Frequently Asked Questions for Planning


Frequently Asked Questions for Planning


Q - Do I need planning permission for internal works to a dwelling house?

A - Internal works to dwelling houses, such as the removal of internal walls or the re-configuration of the internal layout, will not normally require planning permission. However in some circumstances the insertion of new windows and the conversion of garages to residential use may require permission. 

However you should note that even though planning permission may not be required for certain internal works, if the works relate to a Listed Building then Listed Building Consent may be needed. In addition the Building Regulations do apply to various internal alterations.

Q - I wish to build a minor extension to the rear of my ground floor flat. Do I need planning permission?

A - Yes. Flats do not benefit from 'permitted development' rights, and consequently any proposal which results in the enlargement of a flat or maisonette would require planning permission.

Q - Do I need planning permission to replace the windows in my property?

A - Generally, the straight replacement of windows in a dwelling house will not require planning permission. However any dwelling house which is a Listed Building will require separate listed building consent for replacement windows.

Planning permission is not required to insert new windows or doorways on the ground floor of dwelling houses, unless any previous permissions relating to the dwelling house have removed the right to insert openings without the need for permission.

Should you wish to insert new windows at an upper floor level on a side elevation of your property, including a roof slope, permission is required unless the window is obscure glazed, and non-opening (unless the parts of the window which can be opened are more than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room in which the window is installed).

With regard to flats, if the windows are being replaced exactly like-for-like in terms of material, design, style, and appearance, permission would not be required. However, planning permission would be required if the replacement windows are different in anyway, as flats do not have permitted development rights. Again, if the flats are part of a Listed Building then listed building consent will also be needed.

Q - I want to drop a kerb outside my property to create a new access. Do I need planning permission?

A - The dropping of a kerb in itself will not require planning permission but you will need to contact East Sussex County Council Highways for any consents required under the relevant Highways Regulations and to obtain a licence prior to commencing any works on the highway. More information on dropped kerbs.

If you are creating a new vehicular access to your property, e.g. by removing a wall or fence to facilitate access, then planning permission will be required if the road in question is a Classified road. Planning permission will be required for access from an unclassified road, if the access would serve a development which in itself requires planning permission (eg. a non-permeable driveway or works to form a driveway/hardstanding for a flat)

Find out whether or not a road is classified

Please note if you need to apply for planning permission for a new driveway and the proposal also involves formation of a new access, the access will also require permission even if it is proposed off an unclassified road.

Q - I wish to resurface my front garden and form a new driveway. Do I need permission?

A - With regard to your front garden, the position regarding new driveways is as follows:

You will not need to apply for planning permission if a new driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing such as gravel, permeable concrete, permeable block paving or porous asphalt, or if rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally. If the surface to be covered is more than 5 square metres planning permission will be needed for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not directly run-off water to a permeable or porous area within the curtilage of your dwelling. Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens can be found at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Please note the above advice only relates to the creation of a hard surface/driveway. Should your proposal involve engineering works, eg retaining walls, embankments, you may require planning permission.

Also, if you are creating a new access as well as laying a new surface then then the advice above in the previous question will also apply.

Q - Do I need permission for a satellite dish on my property?

A - If you live in a purpose built house you will not need planning permission for satellite dishes of a certain size (see below). However dwellings previously created under other 'permitted development rights' e.g. conversions from shops, industrial premises and agricultural buildings do not benefit from these provisions and satellites dishes on these building will normally need permission.

The following are the limitations from the legislation:

The installation, alteration or replacement of a microwave antenna ( satellite dish) on a dwellinghouse or within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse is not permitted development by Class H of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) if:-

(b) it would result in the presence on the building or within its curtilage of

(i) more than two antennas;

(ii) a single antenna exceeding 1 metre in length;

(iii) two antennas which do not meet the relevant size criteria;

(iv) an antenna installed on a chimney, where the length of the antenna would exceed 0.6 metres;

(v) an antenna installed on a chimney, where the antenna would protrude above the chimney; or

(vi) an antenna with a cubic capacity in excess of 35 litres;

(c) in the case of an antenna to be installed on a roof without a chimney, the highest part of the antenna would be higher than the highest part of the roof;

(d) in the case of an antenna to be installed on a roof with a chimney, the highest part of the antenna would be higher than the highest part of the chimney, or 0.6 metres measured from the highest part of the ridge tiles of the roof, whichever is the lower; or

(e) in the case of article 2(3) land (such as Conservation Areas or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), it would consist of the installation of an antenna:

(i) on a chimney, wall or roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from, a highway; or

(ii) on a building which exceeds 15 metres in height.


Development is permitted by Class H subject to the following conditions

(a) an antenna installed on a building shall, so far as practicable, be sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building; and

(b) an antenna no longer needed for reception or transmission purposes shall be removed as soon as reasonably practicable.

In the case of satellite dishes on a listed building, listed building consent will always be required, with the need for planning permission dependent on the above-mentioned criteria.

Q - Do I need planning permission to install solar panels on my dwellinghouse or an outbuilding within the curtilage of my dwellinghouse?

Planning permission would not be required to install solar panels provided:-

(a) the solar panels would not protrude more than 0.2 metres beyond the plane of the wall or roof slope when measured from the perpendicular with the external surface of the wall or roof slope;

(b) it would not result in the highest part of the solar panel being higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding any chimney).

(c) in the case of a dwellinghouse within a Conservation Area, permission is not required provided the panels are not installed on a wall which fronts a highway.

Development is permitted subject to the following conditions:-

(a) the solar panels installed on a building should, so far as practicable, be sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building;

(b) the solar panels should, so far as practicable, be sited so as to minimise its effect on the amenity of the area, and

(c) solar panels no longer needed should be removed as soon as reasonably practicable.


Important note in relation to all questions

When deciding on the need for planning permission, always be aware if your property is Listed, falls within a Conservation Area, is the subject of an Article 4 Direction, or falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Some properties may have had 'Permitted Development' Rights removed, meaning planning permission would always be required for certain projects which would normally be permitted without an application being required. If you have the planning history for your property, you can view the appropriate decision notices for past permissions to see if this is the case. To see if your property is within an area affected by an Article 4 Direction, this information can be viewed via our Online Mapping System.

Please note any information gathered from this page or obtained by way of a letter from Rother is informal advice only and is not a formal determination. If you need a formal decision confirming whether planning permission is required for any particular project you will need to submit an application for a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development - Proposed or Existing for which a fee is payable.

Some areas of Rother have had legal Article 4 Directions imposed upon them, restricting certain works which would normally be exempt from permission.


The Planning Portal

The Planning Portal is the government's online service for planning. The site can assist on determining the need for planning permission, obtaining site location plans, submitting applications, as well as a whole host of guidance about the planning system. Listed below are just some of the tools and information that can be obtained from visiting the main site.

Planning Portal Homepage - The Planning Portal offers a wide range of services and guidance about the planning system, find out more by using this link.

Visual guide for householders - Explore the interactive house for guidance on many common householder projects

Interactive Terrace - Explore the interactive terrace for guidance relating to flats, shops and basements as well as many common householder projects, in England.

Building Regulations - A wide range of Building Regulation information and advice on how to apply for various types of common building work

Planning Portal FAQ's - The Planning Portal's FAQ page provides free, easily accessible advice available to users


Decision Notices

This search will retrieve both Planning and Building Regulation decision notices for viewing or printing. You need to know the application numbers you require to use this facility. Currently available: Planning decisions back to 1947, Building Regulation decisions from 2004 onwards.

View/print decision notices

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