North Dorset planning application advice
Get planning advice and find out if you need permission, including advice on permitted development.
Development Services Handbook
The North Dorset District Council Development Services Handbook (opens in a new window) is to be used as a guide and introduction to planning to make it as clear and straightforward as possible for you to use the services offered by North Dorset District Council's Development Service.
Advice and guidance
From 1 April 2011 we introduced charges which cover most aspects of planning advice; these fees are payable before any advice is given. Free, informal advice is no longer given over the telephone or to visitors to our offices, but you can receive free advice and help with most of your general planning questions, including what documents you need to provide to support your application, on the National Planning Portal (opens in a new window)
Do I need planning permission?
This depends on what you want to do. Some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission. The government has given a range of minor developments planning permission so that you don't need to apply for extra permission for them. This is called Permitted Development.
There are three ways to determine whether planning permission is required:
- You can come to your own decision as to whether any planning permission is required by looking at the general advice available from the National Planning Portal (opens in a new window) The planning portal has an Householders interactive house (opens in a new window) web page that may help you. Please note that if you decide to determine whether you need planning permission yourself, that this will be entirely at your own risk.
- You can apply for a formal decision as to whether planning permission is required by applying for a lawful development certificate (opens in a new window) for which a fee is payable (set nationally)
- You can obtain a written opinion from the council as to whether planning permission is required by completing the appropriate advice request form found at the Permitted Development link below. A fee is payable for this service to cover the cost of an officer investigating the planning history and reviewing the submitted information.
You may be able to make minor changes to your property without needing to apply for formal planning permission under a general planning permission granted by Parliament known as "permitted development rights".
Pre-Application advice is an important aspect of the planning process. Early discussion of proposals can give applicants an improved chance of permission being granted or, at least, an understanding of the reasons which might lead to a refusal.
Make a planning application