Planning Permission is a way of asking us if you can start a piece of building work. We will either refuse or grant you permission.
You might need planning permission if you want to:
- build something new
- make a major change to your building; building an extension
- change the use of your building.
There are different rules depending on what you want to do. The planning portal has a list of rules for common building work projects for the home.
When don’t you need planning permission
Some building projects don't need planning permission. This is known as permitted development rights
Building projects that normally have permitted development rights include:
- industrial premises and warehouses, read the limits and conditions
- some outdoor signs and advertisements, read the special rules around these
- demolition (before you begin you must get approval to demolish from the planning department).
There are other projects that might not need planning permission. For example; projects that will have no impact on your neighbours or the environment. If you think this could apply to you, contact us.
In some cases it may not be clear if your development falls into the permitted development category.
If this is the case you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. This is not the same as planning permission, but is proof that your building work is lawful.
Planning permission: business premises
Most alterations to business premises do need planning permission, including:
- all shop and office extensions
- alterations to shop fronts
- external security shutters or grilles
- changes in the use of land or buildings.
The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) puts uses of land and buildings into various categories known as 'Use Classes'.
Please check the Planning Portal for land use classes and general advice and guidance on change of use, including additional change of use permitted development rights applying from 30 May 2013.
Larger home extensions
If you want to add a single storey rear extension, you might be eligible under the prior approval larger home extension consultation scheme.
If your property is within a conservation area then you will need to submit a householder application.
No development shall start until you receive written notification from us that either:
- prior approval is not required
- prior approval is required and given
- the expiry of a period of no less than 42 days following the date on which the information was received by us and no written notification has been sent to the developer as to whether prior approval is given or refused.
Before making an application:
read the guidance notes
Extended construction site working hours
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, developers can request to extend their construction site working hours. This is following Government advice to help achieve safe social-distancing.
You can make a request to the Councils planning team.
We will usually approve any requests for extended hours up until 9 pm on Monday to Saturday. Unless there are very good reasons against this.
How to request extended hours
Requests should include:
- any planning application reference number
- an explanation of the need to extend the hours
- a commitment to carry out any noisy works during "normal hours" wherever possible
- confirmation that the works would be compliant with the “Considerate Constructors Scheme” <link>
- details of points of contact for queries from local residents
You should try to avoid unreasonable impacts on very populated areas.
You should send your request to extend hours to firstname.lastname@example.org
How we make decisions
We will consider if there will be any impact on nearby business or other users, such as care homes. Particularly where they are sensitive to noise, dust or vibration.
We will consider extending working hours past 9 pm on Monday to Saturday where no-one lives near to the site.
We will notify you about our decision within 10 days of your request, wherever possible.
If we approve your request, you should notify nearby properties before you start work.
These revised guidelines only relate to the Planning process. To follow Environmental Health noise abatement law, building contractors can apply for extended hours by emailing email@example.com.
If you wish to carry out internal or external works to a listed building you’ll need listed building consent and probably planning permission.
Our design and conservation team can advise you as to whether listed building consent is required for proposed works and can provide pre-application advise for your proposals.
It is a criminal offence to carry out work which needs listed building consent without obtaining it beforehand.
You’ll need to apply for permission if you wish to demolish a building, or part of a building within a conservation area.
Display of advertisements
Some forms of advertisement benefit from something called 'deemed consent' and can be put up without approval from us. The government's free booklet, Outdoor advertisements and signs: a guide for advertisers contains useful advice.
Please note that it is a criminal offence to display an advert that requires our consent without first getting that consent.
Speak to us
The planning reception is open from 9 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm on weekdays.
The duty planning officers are available from 9 am to 1 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to help and give advice. The officer has to remain impartial to make sure we deal with the application fairly.
The address of our Colindale office is:
1st floor, 2 Bristol Avenue, NW9 4EW
If you have a disability and cannot get to Colindale, the relevant planning officer will be able to explain the plans to you by telephone or in your home.
My planning permission is due to expire, or has expired since the start of lockdown, can I extend the period for implementation?
In response to the effect that coronavirus has had on the planning system and the construction sector, and in particular the delays it has caused to the commencement of new development, the Government announced on 22 July 2020 that it would be making provisions to enable planning permissions that have lapsed since 23 March 2020, and those that are due to lapse before the end of 2020, to be automatically extended until May 2021. The legislation comes into force on 19 August 2020.
There are two methods of securing an extension to the period for implementation:
- Under section 93A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, unimplemented planning permissions with time limits for implementation which were due to lapse between 19 August 2020 (when these provisions come into force) and 31 December 2020 are extended to 1 May 2021. This happens automatically, with no requirement to obtain Additional Environmental Approval (AEA).
- Unimplemented planning permissions with time limits for implementation which passed between 23 March 2020 and 19 August 2020 are also restored and the time limit extended to 1 May 2021, subject to Additional Environmental Approval (AEA) being granted. Further details of the AEA process are set out below.
What information does an applicant need to provide to enable a local planning authority to determine whether Additional Environmental Approval should be granted?
Applicants should provide details of:
- The planning permission to which the application relates;
- The condition(s) which set out the time limit(s) for implementation;
- Any condition(s) or other agreements which relate to environmental mitigation or enhancement measures;
- Whether the original permission was subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment and/or a Habitats Regulation Assessment, or screening for either type of assessment.
Full details of the new procedure can be found at the following link:
As explained above, the legislation does not come into force until 19 August 2020. There is no form to be completed for this request and applications should be sent to AEAPlanning@barnet.gov.uk along with all the details set out in the guidance. There is no fee for requests of this kind.
Deemed approval provisions will apply if the Council does not determine any application within 28 days. The Local Planning Authority are not able to approve such applications after 31 December 2020 so applications should be made in good time in advance of this date.