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Permitted development in Christchurch

Find out if you need planning permission, or if your plans are classed as permitted development.

What is permitted development

Certain development can be carried out without formal planning consent. This is known as 'permitted development'. Development proposals are only permitted development if they meet the exact requirements set out in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended). Use the Planning Portal Interactive House for guidance on common householder projects (opens in a new window).

Check if you need permission

Christchurch and East Dorset Councils has now changed the services that are provided by the Development Management Team.

The change to service relates to Permitted Development Enquiries.

We will not be able to respond to informal permitted development enquires to establish if planning permission is required or if the property benefits from permitted development rights. This service will now have to follow the formal process of submitting a Certificate of Lawfulness for Proposed Development.

Certificate of Lawful Development

If you wish to seek formal assurance that the work intended on the property does/does not require planning permission, then you are advised to submit an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development for a Proposed Use or Development. The application will determine whether planning permission is required helping you to avoid a breach of planning control and problems later when attempting to sell the property. The Certificates are legally binding and a formal route of appeal exists if you disagree with the determination given.  This application costs half the fee of an equivalent planning application.

The form for submitting a Certificate of Lawful Development is available on the Christchurch Application Forms page.  You are strongly advised to read the accompanying guidance notes to ensure that the correct information is submitted and to avoid a delay in your application.

If you do need permission

If you believe that your proposal does not meet the permitted development criteria then you may wish to submit your plans to the planning department for an informal comment prior to submitting a formal planning application, alternatively you may wish to find out how to apply for planning permission.

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