What is permitted development?

Some types of minor building works do not require planning permission. This is called permitted development.

It applies to many common projects for houses. Examples include:

  • Works to a boundary wall below a certain height
  • Adding small extensions
  • Installing solar panels

Permitted development does not apply to flats, caravans or other buildings and is restricted for buildings in conservation areas and listed buildings.

To find out whether you need permission for common householder projects, view Do you need permission? on the Planning Portal website.

Article 4 Directions

Some changes of use can be carried out under permitted development. The Council can take away these permitted development rights using an Article 4 Direction. For Wandsworth, there are Article 4 Directions proposed or in force that control the change of use of pubs, shops and offices. These apply to particular parts of the borough or specific premises.

There are also Article 4 Directions in place for specific conservation areas that control some building works.

What to do next

Once you have checked whether your project is permitted development, decide what to do next (Planning Portal website).

You can apply for a Lawful development certificate from us if you would like formal confirmation that your project qualifies as permitted development.

You can also get pre-application advice from a planning officer.

Prior approval

In 2013 changes were made to permitted development (PD) for houses, schools, commercial and industrial sites. These changes increase allowances or alter permitted changes of use, sometimes for a temporary period. For further guidance about prior approval, please view the DCLG website.

You or your developer must apply in advance for determination as to whether the prior approval of the council will be required. 

Apply for determination for prior approval

The form and associated documents should be emailed to priorapproval@wandsworth.gov.uk

The information you provide may be published on our website.

What does this mean for my household extension project?

View permitted development allowances for extensions on the Planning Portal website for advice on how this may affect a building project at your home.