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Find out if you need planning permission


Guidelines on permitted development in Purbeck for residential and commercial purposes with information on common projects, renewable energy and prior notification for larger home extensions and the change of use of buildings.

Permitted Development for residential properties

There are certain types of development and minor works that can be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission. This is known as permitted development and is applicable to residential houses and bungalows only, although what is permitted will vary depending upon whether the property is detached, semi-detached or terraced.

Note: Permitted development rights do not apply to flats, maisonettes, mobile homes or residential caravans.

Get an informal opinion

It is strongly advised that you seek the written opinion of the council as to whether your proposals are permitted development before you start any work or order any building or materials.


Use the Planning Portal Interactive House for guidance on common householder projects.

Note: If you sell your property, a prospective purchaser may require documentation to show that any development carried out on the property was lawful and many solicitors, building societies and banks will rely on the informal opinion of a planning officer of the council.

Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Development

A formal opinion on whether your proposal is permitted development can be obtained by applying for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Development. The application fee for a Certificate is half the fee of the corresponding application and a formal opinion will be issued between 6 to 8 weeks from registration. Use the fee calculator to work out what your application will cost.

Permitted Development Rights

The terms of reference for permitted development are set out in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development). The legislation sets out classes of development for which a grant of planning permission is automatically given, provided permitted development rights have not been removed.

The removal of Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development rights can be removed by a Condition attached to a planning permission, either for an individual property or as a group, for example, the development of small or large housing estates. In addition, an area could be covered by an Article 4 Direction that restricts certain types of development within it, for example, an urban conservation area.

There are a large number of properties in Purbeck that have had their permitted development rights removed by a Condition on a planning permission and 16 areas subject to an Article 4 Direction. In these circumstances, a planning application will need to be submitted.

Read more about Article 4 Directions in Purbeck.

Permitted Development for commercial and agricultural premises

There are an extensive number of permitted development rights pertaining to commercial enterprises and the farming community. To obtain an opinion as to whether your proposal is permitted development, please submit an informal enquiry or apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness. Charges apply as detailed above for an informal opinion and a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Development will be half the amount of the equivalent planning application.

Changes to Permitted Development Rights 2013 and 2014

In May 2013 permitted development rights were extended for householders and businesses that allow them to do more without applying for planning permission. The main changes allow:

  • larger single storey rear extensions to residential properties
  • conversion of buildings from office to residential use
  • more flexible uses for shops, offices, residential institutions, and agricultural buildings
  • easier conversion of premises for school uses

From April 2014 permitted development rights were extended for the change of use of agricultural buildings to schools, nurseries and residential dwellings, plus the conversion of shops to residential dwellings.

More information can be found in our Permitted Development - a plain English guide document. Please use the appropriate notification forms below to notify the council of any proposals under the new changes. Fees are applicable to some of these Permitted Development prior notifications.

Note: These permitted development rights are not available in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Conservation Areas

Notification forms

Get notification application forms from the Planning Portal.

Purbeck District Council will use your personal information to provide you with the service which you or someone acting on your behalf has asked us to provide. We will also use your personal details for purposes of crime prevention and crime detection and will, if asked, share it with other public bodies for that purpose. The full statement about how we will use your personal details can be seen at Looking after your personal data - Purbeck District Council's commitment to you.

Permitted Development not affected by the 2013 changes

The changes to permitted development rights only affects a small number of proposals.

Use the Planning Portal Interactive House for guidance on common householder projects.

Listed buildings

If your property is a listed building you will require listed building consent before carrying out any type of work, internally or externally, even if your proposals are considered to be permitted development for the purposes of planning permission.

Conservation areas and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

There may be greater restrictions on what is permitted development if you live within a Conservation Area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Solar panels and Permitted Development

Find out more at the Solar Panels and Permitted Development page.

Building regulations

Even though your proposals may be permitted development you may still require approval under the Building Regulations. Although there are some exemptions to this they are not the same as the exemptions from the need for planning permission. Contact our Building Control Team for more advice.

Complaining to the council

The council aims to give the best possible service to its customers in a helpful, courteous and efficient manner. If you think the council has not given the matter proper attention or you feel it has been mishandled, there is a formal complaints procedure that is both confidential and impartial to help resolve issues.

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