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North Dorset planning application advice

Get planning advice and find out if you need permission, including advice on permitted development.

Advice and guidance

Informal free advice is no longer given over the phone or in person 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. 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. 

All initial requests must be made in writing and most aspects of planning advice; require a fee that is payable before any advice is given.

Permitted Development

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

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

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