Sometimes it is not clear whether or not planning permission is needed. To find out if you require Planning Permission please read the information below and follow the necessary links for more information:

Why can't you just tell me if I need planning permission?

What appears to be a simple question isn't straightforward for the Council to answer.  We need to follow a number of regulations, complete history checks and consider various planning rules, and these take time and resources to carry out.  The Council has therefore put in place the following services to provide the information.

Duty Planner: Click here to find out about the Duty Planner Service. This service can provide verbal help and advice.

If you want some general advice about doing works to a Listed Building, in the first instance, please use our Listed Building Duty Service.

If you require a response in writing:

Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC)

For peace of mind we highly recommend you apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC). This is not the same as planning permission but is proof that your household building work is lawful.  If you should later want to sell your property an LDC can help to answer queries raised by potential buyers or their legal representatives. As such, it is important that all paperwork and records relating to your property are clear and up to date. 

As part of this process, we will check:

  • if permitted development rights have been removed from your property,
  • if your property falls within an Article 4 area or another restrictive designated area,
  • and if your proposal falls within the parameters set by the General Permitted Development Order (regulations set by national government).

You can apply to your local council for an LDC using the Planning Portal - How to Apply service. You will have to pay a fee.

Planning Application Guidance on how to apply and what you are required to provide.

Planning portal guidance

The Planning Portal website ( provides lots of useful information on how to find out if you will need Planning Permission or to find advice on the planning process can be found using the links below.  However, if you property is in a Conservation Area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the guides they provide will not be able to assit you fully.

Pre-application advice

If you wish for an officer to give you advice on the likelihood of proposals being acceptable, then you will need to submit a pre-application enquiry form to us using the link below.  There is a charge for this service.

Pre-application Service

What else do I need to know?

With all building work, the owner of the property (or land) in question is ultimately responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules and building regulations (regardless of the need to apply for planning permission and/or building regulations approval or not). The Planning Portal has further details on your responsibilities.

Planning permission and Building Regulations approval are two separate things. Please visit the Devon Building Control Partnership website for more information.

Our Duty Planner Service may also be able to provide some general advice.