lawsociety.org.uk