A Guide to Applying for Planning Permission

  • Price: £3.60
  • Published: April 2016
  • Type: Business Information Factsheet
  • Format: PDF

Planning permission is required in order to change the use of an existing commercial property and for developments to commercial property and land. Most physical alterations or expansions to premises will need planning permission from the planning authority in the area where the work is being carried out. This permission needs to be obtained before any new business activity commences, or any building or development work is started.

The planning system in the UK is designed to balance the need for economic development with the protection of the local environment. To obtain planning permission, applicants will need to apply to their local authority planning department, which will be a department in the local city, borough, district or county council where the property is located. Local authority planning departments are concerned with issues such as compliance with Building Regulations, listed building and conservation area consents, fire regulations, crime prevention and security.

This factsheet explains the factors that a local authority planning department will take into account when granting planning permission for commercial property or land, and outlines the types of developments and use they will consider. It explains when permission for building work is required, the different types of permission that can be granted, the correct process to follow before and after seeking planning permission, and what to do if a planning application is rejected.

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