Advice and FAQs on planning

Do I need planning permission?

This all depends on what you wish to do in terms of development. Some minor alterations to your house, such as replacement of windows, and, extensions, for example a single storey rear extension, may be carried out without planning permission. This is known as permitted development. You can find out further information along with useful guidance on permitted development through the National Planning Portal’s Interactive House.

You usually need planning permission if you are proposing to undertake certain building or engineering works or changing the use of a particular building or parcel of land. You may also need consent from us if you want to display advertisements or signage, or wish to alter listed buildings or demolish buildings. Our 'Do I need planning permission' section has more information.

It is important to note that most building works also need Building Regulations approval. Therefore, it is recommended you contact the Council's Building Control department for more information on Building Regulations and requirements.

Note: The Government made a number of changes to permitted development rights in April 2015. These changes included new rules to allow more flexibility for retail units, office buildings to be converted to residential use without planning permission, and increased limits for householder extensions. There are also new processes for dealing with certain development proposals such as erecting solar panels on non-domestic buildings.

Applying for Planning Permission

Our Submitting a planning application has guidance on what to do, or you can speak to our planning team for pre-application advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

The National Planning Portal has a number of other frequently asked questions which may help you. Alternatively, you can contact them directly by emailing support@planningportal.gsi.gov.uk

Calculate the volume of a building

You can use the online volume calculator to find out the volume of a building, or extension you are looking to build on your property.

Further information

We have duty officers available to help you either by phone or in person between 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday at our main offices or you can email us at planning@stevenage.gov.uk

Choosing an architect, surveyor or building engineer

The Architecture Registration Board (ARB) is a body which has been set up by Parliament as the independent UK regulator of architects. In order for an individual to use the title "architect" they must be registered with the ARB. There are around 34,000 architects on the register, you can search for an architect near you on the ARB Register.

Alternatively, you could appoint a Chartered Architectural Technologist who can also lead your project from inception to completion. You can visit the Chartered Institue of Architectural Technologists website in order to find a locally qualified professional.

If you wish to appoint a Surveyor, they must be a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). You can search the RICS website in order to find a surveyor near you.

The Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) is a leading body of professions who specialise in the design, construction, evaluation and maintenance of building construction. You can search the CABE online register to find a building engineer near you.

Before choosing any professional advisor, you will need to consider the following:-

  • Talking to a number of people who specialise in the type of work you are looking to do for example an extension or the erection of a new house;
  • Whether you want to work with a professional from a large, medium or small practice;
  • Seeking a personal recommendation from your family or friends,