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Lawful development: Quick Guide



The majority of homes in the Somerset & North Somerset Districts have Permitted Development (PD) Planning Rights, and this means that some types of building works do not need full Planning Permission. PD rights can be very useful once understood properly for the following reasons:


  • You do not need to apply for Planning Permission, which save's time and money

  • The design does not have to meet local planning policy, so theres more freedom

  • You might be able to build more than if you got Planning Permission, so you have the potential to add more value


Situations where PD rights are usually NOT applicable include Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB's). At ArchiWest we specialise in these types of property so please get in touch if you fall into one of these categories in the Somerset, North Somerset, Bristol or surrounding areas.


Below we look in more depth at Lawful development rules and regulations.

Lawful Development Certificates

You can build under Permitted Development if the above criteria applies to your project and should not require planning permission, BUT to confirm it is usually a good idea to make an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development. This will prove that the work is Permitted Development, and can be kept in your files.

The following indicates the correct procedure to ensure all goes well;


  1. Use an experienced architectural design firm such as ArchiWest to plan and draw up the work.

  2. Make sure to show all the key dimensions on the drawings, including north point and scale bar.

  3. Use the Planning Portal to set up the application form

  4. Make sure to state on the form the correct applicable PD Class. Give all of the key sizes to clearly indicate PD compliance.

  5. Include the correct fee in the submission (usually less than half the cost of a full householder planning submission). This can usually be paid online, over the phone or by cheque.

  6. Wait for approx 6 weeks for the council to confirm compliance


If you need any help with your project or design advice then please drop us a line. We can provide consultations for planning approvals in Somerset and surrounding areas to discuss potential projects, offer advice and best practice.




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