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Do I Need Planning Permission


Not all residential development requires planning permission from the council. Some things have already been granted permission by national legislation. These are called "permitted development". Please note that irrespective of whether planning permission is required, approval under building regulations may be required. Other permissions may also be needed before you start work if your building is listed. You can check if the building is listed on our interactive maps.

 A planning application will usually be required if:

  • The works involve a flat/maisonette mobile home or residential caravan
  • Permitted Development” rights have been removed on your property by a condition imposed on a planning permission or by an “Article 4 Direction”. This is usually the case on barn conversions, houses on restricted sites or ‘open-plan’ estates where the erection of fences and walls are restricted and often prevents the conversion of a garage to a living space
  • The property is not exclusively a single family dwelling house, e.g. it is a mixed commercial/residential premises
  • The works to be carried out are not within the residential curtilage, usually the garden area of the property

Householder development

The most common queries we receive are about alterations and extensions to peoples' houses or about buildings in their garden.

The Interactive house guide and interactive terrace guide on the Planning Portal will help you decide if an application to us is needed.  

Advice on many common building work projects and are available on the Planning Portal including

  • Extensions
  • Alterations to roofsLink to interactive terraceLink to interactive house
  • Replacement windows and doors
  • Porches
  • Walls, gates and fences
  • Garage
  • Sheds



Many of these include information about the building regulation aspects too.

The Planning Portal have also produced some mini-guides that provide more detailed visual clarification of the permitted development rules for specific householder development projects, such as loft conversions, extensions, conservatories, outbuildings and porches.

If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful for planning purposes or that your proposal does not require planning permission you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate.


Planning permission from the council will usually be required to change the use of a property from residential to business or make any material changes in the way a business premises is used. Read more information on use classes for further guidance.

You can also refer to general guides published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Some of these are a little out of date so if you are not sure if you need permission please contact us and seek free pre-application advice.

Contact us

More information is available on our contact us page

In Person
Ashford Borough Council
Civic Centre
Tannery Lane
Kent TN23 1PL


Tenterden Town Hall
Town Hall
24 High Street
Kent TN30 6AN


By letter
Planning Enquiries
Ashford Borough Council
Civic Centre
Kent TN23 1PL

01233 331111


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